Leave your Kids (Abroad) Alone

two gifts quote

The year: 1986. The place: My childhood home in NY. The scene: The kitchen where a tan, old school phone with an unruly curly cord hangs on the wall. The language: Portuguese.

On one end of the phone was Sergio, my exchange student “brother” from São Paulo, Brasil. On the other end, what felt like a million miles away, were his parents.   Receiving a call from them was a BIG deal back then. With that phone call Sergio morphed from my English speaking, high school attending “brother” into a young boy from São Paulo who spoke a foreign language. To me, it felt like a completely different person was standing in the kitchen speaking loudly into the phone. The connections weren’t great back then and the call surely was expensive. Magically, with the click of the receiver, American Sergio returned to our family’s view.

Today, Sergio’s son, Gabriel, is living in my home as a year long high school exchange student. As I write this, he is at varsity (American) football practice. He is as adventurous as his brave dad was back in 1986, playing a sport he had only watched tirelessly on TV and the internet.

As a result, I have a bird’s eye view of what it means to be a parent and to miss your child when s/he is abroad. I see Gabi adapting to his new home city, processing and speaking in English 24/7, eager to engage in the world around him. And through Facebook chat and video, I hear his parents’ bellowing in pain from missing their beloved son. As a parent myself to a 20 month old, I can only begin to appreciate what another 14 years of time with my child will translate to when he eventually heads abroad for an extended period one day.

Yet, I cannot help but reflect back on that very vivid scene of Sergio talking with his parents on the phone. So what does any good interculturalist do upon reflection? She asks questions! I logged into Facebook and called Sergio in Brasil to ask him about how he is coping with his son’s absence AND to discuss his family’s plans to come to the US to spend time with us over the holidays. Yes, despite the title of this piece, Sergio and his family WILL come visit us this winter.

Sergio and family

My “brother” Sergio and son, Gabriel approximately 13 years ago. His wife (left) and I (right) hold their twin daughters. Photo taken in Brasil on New Year’s Eve (2002)?

I reflected with Sergio about the scenario above. He thought about it briefly and stated that it is much easier to talk to his son than it was for his parents, yet he has to restrain himself from doing so every day. He wants to talk about the latest Jason Bourne movie that he saw after he heard that Gabi and my husband, Tony, went to the premiere together last week – something they would have done together if Gabi were home in Brasil. He wanted to hear all about his first day of American football practice. He wants to know what he thinks of our city, our home, and what it is like to have a 20 month old brother after having sisters. It is natural to want to stay connected to your child, but Sergio knows how important it is that he allow him space during this tender period of being a new exchange student.   He remembers well how he immersed so seamlessly into our family and community in New York…and how he wants that joy for his own son. He and his wife have told me many times – no matter how much they miss him, they are more happy for him than anything.

I called another friend whose two daughters are both abroad – one is in Europe for 3 weeks while the other is on a study abroad program for a semester. I asked her about how she is adapting to the absence of her girls. Her response was that she misses them but has been very careful not to over communicate in that fragile first week or two, as that is when the bonding needs to happen. They don’t schedule times to talk and she has only “facetimed” once with her daughter in Europe.   She finds it strange that they have had the occasion to text their daughter in South America for random things (e.g. what is the Netflix password!) but otherwise they’re intentionally keeping some distance. When I asked if they planned to visit their elder daughter at the end of her study abroad program they said they’re thinking about it. When I pushed further, she indicated that they felt it would be okay to visit at the end of her semester program as it would give her a chance to show confidence in the language and experience without interrupting her studies. They would not visit if the program were shorter than a semester and wouldn’t do so in the middle of the program – and they may not even do so.

Sergio said the same – if Gabi were coming to the US for a few months only, he’d not plan to visit. But he is adamant that a visiting over the holidays for two weeks when his son will be here for an entire 12 months is acceptable because they won’t interrupt his studies, sports, or friends’ gatherings.

Why should a loving parent not visit a son or daughter on study abroad? After all, you miss each other, so what is the harm in doing so?

