Cultural Preparation for Studying Abroad

Cultural Preparation for Studying Abroad

If at all possible, you should try to get a jumpstart on learning about the history and culture of the place you’re about to call your temporary home. Think about it as a kind of cultural acquaintance-making. You will by no means be able to learn everything about a country before you go. But some exploration ahead of time will mean you are better prepared and will have more context to understand the experiences in your new home.

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Education in the UK vs. the US: "What is Foucault?"

Education in the UK vs. the US: "What is Foucault?"

This is a blog post about liberal arts, the United States system of higher education, and my brief experience studying in Northern Ireland. Specifically, about the difference witnessed between my “breadth” of educational experience in liberal arts and the “depth” of background evidenced by my peers in the law program.

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Reverse Culture Shock and the Post-Abroad Slump

Reverse Culture Shock and the Post-Abroad Slump

Before you set off on a study abroad (or any prolonged travel), you will probably hear about culture shock time and time again. You’ll be warned that some aspects of culture or the mundane details of normal life will be different where you’re going, and that these differences will probably cause you to feel uncomfortable in ways you can’t anticipate before you go. When you travel, you encounter different expectations of “this is just how things are.” 

What isn’t discussed so often is the reverse shock of returning home.

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The Disconnected College Curriculum and "Spider Ed": Guest Post by "Professor X"

The Disconnected College Curriculum and "Spider Ed": Guest Post by "Professor X"

Colleges are no longer producing responsible citizens of the world.  This is a damning testament, since the world, or at least America, is clearly evolving toward entitled lifestyles where people are informed by their own filters and become disconnected from any real world.   Why is the college experience enabling students to remain on this path?

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Thesis Writing Basics: Choosing an Undergraduate Thesis Topic

Thesis Writing Basics: Choosing an Undergraduate Thesis Topic

An undergraduate thesis is the culmination of a college experience, and if you have the opportunity (or obligation) to write one, you will probably approach it with a mix of anxiety and anticipation. It is your chance to write something that is almost entirely self-directed: it will bring together the information and skills that you have learned thus far on your academic journey and set you free to pursue a specific research topic of your choice.

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Campus Involvement Leads to So Much More--Guest Post by Rebecca Rothkopf

Campus Involvement Leads to So Much More--Guest Post by Rebecca Rothkopf

College is all about figuring out who you are and what you want to do. That’s a big deal, and while classes are an important part of the college experience, I would argue that taking advantage of the opportunities to get involved on campus is equally important. To back up this argument, I’ve created a list to help back up why student activities and branching out of your comfort zone are both a valuable part of the college experience...

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Things I Had to Learn in College: Grocery Shopping

Things I Had to Learn in College: Grocery Shopping

One of the weird things about leaving home to go to college is that there’s an awful lot you have to learn and acclimatize to all at once. Not only do you have to adapt to a new style of teaching and learning, but you also are thrown into being in charge of maintaining your own life. I grew up doing chores, but my folks did a lot of looking after me. So I arrived at college knowing how to vacuum and wash dishes, but not how to do a myriad of other “grown up” things. I had to learn on the fly… and with varying degrees of success.

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The Confused Graduate: Guest Post on the Complications of Life After College

The Confused Graduate: Guest Post on the Complications of Life After College

Some people enter college knowing exactly what path they will take, beginning freshman year and ending in a job. For many others, it's not such a direct route. 

First, make sure you know that NOT knowing is completely acceptable. You just have to design a path for yourself that will allow you to explore your options. College is a huge investment in terms of time and money, so when you go, it’s better to be sure you have a solid idea of what you might want to do. Set goals for yourself, and if you don’t meet them, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just try again, and stay focused on finding what you can do for the long haul, and don’t sweat the small things.

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Campus Sports Culture When You Don't Like Sports

Campus Sports Culture When You Don't Like Sports

What is it like to attend a big sports college when you don't like sports? Or when you actively dislike all things sports-related? Sports culture was something I was worried about before I started college. I have never been a fan of team sports, and am 100% disinterested in being a spectator for any and all sporting events...

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8 Tips for Being a Houseguest

8 Tips for Being a Houseguest

Staying with a friend of a friend is a great way to empower travel and gain some interesting insights about life in unfamiliar places…or simply in other houses. I won’t claim to be a perfect houseguest, or anything close to it. But I do have considerable practice, and have given this a lot of thought to how to do this well. Most of us probably slept over with friends at their houses growing up, but it’s different when crashing with someone as a “grown up.” Here are 8 tips on how to be a good houseguest...

1. Showing up at someone’s house with a gift in hand is a great way to start things off right. Even if the host is a friend of yours, it’s still a lovely gesture. They’re doing you a favor, so do one in return.

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Styling Your College Essay: Advice from a High School Language Arts Teacher

Styling Your College Essay: Advice from a High School Language Arts Teacher

This advice for crafting a college essay comes from a high school language arts teacher, who speaks from many years of helping high school students prepare for college. As you write your college application personal essay, keep this question in mind:  Are you able to get beyond voiceless reporting to an engaging description which makes use of various stylistic devices so as to persuade?

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7 Coping Strategies While Doing Depressing Research

7 Coping Strategies While Doing Depressing Research

To do this kind of work, we have to be able to look after ourselves and our emotions. Every person will have a different way of coping, and a different set of triggers, challenges, and specific responses to what they learn. This is far from an exhaustive list, but it’s a starting place: how to cope with doing depressing research as an academic.

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High School Graduation: What Next?

High School Graduation: What Next?

Graduation can be a bit of a jolt. Suddenly you’re not a high school student anymore, and you’re not a college student yet. You’ve just accomplished one of life’s big milestones, and you have the next on the horizon. It’s the short-term future that’s tricky: it’s filling these next few months.

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