Decisions: Study Abroad vs. Winter Sports

“Decisions: Study Abroad vs. Winter Sports”

by Liz Varoli via “The College Voice

Credit: James Lafortezza

Having the opportunity to study abroad during college is one of the main attractions for students who attend Connecticut College. Studying abroad is known to be one of the most amazing times of a student’s college experience. Over 50% of students at Conn take advantage of this opportunity either through programs offered by Conn or through programs offered by other schools.

Traditionally, students choose the fall or spring semester to spend four months learning, traveling and developing as a student in a different country. At Conn, student athletes who play a fall sport are able to study abroad during the spring semester while student athletes who play a spring sport are able to study abroad during the fall semester. Except this academic split between the fall and the spring leaves the student athletes who play winter sports with a challenging decision as the winter sport season is spread over both semesters. Winter sports usually begin Nov 1 and go through the winter break and often through February. No matter which semester winter athletes study abroad, they will be missing a part of their sports season.

The question is: when an athlete commits to play on a winter sports team does it mean s/he automatically sacrificed his/her opportunity to study abroad? Playing a sport at the collegiate level is a huge commitment. Athletes agree to dedicate a large chunk of their time to practices, games and traveling which can jeopardize their schoolwork and social lives. Many people do not realize is that athletes who play winter sports may be jeopardizing some of their educational opportunities. During a sports season, student athletes make the decision to put their commitment to their team before almost everything else. Coaches get angry when their athletes miss practices because an absent teammate can change team dynamics and missing an entire half of a season can put an athlete and their team, at a disadvantage.

In contrast to these expectations, many athletes at Conn have risked this all in order to travel abroad. Many athletes have found that they are able to study abroad while also playing for their teams and maintaining their commitment.  . . . .

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Duality Of Study Abroad

“Duality Of Study Abroad”

by Airen Surzyn via “The Heights”

The first weeks of a post-abroad semester are filled with friends, acquaintances, and peripheral figures asking about one’s time spent outside of his or her homeland. These questions, prompted by genuine interest or social protocol, must be answered in the same way. As the semester deepens and the subject runs dry, talk of abroad eventually recedes into an occasional conversation piece that one might timidly reference, fully aware of the social dangers of frequenting the topic. But, for a time, in those first few weeks, one is forced to consider his or her tenure overseas. If just for the sake of responding adequately, an evaluation must be made and several memorable experiences be brought forth as evidence.

I have two distinct responses to retrospection about my experiences. The first is a gut reaction. It comes quickly, unconsciously, and without any depth of thought. Certain keywords such as “France,” “study abroad,” or anything else that may pertain to my time in Paris can trigger memories and subsequent positive reactions to those memories. Much like a reflex, the positive associations flow quickly and without any deliberate intention to call them to mind. This reaction influences my responses to questions posed in passing or to those whose interest I judge to be cursory.

The second reaction is a much more conscious and intentional consideration. Prompted either by perceived genuine interest from another or my own casual reflection, lengthy consideration produces a much more neutral, calculated response. This often leads me to perceive the experience as “useful,” and one unlikely to be highlighted in any study abroad pamphlets in the near future. Importantly, though, this response is notably different from the first.

The second reaction is closer to the mark, however. During my stay in Paris, I was fairly dedicated to conscientiously observing my experiences and regularly recording my reactions to my abroad quotidian. By the end of the semester, my notes showed that I was very ready to come home and that I had been somewhat disappointed with the time already spent. But, this remains something very unknown to my reflex response, despite having arrived at this second conclusion a multitude of times. The first reaction, positive in its outlook, has stayed. . . .

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“For Some Foreign Students, U.S. Education Is Losing Its Attraction”

This can actually be true for American students interested in working abroad or in the global fields as well.  You may want to consider a degree abroad as well.**DB

 

“For Some Foreign Students, U.S. Education is Losing Its Attraction”

by Karin Fischer via “New York Times

SEOUL — Each fall, thousands of students from South Korea arrive on American campuses. They come from a culture that views education as the key to success, where mothers and fathers save to send their children overseas. On top of tuition, parents shell out for test prep and cram schools, supplemental English lessons and recruitment agents to shepherd them through an unfamiliar admissions process. In the past, only a small elite pursued advanced degrees internationally; today, many sons and daughters of the nation’s emergent middle class go abroad.

This is South Korea but the description could fit China equally well.

Recently however, after years of robust enrollment increases, graduate applications from South Korea to American colleges have fallen off; and last year the number of South Korean undergraduates in the United States also dropped. Fewer South Koreans study in the United States now than did five years ago.

South Korean students who study abroad often find that they lack the local connections to get a job when they return home, says Jaeha Choi, director of student recruitment and admissions at SUNY-Korea, the State University of New York’s campus outside Seoul, South Korea’s capital.

