Stories From Abroad

 

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Stories From Abroad (90)

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Hear first-hand stories from students who have built essential international skills by studying, volunteering, interning, teaching or working abroad. This is your portal to career-boosting international adventures!

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Stories From Abroad

90
0
2
(2)
1736
26
Asia (26)
1735
4
Australia, New Zealand & Oceania (4)
1888
1
Central America & the Caribbean (1)
1734
3
Eastern Europe & Russia (3)
1737
2
Middle East & North Africa (2)
1731
5
North America (includes Mexico) (5)
1732
9
South America (9)
1738
11
Sub-Saharan Africa (11)
1733
31
Western Europe (31)
0
1
(1)
2099
1
Build Experience in School (1)
2100
13
Intern Abroad (13)
2101
6
Learn A Language Abroad (6)
2102
34
Study Abroad (34)
2103
16
Teach English Abroad (16)
2104
7
Travel Smarts (7)
2105
15
Volunteer Abroad (15)
2106
5
Work Abroad (5)
2107
5
Working Holiday (5)
90
9773
Independent In India
1
9765
Simpatico In Florence
2
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
3
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
4
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
5
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
6
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
7
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
8
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
9
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
10
9787
A Spring Semester In London
11
9771
Learning To Love London
12
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
13
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
14
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
15
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
16
9762
American Freshman In London
17
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
18
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
19
15327
An Open Mind & Open Arms in Spain
20
15387
Bliss on a Budget in Brazil
21
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
22
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
23
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
24
10851
Tips From Tasmania
25
15405
From Daydream to Reality: Teaching Abroad
26
15401
From Korea to Oman: Teaching English Around the World!
27
15383
Hustle and Bustle in Vietnam
28
15347
12 Months, 12 Countries!
29
15333
A Literary Education in the UK
30
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
31
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
32
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
33
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
34
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
35
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
36
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
37
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
38
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
39
9748
Adventure In The Alps
40
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
41
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
42
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
43
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
44
9754
Building Memories In India
45
9752
Giving In Guatemala
46
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
47
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
48
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
49
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
50
90
Volunteered in India
St. Ambrose University
Her thoughts on Motivation
I wanted to go somewhere that would make me step out of my comfort zone. I needed to prove to myself that I could be independent.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
I was so impressed by how these children saw what was truly important. It showed me how much people living in poverty value everything they have – especially basic items that we simply take for granted.
Her thoughts on First Impressions
Many people stared at us even though we were covered head to toe in their traditional clothing, trying to show our respect, and attempting to blend in.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
It absolutely astounded me that a family with so little would give up the few resources that they had for strangers. This generosity was seen again and again with the people of Vrindavan.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
My time abroad proved to me that I really can be independent, and I don’t think many other experiences could have done that for me.
Studied in Italy
SUNY: University at Albany
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
The most important thing about cross-cultural communication in Italy was using hand gestures. If I didn’t know how to say a certain word, hand gestures were a universal way I could communicate!
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
I used to do everything in a hurry. Now I try to take things step-by-step and notice everything around me.
Her thoughts on First Impressions
Be prepared to arrive not knowing anything, feeling like an outsider – but leave feeling like you found a new home.
Volunteered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Carleton University
His thoughts on Motivation
I wanted to further develop my skills and experiences in community development work, and to help refugee populations escape from conflict zones.
His thoughts on Adaptation
I learned very quickly that a person living in these circumstances has to be extremely flexible to deal with changing situations and different challenges whereby every day seemed fraught with another situation or event.
His thoughts on Language Learning
Language is extremely important when attempting to build a bridge across a cultural divide.
His thoughts on Cultural Differences
I found that the willingness of people to share, to work hard, and to learn as much as possible, were shared values that allowed me to partially bridge the cultural divide.
His thoughts on Coming Home
I ensured that I scheduled a few days to “decompress” in the UK before heading back home. The idea of decompressing was to get used to being back in the so-called “modern world” before having to interact with family members.
