Having visited a place and feeling transformed is not something that’s easy to record on paper for a hiring committee or grad school admissions board. Many people travel. Many people claim transformation. So how do you make sure studying abroad is something you can claim and celebrate in your ‘on paper’ future?Read More
Considering a future as a history professor? Wondering how world wars or shifts in culture and technology are viewed from different viewpoints? This guest post by James Hinton recommends that you get on the road to study abroad--that it will deepen your passions and improve your career options. For all you history buffs out there... get abroad!Read More
I always love it when I get the opportunity to feature writing from people whose student experiences are very different from mine. Danny Conway is a student from Columbus, OH who is currently studying chemistry at the University of Melbourne. Although he characterizes himself as an "average" American, I would argue that the decision to pursue a full undergraduate education abroad is anything but "average." I hope you enjoy!Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
I’ve been traveling the world for 27 years....with no permanent home and hardly any possessions. I’ve lived in dirt huts in the jungle of New Guinea and in a royal palace on the island of Bali.Read More
An important first step to any travel experience is to find out what you like while traveling. Not everyone likes the same things when they travel. Some people travel for beaches. Others for parties. Others (although it’s hard for me to believe) actually travel for shopping. Some, who I admire but can’t quite work up the chutzpah to emulate, travel for extreme outdoor adventures and wild feats of cliff diving/mountaineering/rafting/caving, etc.
A while ago, I wrote a post titled “Inventing an Internship,” in which I discussed the process and benefits of creating a personalized and self-driven internship. The basic message: if you put yourself out there and take the initiative, you can find people willing to take advantage of your energy and developing skills in exchange for your professional development while building your resume and network.
This post is a personal story of how this worked for me in working with photojournalist Paul JeffreyRead More
Networking is generally touted as a sure-fire method for getting a job. But the exact process to kick-start this mythical solution is often murky at best. The easiest way to take advantage of a network is to already be part of a well-developed and dynamic community of people who serve as your advocates and mentors, and who help smooth your path to new connections.
You don’t have a community until you already have a network. This is not helpful if you are just getting started.Read More
Study abroad is encouraged for this reason. Whenever possible, we benefit from stepping out of our comfort zones, learning from others, and getting a glimpse of life through other people’s eyes. It offers a disruption to normal life.Read More
This is a list of sentimentalities--the little things I have learned to bring with me as I travel, and which make an enormous difference to my comfort and adaptation to a new home. They help with homesickness, connecting with those you meet on the road, and settling into a new place...Read More
Write down what your wild dreams are on some idle Thursday afternoon, and see if they match up three Tuesdays from then. Pay attention. I'm a committed advocate for writing things down, and this applies in the area of wild adventure planning as well. Let yourself dream... and then remember what you dreamed.Read More
I struggled mightily to learn Spanish. I truly believe that it’s a worthwhile effort for everyone. I think that everyone can honestly benefit from learning to communicate in a second language, and that the world opens up in a new way once you can manage it.
But language learning, for most of us, is a long and difficult slog.Read More