Student studies abroad three semesters, makes lifetime of memories

“Student studies abroad three semesters, makes lifetime of memories”

by Matthew McClure via “The Lamron”

Coming to Geneseo, I knew I wanted to study abroad for at least a year. I knew I wanted to go beyond my past linguistic and travel experience in Europe. This semester, I am returning from three semesters of studying abroad in Vietnam, Canada and Haiti. Study abroad has been an incredibly formative part of my undergraduate career—and my future plans—in both expected and unexpected ways.

The Global Service Learning Program in Borgne, Haiti proved to be a turning point for me. Through this program, I applied my interests in foreign language, intercultural competence and international education to connecting communities in Borgne and Geneseo. My experience in spring 2013 not only focused my academic interests, study abroad plans and career goals, but also had a lasting impact beyond that one semester. My service learning project became the design and organization of a Haitian Creole language preparation component for the course.

Immediately after the Global Service Learning Program, I knew I wanted to learn Haitian Creole and return to Borgne to help develop our program and relationship with the community. I traveled to Boston to attend the Haitian Creole Language and Culture Summer Institute, working with leading Haitian Creole scholars and collecting resources and teaching methods in order to help improve our Haitian Creole crash-course at Geneseo. As a result, I was selected to the Clinton Global Initiative University in 2015 to help support the first public library in Borgne.

In the fall of my junior year, I spent my first semester abroad in Vietnam. I went into the semester expecting a wildly new experience; one where I would learn an exotic new language. What I got was a semester where I was not only independent, but also the only native English speaker in my class. After learning Vietnamese, I could communicate with the locals and also speak to the internationals that spoke English. I met an extraordinary variety of people, both in Ho Chi Minh City and on my travels in Southeast Asia.

Perhaps the most surprising group I met in Vietnam was the Saigon Swing Cats. I had fallen in love with swing dance my freshman year, but I did not expect to find a club in Vietnam. It was a fascinating mix of locals and expatriates—mostly young professionals—gathering together to dance a vintage American dance. This is where I saw the overlap between my international interests and my dance interests. . . .

READ MORE

Advertisements

From CEA Study Abroad

10 Reasons to Study Abroad

“From CEA Study Abroad”

3 Ways to Tout High School Study Abroad in College Applications

“3 Ways to Tout High School Study Abroad in College Applications”

by Brian White via “Yahoo News!

There are many reasons to pursue a study abroad program while in high school, including opportunities for cultural exchange and personal growth. On a more practical level, you may also find that studying abroad in high school can be a tremendous advantage come college application season.

The key lies in finding the right balance between emphasizing the experience and recognizing that it is just one aspect of you, the soon-to-be college freshman. To help ensure this balance, be honest, maintain perspective and discuss your high school study abroad experience in the right areas of your application , such as these three places.

1. The activities section of the Common Application: As you may already know, the Common Application includes an activities section. While it is technically optional, this portion of the application is an ideal opportunity to discuss your high school study abroad experience.

You can list up to 10 activities here. If the majority of your extracurricular involvement revolves around after-school groups, you may find that you have this in common with many applicants. Listing your study abroad experience first may help you stand out from other students.

In the description of your high school study abroad activity, you will see two fields. The first allows you to name the activity. If you assumed a leadership role during your study abroad experience — such as assisting in the organization of expeditions to local attractions, or rallying your fellow students for service projects — this is a great place to state your role in a few succinct words.

Do not force the issue, however. The name of the organization you traveled with is also sufficient for this field.

The second field allows you to describe your study abroad experience. No experience as profound as learning and living in a foreign country can be adequately summarized in the space that the Common Application allows.

Instead, your goal is to pique the interest of the admissions counselors who will review your application. Choose several moments from your high school study abroad experience that are especially relevant to your academic and career goals, and highlight those.

2. Your personal statement: There are two potential areas where you can expand on your study abroad experience : the personal statement and the additional information section of the Common Application. Study abroad experience is a gold mine for college application essay topics, but you risk sounding one-dimensional if you use this experience in both areas.

In many ways, the additional information section is like a second college application essay. Consider reserving the traditional personal statement for a discussion of some other aspect of your academic life, and then u s e the additional information section to reflect on your high school study abroad experience. The exception to this advice is, of course, if you had a deeply life-changing experience that far eclipses any other aspect of your life.

If you choose this route, write a brief essay that outlines your experience and how it affected you. Begin with your summary and your lessons learned, and then delve into the specifics of where and when you studied abroad.