There are my two reasons NOT to visit your child on study abroad:

  • You may interrupt their flow: Study abroad requires immersion, space to make mistakes, learn a new language, gain confidence, engage in a new way of being in this world. When you visit your child while on a shorter term study abroad program, you unintentionally are stepping into his/her ability to find and maintain flow in their new surroundings. It is analogous to having to hit pause in your daily life to trot your parents to see everything that you’re experiencing in record time, doing none of it justice. It also doesn’t allow for your child to reflect deeply on the experiences, places and people that are just beginning to capture their attention. If you “leave them be” they will simply have more time to participate in their new culture and to let the new connections in their brains form solid pathways without having to revert back to what they know, their default way of being. So, don’t interrupt their flow, no matter how much they tell you that you HAVE to come to try the gelato in their favorite shop in Venice.
  • Your child will become more independent and learn more life skills: If you stay away from that airport you will likely observe, upon his/her return, that you gifted your child with a better chance of kicking independence into high gear. I see it with Gabi – he is speaking in English only, asking questions of others to gain information that helps him navigate his surroundings, engaging in new friendships even though it is scary to approach people you don’t know, washing his own laundry, unloading the dishwasher, making his own lunch, talking with his football coaches directly, and so much more. If you want an independent kid, don’t get on a plane and ask your child to hit pause on growth in their new home country in exchange for the ability to educate you and reinforce their learning for you. They will tell you ALL about it when they’re home while showing you their confidence and how empowered they have become. Additionally, if you’re willing to wait that long, you may find that you are truly the only person on the planet willing to sit through all 7,000 photos and hear all of the stories – an opportunity to bond with each other in a reflective learning space – and they’ll certainly appreciate that.

As difficult as it is to not get on the plane, staying home also offers YOU an opportunity for growth. What can you do with your time instead of checking in on your child? Here are 3 ideas:

  • Engage in new activities: Sergio started going to the gym each day, as he has found a lot more free time since his son is away for the year. Perhaps you can surprise your child by studying the language class of his/her study abroad country at home. With less face to face time with your beloved child, you have a chance to find your inner child! Sign up for an art class, join a book club, or pull out that list of places locally you have been meaning to visit. Take your child’s adventurous spirit and apply it at home.
  • Reconsider your adult relationship: Your child will eventually return home with a heightened maturity. Think about how you can relate to your “baby” as an adult – someone who has not only ventured away for college, but to an entirely new country and language. Make a list of items to discuss with him/her upon return such as “What has changed for you and how can we incorporate that into our home?” and “What do I need to be aware of to be supportive during your transition home?”
  • Talk to YOUR parents: Reflect on your own transitions in life and how your own relationship with your parents ebbed and flowed over the years. What stands out for you? When did you most need them to let you cut the apron strings? How did they deal with you taking the leap and trusting the net would appear? Journal some of these memories to rely on when your own child needs space and freedom from the family unit.

With that said, Sergio and I are planning for his family’s visit over the winter holidays. We decided that a year IS a really long time not to see your child and that we want to support a wonderful gathering, not only for his own family but for Sergio to visit his New York “hometown” for a reunion of host parents, friends, teachers, and families. I look forward to such a reflective experience, not only with him, but with his son too.

What are your thoughts about letting a son or daughter navigate the education abroad experience without a visit from a parent? I invite you to comment below!

 

missy gluckman

 

Missy Gluckmann is a traveler, educator, interculturalist, trainer, speaker and career coach specializing in international education and careers across cultures. Originally from New York, she has lived abroad three times, most recently in Cuenca, Ecuador, and is currently enjoying the gorgeous mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. She founded Melibee Global and Better Abroad as a way to inject creative tools into international education, with an emphasis on study abroad. You can connect with on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Abroad101 Advisors Newsletter – Summer 2016

Abroad101-reviews-logo-web

Now more than ever, we need the first-hand accounts of what goes on in study abroad.  Parents and families worry about health and safety in study abroad so we suggest (to use the old sports analogy) “the best defense is a good offense.”  Translated, this means we should flood the market with good news, and by news, we are referring to student reviews.  Each review tells a student’s story and becomes yet another testimonial as to the impact that an international education experience has on a young life.  If you are an existing user of Abroad101, this is your reminder to login and send review invitations out.  Below you’ll find some additional suggestions and recommendations from Abroad101, THE study abroad review website.