His thoughts on Coming Home
I found that I felt a profound sense of injustice, given the amount of excess wealth is available in our society. For a while I felt a certain sense of disgust and anger.
Studied in Japan
Mount Royal University
His thoughts on Motivation
I was introduced to the world of Japan through comics, and from that I was motivated to do more research.
His thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
Getting everything in order early will give you time to think of anything you might have forgotten, and give you a chance to relax before you travel.
His thoughts on Cultural Differences
The way that the Japanese perceive themselves in relation to everyone else around them, and in different situations, dictates everything from how they act to how they speak. Hierarchy is very important.
His thoughts on Taking It All In
Meet new people. All of a sudden you’ll have a life outside of the exchange program, and your life in whatever country you’re in becomes much more exciting.
His thoughts on Personal Growth
To judge something like this as a ‘success’ is an understatement. In reality there isn’t a word I could put to such a massive thing as my year in Japan. I just want to go back.
His thoughts on Communicating Abroad
The meaning of a handshake, or a bow from the waist, or a smile often says more than a word ever could.
Studied in Germany
University of Ottawa
Her thoughts on Motivation
In essence, I decided to go on an exchange to live life while I was young.
Her thoughts on Adaptation
The academic formality that exists in the German school system is certainly something I had to adapt to. From interactions with professors after a class, to the way exams were written; they were a step up from what I was used to.
Her thoughts on Motivation
The beauty of it all was that for half a year, I lived somewhere where no one knew who I was before I stepped off that plane.
Her thoughts on Language Learning
You never, ever, ever sound stupid. Locals who see you genuinely trying to learn their language will do what they can to help you.
Her thoughts on Motivation
If you’re sitting on the fence about whether or not to apply for an exchange, I can tell you that my experience changed my life.
Volunteered in Bolivia
Her thoughts on Homestays
While staying with my host family, the housekeeper Petro became one of my closest and favorite friends. I felt privileged to have had the opportunity to become friends with such a beautiful soul!
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
My favorite festival was a guinea pig festival in Cochabamba. North America's beloved house pet is one of Bolivia’s edible delicacies!
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
Anyone trying to communicate in a different culture should try their best to “fake it till they make it.” Mimicking is the best way to learn.
Study Abroad in Sweden
Her thoughts on The Application Process
I met with the exchange advisor very early on in order to figure out details and I even arranged meetings with the head of my department. Showing initiative early on was what set my application apart.
Her thoughts on First Impressions
I would often hear the Swedish students generalize about North America. It made me realize how easy it is to overgeneralize; each country has its own culture, political system, and people – which is easy to forget when it's just a color on a map!
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
I think that adaptability and flexibility are key skills to have in any career path. Not only did my experience translate into tangible skills like these, but employers really do look favourably on people who have some sort of international experience.
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
It's funny how often I run into someone who's been to Scandinavia, and we can instantly connect over it. It definitely serves as a great icebreaker when networking!
Traveled Abroad in Many Countries
Her thoughts on Motivation
I decided to tag along with my brother and 30 strangers as he traveled by van through 17 countries in little less than a month.
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
The people make the trip. Disagreements are bound to arise if you are traveling with a large group in close proximity. Make sure you are traveling with friends who will be there for you through thick and thin.
Her thoughts on First Impressions
Once we crossed the Romanian border, it seemed like we had gone onto a whole different planet. There were horses in the streets transporting food and people, cows crossing the streets and walking on the sidewalks, as if it was totally normal. For us, it seemed like the twilight zone.
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
Start saving up early, whether you are going on a road trip, backpacking or any other travel abroad, planning is a big step.
Volunteered & Taught English in China
University of Ottawa
Her thoughts on Motivation
I was attracted to China because it is one of the most removed countries from Western society. I thought it would be enlightening to learn about a collectivist culture as opposed to the individualist Western model that I was raised in.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
Group events were the most memorable because I was able to speak to the students outside the classroom hierarchy. I learned in-depth about their lives and built friendships that continue to this day online and off.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
For my students, education was the only way to guarantee the survival of their families. This was in sharp contrast to my Western education, but it was yet another positive lesson that I learned abroad: when an individual succeeds through education, so does his community.