Include details about your living situation abroad — did you live in a home or a hostel? You should also mention your degree of independence, such as if you did daily or weekly independent travel. And don’t forget to include and any language skills that you developed. . . . .

READ MORE

Wake Forest University: Kansai Gaidai University

Wake Forest University:

Kansai Gaidai University

Host(s)

  • Wake Forest University
  • Kansai Gaidai University

Countries:

Where to Study Abroad: Things to Consider

DSC06306

Once you have made the important decision to study abroad, it is important to find the very best place for your dream adventure. Regardless of whether this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip or a one-in-a-billion trip, finding the ideal location is a big process.

But the world is large and glorious in all its wonder!

There are approximately 200 countries in the world, and almost all of them offer at least one collegiate institution for you to study in.  So many options, so little time!  It’s mind-boggling how study abroad can open your horizons and offer you the world on a silver platter.

So making that final decision of where to go can be a bit tricky and stressful. To help you out, I’ve talked with several study abroad students and drawn up a list of ten different considerations that can help you narrow down the choices.

Tag Archives: who makes more money

1. Money

It seems a bit petty, but money tends to be the first element worth considering when choosing your program. Studying abroad is hardly inexpensive, but some countries and cities can take less out of your bank than others.  For example, China and Korea have somewhat similar cultures and many similar programs; however, Tianjin is statistically cheaper by far than Seoul.  And Japan can run at New York costs if you stay very long.  So look at the cost of living for your country choices, not just the cost of tuition!

Map of Europe and European Political Map

2. Extended Travel

Some places make it easier than others to travel around a bit. People who travel to Europe are pretty free to hop on a train and set off all around the many nearby countries. The trip from Paris to Berlin in hardly worth mentioning, and maybe next weekend, you could pick up Spain or Switzerland?  South-East Asia is similar in some respects (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, India, etc.); however, keep in mind VISA costs and requirements.  On the other hand, Hawaii is a lovely state, but travel to other places is hardly easy. Same is true of most islands or isolated countries.  The middle of Russia is beautiful, but you’ve got a ways to travel to get out of it. Moscow on the other hand, might be a possibility.

world-map

3. Multiple Places?

Most students think of spending all their time with one program, but did you know it’s possible to do more than one if you plan it right? One summer, I picked up consecutive programs in Japan and China, spending the week in between relaxing in South Korea.  I carefully shopped around the different programs and found two that were close in time, but not overlapping.  Since I stayed in Asia, I wasn’t paying extra flight costs, it was just a matter of applying and being accepted to both programs. Think about the possibilities!

4. Extra-Curricular Activities

As I’ve said before, Study Abroad isn’t entirely about the program itself. Look into locations where you can pick up an internship or two. Maybe you know someone there who will give you a job or let you trail them at work.  Places where you can see some history and culture; watch some current major events; maybe even contribute some help of your own like a mission or volunteer program.

5. Career

Preemptively, you picked study abroad because it will benefit your career in some way. Mostly for the fun sure, but there should be some small piece of you that’s hoping this will help your future. So think about places that will offer the most resources.  If you are interested in Asia-focused topics (languages, history, economy, government), then don’t look at European schools. On the other hand, if you are all about Brit lit, the EU system, the debt crisis in Greece, Renaissance art, etc. then maybe Europe is the place for you. Once again, think about places where you can get internships, visit relevant businesses, interview beneficial contacts, do some networking.

6. Language

This one is obvious, but worth noting — are you interested in learning a foreign language? If the answer is no, then stop. Go look at programs in countries that speak your language. There are tons of places that speak Chinese, French, English, Spanish, Arabic, etc. Just find one in your language and go with it. If language-learning is not part of your study abroad goals, then don’t bother with the stress.  On the other hand, if you think learning a foreign language will be helpful or you want the adventure, then stop looking at countries that speak your language and find one with a language that looks interesting to you. 

7. Program

Of course, you can’t forget to look at the program itself. In fact, it might be one of the first things to look at if it’s at all important to you. Despite what it seems like, study abroad programs aren’t all alike. There aren’t a million of every kind in every single country.  For example, I studied law, and there aren’t law school programs everywhere in Asia. I had to shop around before I found one in Korea at all. Options were very limited. Same is true of many other programs. Study abroad programs tend to be for the arts, business, or some sciences. Other programs, you may not have much of a choice. So before selecting the land of your dreams and getting your hopes up, make sure a program you need is available there.  