Lack of Reviews is Bad Practice

The word “transparency” is used more and more when it comes to education.  Despite some well-intended efforts, the field of education abroad has not conformed to the spirit of transparency and that is likely turning people away from participating.  We hear arguments that education is different, but consumer research is pretty clear, lack of reviews turns customers away.  Bad reviews draw more interest than good reviews AND random bad reviews don’t deter buyers.  A pattern of bad reviews does indicate trouble and would impact participation as it should.  A search for the negative is often what compels people to come to a review website and in an odd way, the negative provides reassurance to people skeptical of the rhetoric of other outlets.  We suggest you read the influence of reviews.

Your Best Option: Replace you Evaluation Process with a Review Process

We encourage you to take the leap as a number of universities have done, and become fully transparent by turning your private study abroad program evaluation process into a public review process.  When every student is required to complete a review in order to received credit, you get more candor, usable data and testimonials of the impact of study abroad.   We can’t help but think this transparent process positively impacts participation at these institutions. 

Take a look at our Best Practice Leaders:

Brandeis University

Middlebury College

Trinity University

Wellesley College

Another Option: Make a review a Re-entry Exercise

If your hands are tied by legacy systems and processes, perhaps you can approach the problem from the student’s point of view and incorporate a study abroad review as part of a re-entry exercise.  If a student can coherently state what happened to them in writing, they will be much more prepared to discuss their experiences with friends, family and as the student moves beyond college.  Showing they can express their emotions, in a published format is a big step forward and a reason to complete a review.  Having this review published demonstrates the student can express themselves in coherent ways and is a great writing sample and an expression of their new world view.  You will help your students better prepare for their future by making a review part of the study abroad process.

WhyAbroad101?  It is Re-Entry in a Box

The Abroad101 review is 38 questions in length and is designed to walk students through a reflection of who they were before they left, who they are now and what they hope for their future.  As part of this process, they will rate 9 different aspects of their program and provide some insight and tips for future students.  Taking 20-30 minutes to complete, the review can help students put their feelings into words and start the process of communicating their experiences.   They can add photos and turn their review into a point of pride, a capstone to their education abroad experience.  As a university, you get to control this process using Abroad101.

Other Uses of Reviews

In addition to giving you better data and providing marketing material to bring you future students, perhaps the most innovative use of reviews is to help set expectations.  Reviews and their insight can help students and parents have a better idea of what to expect making reviews ideal content for orientation.  We’ve heard of overseas staff who welcome students to a program by directing them to their program listing on Abroad101 and using this to start a conversation about the program.  A few create a Facebook group for the new students and the first posting is to review the reviews.  It’s a real fresh approach to orientation and harnesses the power of social media.  Please read: 10 reasons to use Abroad101 

It’s for Faculty-led and Exchange Programs Too

Abroad101 is happy to list your faculty-led programs in our system.  For your exchange partnerships we have a catch-all “Direct Enrollment & Exchange” listing for every foreign university.  You are welcome to use Abroad101 for each or all of types of education abroad and study away programs.  Remember, you can use Abroad101 to boost your home university enrollments.  There is a feature to turn off the inquiry option for programs not open to outside students.

Managed Services, Abroad201 and Other Ways We Can Help

Every university is provided with an account on Abroad101 and free access to manage your portal on Abroad101.  The software that operates our system is a fully functional program evaluation tool along with a host of utilities, provided free of charge.  Abroad101 has a support team here to help you understand and make the most of the tools.  We are quick to answer questions (support@abroad101.com or +1-212-321-0928) and in some cases we can help you with simple tasks like your approved programs list, sending out invitations, creating faculty-led program listings.

If you need more, we’re able to help.  With our Managed Services, we can tie Abroad101 to your enrollment management system.  We can extract lists of participating students from your enrollment system, oversee review collection, then tie reporting back or produce external reports.  We know data, and for a modest fee, we’d be happy help you get better data, manage it and generate effective reporting.

Our Abroad201 service offers a host of customization with options as to what to survey, who to survey plus what and where you might publish the data.  It is an industry-specific version of survey software, so if you are using SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics, think about using Abroad201.

We thank you for taking the time to explore abroad 101 and for your continued support.

Happy Summer!

 Mark Shay / Abroad101

Study abroad in Florence, Italy – Abroad101.com Cool Program of the Week!

