The program consists of virtual interactions and face-to-face exchanges between WVU and Paraguayan students planned for the 2015-2016 academic year. They will work collaboratively on various research topics in the areas of resource economics, environment, water, and sustainability.
“My study abroad experience changed me in a way I never expected. Not only was I exposed to a new and different culture and lifestyle, but also I learned that I could thrive in that type of unfamiliarity. My need for knowledge increased, and I became completely dedicated to knowing my city, my host family, the people that I met, and the way of life. Through studying abroad, I forced myself outside of my long-established comfort zone but ended up creating a new type of comfort zone, extended and flexible, that I will hold on to and use throughout my entire life."
Study Abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and its benefits are many. Students have the opportunity to explore new cultures, build language skills, make lifelong friends, find new interests, understand global perspectives, enhance career opportunities, and grow personally by becoming more independent, curious, and confident. However, not every study abroad traveler maximizes the experience and the benefits. And that is a missed opportunity. Jill Kellogg-Serna, Director of Study Abroad & Exchange Programs at the University of Idaho, and her team are providing an innovative and collaborative course, The Uncommon Traveler, which will help their students take advantage of the study abroad experience.
Why not add the power of technology and a global social network to help study abroad students be more prepared before they go? Your students already use social media to connect with friends. Now you can use WeSpeke to connect them with people who live where they are going and to other students in their study abroad program. Join our Webinar sponsored by IIE as part of the Generation Study Abroad Series on August 6 at 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, 12 pm PT.
As the director of a study abroad or international education program, you’ve probably seen a good bit of advice for study abroad students come across your desk. When it comes to study abroad advice, some pieces are better than others, and overall there is a lot of fluff.
At WeSpeke, we are big believers in the “know before you go” approach to study abroad preparedness. It is our contention that that knowledge truly is power when it comes to preparing to embrace a new place, culture and (perhaps) language. The more the student knows, the better they will weather the cultural transition and avoid costly mistakes.
As a Study Abroad Director, you no doubt witness a spectrum of emotions that accompany a student’s study abroad experience. There’s the initial excitement, full of possibility and fantasies of adventures studying along the Seine or hiking the Great Wall. Then, there are nerves, the jitters that come around just before departure when the experience starts to become “real” in their minds. Finally, when students begin to adjust to their new environment, anxiety, frustration and panic that is commonly known as culture shock sets in.
Students that approach their study abroad experience with a plan and future employment in mind will set themselves apart. It is important they understand that simply participating in a study abroad experience isn’t enough. They need to approach their time abroad with a plan—how can they best use the trip to enhance their employment prospects? Here are a few ways study abroad programs can guide students to channel the experience into employability.