Volunteered in Mexico
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
The more effort you put into preparing yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and educationally, the better your experience will be.
Her thoughts on Homestays
One of the biggest differences was the emphasis on family life. It was nice to see my host family spend so much time together without worrying about cell phones or social media.
Her thoughts on First Impressions
The biggest surprise was the culture shock. It’s not that I didn’t expect it, but you can never really predict what the differences will be and how they will affect you.
Traveled in the UK
SUNY: University at Albany
Her thoughts on Motivation
It was a first step for me in seeing how independent I could be in another country, because I hope to travel a lot more in the future.
Her thoughts on Adaptation
I expected traveling to London to be an easy transition for me because I assumed their culture was close to that of America. But you know what they say about those who assume!
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
I was careful to watch what they did and to mimic their gestures and speech in a way that was not mocking, but respectful.
Studied in the UK
Stony Brook University
Her thoughts on The Application Process
Be yourself during the application process, definitely. Show the schools the passion you have for traveling and studying abroad. 
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
That is the nicest part of studying abroad: when the cultural differences you noticed when you arrived become normal to you.
Intern Abroad in China
University of Toronto
Her thoughts on Motivation
At the time, I wanted to learn Mandarin, as I knew that it would be an important language to have under my belt, especially since I knew I wanted to do business someday.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
In Western countries, communication is a lot more direct and casual, whereas in China, it is more indirect and polite.
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
At the time, I wanted to learn Mandarin, as I knew that it would be an important language to have under my belt, especially since I knew I wanted to do business someday.
Work Abroad in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
ESG UQÁM Montreal
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
The best advice is to adapt yourself to your new environment, but also try to use your professional background to improve the business.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
Social inequality was fierce and challenging. I focused on my job, and then before leaving, I donated.
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
I tend to speak fast. I learned to slow down. As a manager, you have to make sure your employees understand you. Modifying my communication was important.
Interned & Learned a Language in Costa Rica
SUNY: University at Albany
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
When I would arrange to meet local friends I'd always be waiting for 10 to 30 minutes. Their lifestyle is just not as fast-paced as ours!
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: it’s how you learn.
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
If something about your program isn’t fulfilling your expectations, take matters into your own hands!
Study Abroad in Ireland
Carleton University
Her thoughts on Motivation
I never really thought I would have the courage to go, but after choosing to go to university in my hometown and keeping the same routine for years, I felt like I needed a big change in my life.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
As cliché as it sounds, say yes to everything. Opportunities will arise that you may be nervous about, but as long as they are safe, never turn them down!
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
I also discovered how peaceful and carefree traveling alone can be. Being completely self-reliant gave me added confidence for my following trips.
Studied in the UK
SUNY: University at Albany
Her thoughts on Motivation
Ever since I was young I’ve been fascinated with Europe. Experiencing a culture different from my own was something that I knew I had to do.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
Americans are loud! Even at the pubs and clubs in London I felt like we were being the loudest ones!
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
Savor every moment. Take in all the sights, smells, and noise and appreciate it! And remember: the most amazing experiences aren’t planned!
Study Abroad in Australia
Carleton University
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
Work hard so you can travel on your spare weekends. Traveling and school-based learning go hand-in-hand when you're abroad.
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
Learning abroad is important to me, and I believe it helps develop important skills for aspiring and practicing architects.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
Because of my local friends, I was able to get the insider's perspective on Adelaide and its culture.
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
Networking is important for building future clients, and I made lots of connections. My network now stretches across America, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, England, Thailand and Australia.
Volunteered in Nicaragua and the USA
Western
Her thoughts on Motivation
Volunteering locally is important, but being abroad allows you to absorb new environments and cultures, which is a bonus.
Her thoughts on The Application Process
I think what made me successful was how I put myself out there during the interviews, because that’s how you have to go about an experience abroad – you can’t hold back.
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
We learned to dance in the traditional style, which was just so different to what we do at home. It was a whole new type of social activity none of us had ever tried before!