The Cool Program of the Week is Benedictine College Semester Program in Florence.  There are a lot of programs that operate in Florence, lots of Americans there too.  Benedictine College - ItalyWhat seems to attract students to this program is using Florence as a grand laboratory to experience: 

“Beauty in art, nature and relationships

Fellowship while living together

Discovery while living near the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance”

One of the  latest reviews include “I have friends who did not do a semester abroad for one reason or another and they all have regretted it.”

The Program uses the city of Florence and its surroundings as a grand laboratory. The courses offered draw on the enormous literary and artistic heritage of the city of Florence, widely considered to be the cradle of Italian culture.

To find out more about this program, read returning student reviews and learn more or apply, please visit:

https://www.studyabroad101.com/programs/benedictine-college-florence-semester-program-in-florence-italy

Study abroad in Italy! – Abroad101 Cool Program of the Week

Italy-Florence-SantaReparata2

Our Cool Program of the Week is an art school in Florence that isn’t just about Americans and isn’t just about university students.  It’s a diverse mix of artists in an open classroom philosophy creating a powerful learning environment where students have the chance to learn, create, and design outside of the classroom, experiencing Italy and its charm up close. From visiting museums, to the Venice Biennale art show, to Fashion exhibits, our students are exposed to real-world events in a city defined by Art.  Cool!

Italy-Santa Reparata reviewSRISA is a direct enrollment program where students can apply directly. We also partner with many universities and are affiliated with universities across the US and Mexico. Our accrediting institution is Maryville, University, St. Louis.

To find out more about this program, read returning student reviews and learn more or apply, please visit:

https://www.studyabroad101.com/programs/santa-reparata-international-school-of-art-fine-art-design-liberal-arts-italian-language-intern

 

Abroad101 Advisors Newsletter – Winter 2016

Abroad101-reviews-logo-web

Please take a moment to remember the last time you booked a hotel, chose a movie or show in a theater, picked a restaurant, or bought a product online.  Did a review guide your decision?  If these small decisions were influenced by reviews, then we’re sure you’ll be interested in how something as unknown as an education abroad experience needs reviews.  Since 2007, Abroad101 has been helping universities manage the demand for reviews by turning the old-style program evaluation into a dynamic online review platform.  We’ve processed over 3,000 new study abroad reviews from just the last semester with more coming every day.  Abroad101 has pioneered the responsible use of reviews to complement university goals and in this edition of our advisor’s newsletter we take a look at reviews in the bigger picture.

The Best Reviews are About the Student

For students, study abroad is hard, the rewards are personal and telling their story is a big part of the process. Abroad101 helps universities collect student accounts of their time abroad and publishes them as reviews and personal points of pride.  A study abroad review is different than a restaurant review or that of a retail transaction as the best reviews are ones that focus on the student.  A good study abroad review is reflective, heart-felt and tells about the student’s growth and discoveries, even states the student’s worldview and views for the future. 

The reward for a good study abroad review is a lasting testimonial, one the student will take pride in sharing with you the advisor, their friends and family.  Please don’t feel it is necessary to pay or otherwise entice reviews through rewards or a sweepstakes.  This mentality cheapens the value of the student’s work and can sway students to be less than honest in order to improve their chances of “winning.” When you direct students to submit a study abroad review through Abroad101, the essential messages that you are sending are to share their experience with the world and take pride in those accomplishments.

Re-Entry in a Box

The Abroad101 review is 37 questions in length and is designed to walk students through a reflection of who they were before they left, who they are now and what they hope for their future.  As part of this process, they will rate 9 different aspects of their program and provide some insight and tips for future students.  Taking 20-30 minutes to complete, the review can help students put their feelings into words and start the process of communicating their experiences in concise and coherent ways.  As an advisor, you can manage this process by using the Abroad101 tools and then tally those responses in reports.

Candor is Key

Reviews are very influential in today’s consumer market and study abroad is no exception.  People come to review sites looking for balance to the always-positive websites, brochures and in-person presentations.  They know things aren’t perfect and want to understand what may be imperfect about a given location, program or host.  Quite often the visitors to Abroad101 are coming to validate their earlier discoveries and because of this, we see a significant portion of our traffic from parents and other adults who support students.  Students may be drawn to the ratings and comments about food and social aspects of a program, while parents see value in ratings and comments about safety and cost.  The 37 questions in the Abroad101 review give everyone something to discuss with plenty of examples to engage in a meaningful dialog and hopefully break some stereotypes about other people and other parts the world.