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“Obama is Wrong to Cut Funding for Study Abroad in Europe”

I hadn’t heard about these cuts, so i’m not that up-to-date, but it would be a tragedy if it were true.  I personally studied in Asia, and I wouldn’t change that decision for a minute. But if your interests lie in EU studies or European interests, these cuts might impact you.  Especially if you need the financial aid.**DB

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“Obama is Wrong to Cut Funding for Study Abroad in Europe”

by Trina Vargo via “US NEWS

The Wrong Pivot to Asia

Don’t discount the importance of studying in Europe as well as Asia.

Studying abroad in London

First lady Michelle Obama recently spoke in China about the importance of studying abroad. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has decided that providing opportunities involving Asia, Africa and Latin America must be achieved at the expense of Americans studying in Europe.

President Obama’s budget proposal will drastically cut the Fulbright program, direct its remaining resources away from Europe, and totally eliminate funding for the George J. Mitchell Scholarship program for study on the island of Ireland (which is operated by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, of which I am the president). State Department officials have repeatedly told us that they are deprioritizing Europe.

It is a mistake to eliminate opportunities to study in Europe. While the cultural differences may be less dramatic in Ireland than in China, they exist nonetheless and learning to navigate even subtle differences is a necessary skill as we work with our European allies on many fronts. Continue reading

“China, US Go Tit for Tat over Student Spying Cases”

In response to the previous article talking about the US Espionage Video.  I’m not sure how much of it is true, but I pretty much find it despicable that any nation would endanger the welfare and futures of students in that manner.

“China, US Go Tit for Tat over Student Spying Cases”

by Julie Makinin via “Stripes.com

“BEIJING — Call it a 21st-century version of Mad magazine’s Spy vs. Spy.

Three weeks after the FBI rolled out an odd, ripped-from-the-headlines microfilm about an American college student who was recruited to spy for Beijing, China has now released its own, very similar tales of young Chinese students being lured into espionage activities by foreign agents.

The student spying stories come as the U.S. is trying to encourage more Americans to study in China, and as China has become the biggest source of foreign students in U.S. colleges and universities. Continue reading

“Travel Tips From the Movies”

Actually good advice–just remember most of it is “what not to do” **DB

“Travel Tips from the Movies”

by Joy Jonette Chuyaco via “The Phillipine Star

“MANILA, Philippines – Traveling is such a fun thing to do. As long as you have the budget, the right travel companions (although some people would prefer to travel alone) and the perfect weather, you will surely have a trip to remember. But before you go ahead and take that journey, try to consider these travel tips from the movies. They could be of help in one way or another.

Hostel. This film and its sequels tell stories about how groups of friends enjoying a trip and looking for adventures end up being in torture dens. Tip: If you are in a new place with strangers, please, please try not to be wasted! You don’t wanna end up in some strange, scary and “yucky” place holding on to your dear life.

Vacancy. A couple checks into a cheap and isolated motel, and quickly realizes that they are not safe in the room after all. They are the main casts of a new snuff film. Tip: If you feel that there is something wrong with the place you’re staying in, trust your instinct. There are websites that carry feedback on places to stay. Make use of it.

Taken. It all starts when a girl and her friend innocently share a taxi with a charming young man. What seems to be a friendly gesture turns out to be an abduction plan. Well, not to worry, Super Dad is on the way. Tip: When traveling, don’t be too friendly. Also, don’t be tricked by good looks and angelic faces. They can be the most effective tools in fooling people.

Eat, Pray, Love. After her divorce, Elizabeth feels lost and confused. She travels and hopes that her trip will help her find the answer. Tip: Have you ever tried solo traveling? If it is possible, it is sometimes good to travel on your own and have that time for yourself — to reflect about life, to discover new things, to recharge drained energy and more. . . . .”

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“Low-income students may be given the chance to study abroad affordably”

“Low-income students may be given the chance to study abroad affordably”

by Allie Hastings via “The Exponent

Financially-limited students aspiring to travel abroad will have the opportunity to visit Spain this summer as Horizons Student Services celebrates its third year of helping these students study abroad.

The Institute of International Education is spearheading a national initiative, Generation Study Abroad, to double the amount of study abroad participants by the end of the decade. Many universities, including Purdue, seek to increase student participation in an effort to better prepare students for a globalized job market. However, not all students can afford these global ventures.

Austin Scherbarth, a junior in the College of Engineering and student ambassador with the Office of the Dean of Students, described the program’s role as a support system for students in need.

”It’s mainly a comfortable zone for students that are in that particular situation to go to and receive help and assistance with pretty much anything on campus,” Scherbarth said. “It’s not really restricted to (academics).” . . . .