Tag Archives: study abroad

Surviving Study Abroad as a Minority

As someone who works in international education, I get to see the many benefits that international exchange experiences provide for program participants on a daily basis. That is why I am particularly struck by the low numbers of minorities who choose to travel abroad.

A Look Back on the First Year of CBYX

1984, a year usually associated with the dystopian novel of the same name, was anything but dystopian for 48 American college students. It was the year Steve Jobs rolled out the first Macintosh computer, a box-like machine that had no memory built in. Total sales for cell phones were 7,000, up from 0 in 1983. Ghostbusters, starring Bill Murray, was the top grossing film.  As a duet,  Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson topped the pop charts, as did a man from my home state of Minnesota, Prince. Ronald Reagan was reelected, and the Winter Olympics were held in Yugoslavia, a country…

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How to Adjust to a New Semester After Going Abroad

After spending an incredible summer in Beijing, nothing seemed as daunting as a 7,000-mile journey, 40 hours of traveling, 2 flight delays, and a 1:30 AM arrival time. Except starting a new semester the very next day. More than a bit frazzled, a million questions buzzed through my head. How could I make sense of my time abroad and express it to my friends and family? How could I cope with this “reverse culture shock” they told me about? And how could I leverage my international experience to become a stronger student, now that I was back on campus? If,…

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How Living Abroad and Parenthood Are Basically the Same

You’re in a new place. This person is yelling at you in a language you don’t understand. None of his gestures make any sense. You’re beyond tired already. Your diet’s completely changed. You’re achy from carrying the extra weight of your luggage. Finding accessible public transportation is a never-ending challenge. People from home keep asking “How’s it going?” but you know they’d just rather see an Instagram snap of your experience than hear about it. The shock sets in. This just got REAL. Your life will probably never be the same. Am I talking about international travel or the first few…

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Why and How to Volunteer While Abroad

It’s true: Americans love helping people! Whether it was serving Thanksgiving dinner to families in need, tutoring inner-city students, planting trees in public parks, or taking care of the elderly, nearly 63 million of us volunteered our time and 79% helped a stranger last year. As we get set to honor the legacy of the great civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 18, I believe it is important to extend this spirit of service by volunteering. Even if you are studying, working, or traveling abroad, it is easy and rewarding to make a positive impact…

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