The vast majority of students who study abroad have an overwhelmingly positive experience, which is reflected in the reviews.  Those that struggle and report negative things will actually help future students prepare and set their expectations.  We hope you’ll bring these reviews to the attention of future students so that they can put things in perspective.  Costs in London are high, academics at Oxford are hard, petty crime is rampant in Paris and the food in Ghana is, well, … different.  Knowing these things before a student goes away may make a big difference in how they prepare.  As advisors you discuss these issues over and over, but with reviews the students are learning from their peers and for the schools that require reviews of their students, the peer advising affect seems to really help.

Please encourage your students to read the reviews as part of their pre-departure preparation and push them to be candid in their reviews when they return.  Students can start their review at http://www.StudyAbroad101.com/reviews/new

Transparency vs. Exposure and Risk

The concept of transparency is another reason universities turn to Abroad101. They want every story to be told and they want to capture the student’s voice in their promotion of education abroad.  The publication of these evaluations does worry some, fearing that unpleasant experiences will chase away future students.  We have this discussion daily with university officials and Abroad101 strongly believes that the risk of non-disclosure and suppression of a student’s story is a greater risk than any possible adverse affects of a negative review.  Failure to publish these accounts in today’s review-focused world is more telling than publishing stories of unhappy participants.

There are organizations lobbying government to mandate transparency and accountability and we strongly believe that using Abroad101 as your platform puts you at the forefront of this issue.  Publishing shows integrity and may well mitigate your risk if complications arise in the future. As the old slogan goes, “an educated consumer is the best kind” and when it comes to education abroad, it is riskier not to prepare students for the unknowns they face.  Using the Abroad101 system is an effective way to better prepare students and their families for the experience and lessen your liability for not disclosing past details.

Data, Data, Data

When you use Abroad101, you also harvest a wealth of data from your students and can compare it to students from other universities.  With our reporting you can see graphs on how your students rate their experience in those 9 categories and you can compare, even benchmark this against your own students (semester by semester) and all other institutions.  Those that use Abroad101 for their faculty-led programs can even compare, program by program against other programs operating in the same country.  One Dean recently told us about his use of Abroad101 stats in his university’s regional accreditation review.  He is using Abroad101 to benchmark his students’ education abroad experiences against others with the graphs report from his Abroad101 dashboard.

Publish or Perish

Faculty members often say they have to publish to stay noticed and relevant in their field.  We suggest that same guiding principle is needed for your study abroad offices.  In today’s consumer-focused, review-driven economy, reviews are key and those universities that don’t subscribe to this practice risk alienating their core constituency.  You may be using some other way to collect your evaluations and assessments, but if you are not publishing them, you are missing a big opportunity.  The Abroad101 software can provide you with the tools to manage this process reliably and effectively and at a cost that can’t be beat.

The software is free, the training is free, the support is fast and the process is easy.  Custom solutions are available if you need more functionality.

You can use Abroad101 for third-party programs, exchanges, faculty-led programs plus service learning and internships for credit.  Programs can be overseas or can include “study away” domestic programs as well.

We hope you’ll call us for a no-obligation demo of the Abroad101 software and use it to advance education abroad at your institution.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Mark Shay

Abroad101

+1-610-357-4648

mark@abroad101.com

http://www.StudyAbroad101.com

 

Follow Abroad101 on Social Media:

Facebook | Twitter |  Pinterest | Instagram | Linkedin

 

WHY STUDY ABROAD

Truman students jumping high in the gold coast australia

Part One

This is the first in a series of posts about “who-what-when-where-why-how to study abroad.” Today we’ll start with “why.”

So you’ve heard of this “study abroad” thing and you’re wondering what it’s all about, if it’s for you, and how it works. You’ve come to the right place, although I should warn you that I’m a bit biased in favor of study abroad. I studied in Prague, Czech Republic for a semester during my BA, then did a two-year MA degree program in Germany (for FREE, by the way, but we’ll get to that), then a one-year MS program at a business school in France. Let me tell you now, study abroad is pretty great. However, it is not without challenges and difficulties, and the whole idea can seem very daunting especially if you haven’t spent much time out of your home country. So let’s take it one step at a time! For this post I want to suggest a few reasons why you should seriously consider studying abroad. It’s not difficult to find lists of up to 100 reasons, but I’m going to narrow it down to the ones I find more significant.