8. Time

How much time do you have to spend on this excursion? One week? Three weeks? Five months?  Trust me, you don’t want to waste your big opportunity spending a whole semester at a school in the middle of no-man’s-land with little means to get out. One week there, meeting the locals and becoming familiar with traditional customs? Might be a lot of fun!  If you have a lot of time, I recommend picking a place that has several nearby places you can visit that interest you.

9. Safety

Of course, keep in mind your own safety.  There are a lot of countries that I have always wanted to visit, but I really don’t think are safe right now. For example, I’ve always wanted to see the Sphinx and Pyramids and parts of Africa, but Egypt and Nigeria have had some problems. As a single, white Christian female, I may want to find a different country for now.  Or think about the places that are having bad disease outbreak.  Maybe there are places for you that are less safe than others; don’t risk your life recklessly just for a fun experience.

10. Dreams

Don’t forget to think about your dreams. If there is that one place that you’ve always wanted to check out, now would be the perfect time. I once visited China with a friend who can specifically to see Pandas in their natural habitat. She loved, breathed, and lived pandas, and this was just a major dream for her. Of course, the program was good for her too, but she really came for the pandas. And that’s okay too!

Life is about being happy, finding the things that light up your world, making a difference, and reaching the dreams that lay deep in your heart. Take this time as the opportunity to do that – find the place you love, that home away from home. And enjoy the heck out of it!

Campaign aims to double number of U.S. students abroad in 4 years

“Campaign aims to double number of U.S. students abroad in 4 years”

by Caleb Diehl via “USA Today”

Millennials take constant abuse from major media outlets. They are called slobs, leeches and heartless selfie-taking, Buzzfeed-inhaling machines.

There’s one label they might want to keep — “generation study abroad.”

Millennials study abroad in higher numbers than any previous generation. Over the past two decades, according to the 2014 Open Doors report produced by the Institute for International Education, participation in study abroad programs tripled. The current number of U.S. students abroad is at a record high.

Many come from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors, a sector deemed critical for U.S. performance on the world stage and in which U.S. schools have been sorely lacking.

According to the Open Doors report, just over a fifth of U.S. students abroad in 2014 majored in one of those fields.

“This is a really new trend,” says Daniel Obst, deputy vice president for international partnerships at the IIE. “Ten years ago we said we don’t have enough STEM students abroad. There was a lot of mythology then that study abroad would delay your degree.”

Alex Fitch, a junior at Lewis & Clark College, is the first in his family to study abroad for college credit. Fitch dovetails his role as captain of the LC rugby team with his coursework in entrepreneurship, hoping to learn how to sell the sport to American sports fans.

He gravitated to Australia, a world capital of rugby. He’s not just there to join the scrum — he sees his experiences abroad through a business lens.

“As a businessman I could see how getting hired, or marketing something here would be different,” he says. “In the United States, it’s about a single person going out and achieving. In Australia, it’s all about ‘mateship’ and working as a team.” . . .

READ MORE

Should you study abroad as a freshman?

I studied abroad at the end of freshman year by traveling in Ireland for two weeks that summer with an Irish Literature class. It was honestly one of the best things I have ever done. Going off to college is a big step, but going off to a foreign country is even bigger.  It matures you somehow, forcing you to become more aware of yourself, the people around you, and the responsibilities you face as a student, a citizen, and a member of society.  Even just a couple weeks changed my perspective and altered some of my future college decisions.  **DB

Should you study abroad as a freshman?

by Varsity Tutors via USA TODAY

166766641

 

 

Acclimating to college can be a true challenge for first-year students. After all, the average freshman must learn to live more independently – to attend his or her classes and complete difficult schoolwork without outside motivation, as well as adapt to other lifestyle changes. As a result, your first year on campus is typically regarded as a time to settle into the rhythms of college life.

However, it is becoming increasingly common for freshmen to spend their first semester or year studying abroad, hundreds or thousands of miles away from their college campuses.

Should you study abroad as a freshman? Read on to learn about both the benefits and challenges of spending your first year of college overseas.

Benefits

Studying abroad as a freshman can help you develop valuable skills that relate to any course of study. Learning a foreign language is one such benefit. Gaining this and other marketable skills early in your college career can equip you for future academic and career success.

Spending a semester (or longer) abroad also means experiencing a new way of life. By living in another country, you will develop a greater understanding of its people and culture, as well as a better sense of the country’s context in the wider global community. As a freshman, learning more about the world around you can greatly expand your way of thinking and help you analyze problems on a global scale — an ability that can be difficult to master at any age!

READ MORE