INDEPENDENCE AND PERSONAL GROWTH

This is not an easy thing to do, and that’s kind of the point. As intimidating as living in a foreign country might seem, take a moment to imagine how you’ll feel at the end of the program as you’re preparing to come home. There is incredible power in knowing that you faced every difficulty and learned how to stand on your own two feet in a different culture, and had a lot of fun doing it! You’ll learn how to navigate a new environment (probably after getting lost a couple times, but you also learn that it’s okay to get lost), to be comfortable with new people, to deal with the unexpected more confidently, to simply be more comfortable in your skin. I truly believe there is no faster way to grow up than living abroad, outside your comfort zone. Later, when you consider how nervous you were at the beginning and how much fun and adventure you ended up having, no challenge or problem will seem as intimidating again. But don’t take it from me, if you look through the thousands of study abroad student reviews on Abroad101 it will only take you a minute or two to find students using phrases like “life changing” and “I learned to be independent” and “my confidence skyrocketed.” These students have earned the right to say to themselves: “I’ve been places, I’ve explored boldly, I have proven that I am brave and strong.” All it takes is jumping into the experience, and the confidence you gain is something no one will ever be able to take away from you.

Skills

There is a wide range of skills that you can learn faster and better being abroad. Language is the most obvious example, and you’ll find that six months of immersion in a language is equivalent to years of classroom study, if you approach it correctly. Other skills like writing and photography might suddenly blossom because everything around you is new and interesting, and the creative part of your brain will work overtime trying to capture the magic of your surroundings. There’s also the high potential of discovering passions you never knew you had by coming into contact with your host country’s sports, games, cuisine, fashion, history, landscape, etc. If you do get fascinated by something culturally specific like a Chinese martial art, or cricket in India, or French wine, or Spanish cooking, or Japanese flower arranging, then where better to develop your new skills than in the country that created it? You will very likely return home with abilities and interests you never knew existed. Not only does that bring joy to your life, but it makes you an interesting person who stands out from the crowd.

Broader Worldview

Broadening your horizons and perception of the world is kind of a skill in itself, but it stands alone as an extremely valuable reward of living abroad. Without seeing the real world beyond our own country with our own eyes, it is difficult or impossible to really grasp the complexity and diversity of our planet. The first few weeks abroad your mind will be working overtime to process everything that seems familiar but is so different, and everything that seems so strange but is actually quite logical. The result will be a much more tolerant, intelligent, and mindful approach to life, informed by a new understanding of how you impact the lives of others and how they impact you. The more you open yourself to new experiences and ideas, the more you’ll have the sensation of not being rooted to one small corner of the world, but of being a true citizen of the world. The freedom, excitement, and fascination that comes with this realization is truly life changing in all the best ways.

Job and College Applications

I suppose you can see where I’m going with this one. These days, whether you’re applying to universities or writing a cover letter for your dream job, the name of the game is to stand out and be exceptional. While everyone can talk about their maturity, determination, self-sufficiency, and willingness to try new things, no one can prove those things more easily than someone who made the choice to live in a foreign country. In 2014 the number of Americans studying abroad was less than 1.5% of the total number of students in higher education in the US. Anything that puts you in a category of the most confident and experienced 1.5% of students is probably going to benefit you greatly, sooner rather than later. This will make admissions departments and prospective employers sit up and take notice.

Fun and Memories

Let’s not forget, living abroad is an incredible experience that will fill your life with more adventurous stories and happy memories than many years in your comfort zone. Every day offers something new, you meet locals who enrich your life and like-minded internationals to share in your experience. Every person’s story is different, and that’s the beauty of it, but everyone agrees that it’s most satisfying and worthwhile experience imaginable. Again, look through the 28,000 student reviews on Abroad101, and while you’ll see a few that had more difficulties than they expected and left negative reviews, I challenge you to find one student who says they wish they had just stayed home. If you find one, then feel free to stay home as well, but otherwise it’s time to consider joining the thousands of study abroad alumni in embracing this life changing opportunity!

Next week I’ll discuss why Study Abroad is the best way to experience international living, and why sooner is better than later.  To find a study abroad program that suits you please visit www.studyabroad101.com 

– Caleb House

Caleb House grew up in Northern California and has lived in the Czech Republic, Japan, India, Tanzania, France, South Korea, Germany, and Côte d’Ivoire as a student, teacher, volunteer, backpacker, researcher, and school administrator. He holds an M.A. in Modern Global History from Jacobs University Bremen and an M.S. in International Management from the Burgundy School of Business. He recently married his French soulmate in her tiny village in the north of France, and the two currently find themselves in Washington D.C. He is preparing the launch of his website, HowToGoAbroad.com, and in the meantime can be contacted on his facebook page “How To Go Abroad” or on Twitter @HowToGoAbroad.  

What is it to Study abroad in snowy Russia?

“Study abroad”, this phrase contains a lot of stories, means, and riddles. Every day, people choose where to show their abilities and skills. Many foreign students prefer Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Yekaterinburg is located on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains. You can make only a single step between the different parts of the world, because this city is a natural boundary between Europe and Asia.

groupUral Federal University gives the opportunity to study different discipline in English. Department of marketing communications and branding invites you to be trained in two programs in English: Bachelor of Advertising and PR and Master Advertising and PR. If you have wish to enroll on these programs, you will get a chance of getting full or partial scholarships.

What attracts students in the Urals? Fabrice Fosso from Cameroon came to Russia to study Advertising and PR Master Program. He believes that the standard of living in Russia is, no less than in Europe, but much cheaper. Another advantage, which he has mentioned, is the opportunity to get a scholarship for study. It`s time to find out: “What is it to Study abroad in snowy Russia.” Many students have developed their principles and rules of behavior in Russia.

studentsPeople have a lot of stereotypes about Russia, but Rastha, a student from China, has denied all stereotypes, he said: “Bears, balalaika, vodka, where is it? I only saw the birch and matrioshka.” Arriving in Russia, you can dramatically change your opinion about everything. Yes, Russia is a very harsh country, but even here you can find happiness, as Anindita Mukherjee from India did, “Traditions in Russia are very different. For example, Happy ticket – happiness can be found even in the public transports.” But what is the secret of Russia? Dr. Rahman Matiur told us about it, he said: “Open your heart, and Russia will be opened by you.”

3 studentsTo communicate with people is very important, so Dr. Saugata Santra advises “Don’t be shy. Russian people are very sociable.” Everyday Eder Cordero from Mexico meets with the Russians, and that`s what he says about them – “Russian spirit, Russian soul, Russian temperament is a powerful rod. If you meet them once, then remember it for a long time.” The study of the Russian language is included in all Master programs. It’s pleased to learn Russian with Russian girls, Abid Abidullah noted – “Russian girls are very beautiful and modest. I lose the power of speech seeing their smiles.”

Many young people are afraid to leave their homes, but if you listen to Adadi Parise from Pakistan then we can understand how people are mistaken, he says that if you come to Russia, you will not regret. “Dear Students, Russia is huge. It’s time to open it to the world”- Guillanme Ore from Cote D’ivoire.

snowy day“All in all. People need to be active, ambitious, courageous, sociable, friendly, creative, tolerant if they go abroad.” Fabrice Fosso advices, these qualities would be useful for you, if you decided to link your lives with Advertising. If you want to be successful, communicative, creative, then welcome to UrFU! After studying at Ural Federal University, you will know how to build a successful business with Russia. You’ll find useful contacts. You’ll find close friends.

Elvina K

Elvina Kurbanova is a student at Ural Federal University in Central Russia who shows that study abroad is not just an American phenomena.  Her study abroad story is summarized in this study abroad review.  If you’d like to meet more international students when you study abroad then consider participating in a direct enrollment option.  Abroad101 lists a  Directory of Study Abroad at Foreign Universities

 

Get Ahead of the Pack: The Career Benefits of International Internships in China

China-shanghai-Alliance_350_Photo__cd26For college students today, study abroad programs are becoming more available and encouraged. In 2013-2014 about 290,000 students were part of international education programs, and that number is projected to continue to grow through focused initiatives to increase international education in the US. However, as study abroad begins to feel more commonplace, many students have turned to international internships as a way to differentiate themselves from the pack.

More than just a standard cultural immersion program, international internships allow you to learn about how other cultures do business, gain practical skills in an international setting, and make professional connections all over the world. We see specifically that more and more students are flocking to China to get a competitive edge.

So, why China?

China is Relevant. China has become a hotspot for professional experience due to the country’s booming economy and desire for an English speaking workforce. In addition to the contributions of successful Chinese corporations, China’s economy gets a boost from multinational companies–giants like Coca-Cola and KPMG– relocating their Asia headquarters to China. As traditional Chinese business ventures continue to succeed, new sectors such as green technology and engineering are also developing as international and local Chinese companies flock to China to innovate. Chinese business culture has become a part of many multinational companies, making this culture an important one to understand. Interning in China allows students an opportunity to experience first-hand Chinese business culture and the country’s influence on businesses all over the world.

You get a multicultural experience. The flux of international companies establishing themselves in China has been a huge draw for people all over the world and has made the country a desirable international hub. In a recent survey, an estimated 7,000 international expatriates recently ranked China as the best overall destination for work and 85% of expats in China are working for international companies in sectors such as business (sales and marketing), banking and financial services, and engineering. Popular expat destinations include Shanghai and Beijing, with Hong Kong an attractive choice for the financial services sector.

You will learn a language spoken by more than 1 billion people. Mandarin, the main language for business in China, is spoken by around 1.4 billion people as a first or second language. This makes Mandarin the #2 most spoken language in the world, followed next by Spanish. Being exposed first hand to this language is extremely valuable. Some internship programs to China also offer Mandarin lessons to enhance your experience in China. Students taking advantage of an opportunity to learn Mandarin firsthand in China immediately give their resumes a boost with a hard language skill.

Professional experience in China has helped many students achieve success. CRCC Asia, a company specializing in international internship opportunities in China, has sent over 5,000 interns to China and 89% have found employment in a graduate level job after returning to their home country. More universities are recognizing the significance of internship experience in China, and China internship programs are regularly being added to international programs.

If you are looking for a study abroad experience that will help you gain a competitive edge in the job market, perhaps an international internship in China is the right fit for you.

Begin your search for internship programs in China:

CRCC Asia’s China Internship Program

ISA Internships in Shanghai

CAPA Part-time Internships in Shanghai

-Check with your university’s Study Abroad Office for internship program offerings!

For information on funding your internship abroad:

100,000 Strong

Gilman/Freeman Scholarships

-GoEnnounce

-Check with your university’s Study Abroad Office for other possible scholarship resources!

 

Guest Blogger:

 

Thao Le

Travel enthusiast and international education advocate, Thao works as University Partnerships Manager at CRCC Asia in San Francisco, where she helps connect universities and individual students with international opportunities in China.

Abroad101 Student of the Week #0059 – Camryn Garrett

Camryn Garrett profileOur 59th Abroad101 Student of the Week is Camryn Garrett, an upcoming sophomore at Bay Shore High School. At such a young age Camryn already has ambitions to travel abroad!! And guess what?! She’s found the perfect opportunity with People to People to do just that!

This amazing opportunity will allow her to experience daily life in Europe, with a homestay in France and a farmstay in Italy! What better way to understand another culture than by experiencing it firsthand? She will also be touring iconic monuments such as the Colosseum and the Vatican! Through it all she will be able to experience the local communities and connect with a different culture, all while receiving school credit! This sounds like an opportunity that this rising high school sophomore should definitely not pass up. And don’t worry, she’s doing everything she can to make this goal a reality and has even started a fundraising Mission to help cover the costs! Check it out here.

The Abroad101 Student of the Week initiative awards a student who created a Mission for a study abroad program on GoEnnounce with a donation to their fundraiser. Learn more about this partnership from Abroad101 CEO Mark Shay and GoEnnounce co-founder Melissa Davis here.

Stay tuned for our next Abroad101 Student of the Week!

 

Pay Your Abroad101 Invoice Online

For those with a current invoice, you can now pay online.  Click the “BUY NOW” button below which will take you to PayPal to process your credit card payment or you can use your PayPal account.  You won’t login to see your balance due in this system, so please enter the total amount due from your invoice and we’ll reconcile it once received.  We’ll then send you a paid receipt.




You can also download the attached credit card order form and return by fax (215) 893-1785 or scan and email to accounting@abroad101.com