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
When you go into the culture, don’t search for the differences and compare. Look for the similarities and appreciate the differences. Different never means worse or better.
Her thoughts on Coming Home
Each time, the return is harder, and the lessons stay longer. It’s just a gradual change. I’d say it kind of takes practice.
Teach English in Spain
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
I personally think the best way to be successful is to put your all into the experience. This way, you learn something new about the culture and people every day.
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
I’m now a freelance English teacher in Berlin, all because of teaching English abroad!
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
The level of directness varies from culture to culture. One could easily be offended, but it is easier to recognize that this is just the way people are.
Travel Smarts in South America
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
I found the lack of organization frustrating at times, there is beauty in this way of life as well.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
Don’t be afraid to spend money abroad, especially if you’re in a country with a low cost of living. Try new foods, visit landmarks and travel as much as you can.
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
Most Brazilians only know greetings in English, so being able to communicate in the local language helped me in my day-to-day life and allowed me to be a more active participant in the events that I attended.
Taught English in Korea
His thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
I suggest trying to find out the working conditions beforehand, or try contacting a friend or acquaintance that lives in the area to see what advice they have.
His thoughts on First Impressions
One of my first big surprises was the amount of hours some students are required to study. They're usually even too busy to participate in extra-curricular activities.
His thoughts on The International Workplace
The best advice for teaching cross-cultural would be the same as teaching local students: have patience.
Worked in Switzerland
University of Waterloo
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
One of the challenges in my workplace was that my colleagues were also the people I lived with. It was challenging to have my “colleague lenses” on, rather than my “friendship lenses.”
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
I traveled to many cities -- London, Amsterdam, Berlin -- each country gave me a different perspective.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
For me, education is a lifelong process, and this is only the beginning. I am already planning my next international exchange.
Working Holiday in England
University of Waterloo
Her thoughts on The Application Process
I looked into many options for finding a job abroad but the one with the best result ended up being from a personal contact I didn’t even know I had!
Her thoughts on Homestays
The people who helped me get a job offered me a room in their house. Taking them up on the offer was one of the best decisions I made! I became part of the family.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
Be willing to change your plans and meet new people. If you start talking to the people beside you in your hostel, chances are you will make friends for the day.
Her thoughts on Adaptation
You never quite get past the odd feeling of life happening without you at home, but you are busy building your own memories that outweigh the losses.
Working Holiday in Tasmania
University of British Columbia
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
I made a point of getting involved in the local community. That's really the best way to have a good experience anywhere.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
After I landed, it took me a month to find my first retail job and three months to find my second one. Staying flexible is an important part of the job-hunting process.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
I attended a poetry festival, took a dance class, volunteered at the farmers’ market and got involved with the local “couch surfing” community. I built quite the network of lasting friends!
Teach English in Asia
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
I welcomed discomfort. I knew that only through discomfort would I find the changes I was looking for.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
I stepped into the classroom unsure of myself, but by the end of the year, I walked of the school a completely different person.
Her thoughts on Motivation
If there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it’s: book the ticket. Put fear aside. Do what you’re most afraid of. The rest of your life is waiting on the other side.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
The idea of moving to a new country filled with me fear. But it turned out that the idea of staying in Canada and never leaving was scarier.
Teach English in Asia & the Middle East
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
Researching destinations ahead of time and using social media to network beforehand is key in having a good experience abroad in my opinion.
Travel Smarts in Asia
His thoughts on Taking It All In
Observing the traffic proved to be a way in to understanding Vietnamese culture.
His thoughts on First Impressions
The city is constantly in motion. People moving, weaving in and out of traffic, but with few fender-benders and no road rage ever seen.
His thoughts on Motivation
I knew that by touring and tasting the food, I'd also be learning about the local culture!
Travel Smarts in Asia & Europe
His thoughts on Cultural Differences
Cultural differences manifest in small ways. You'll learn to understand them by staying open-minded in all situations. Ultimately, I got over the fact that some people weren’t going to like me, and embraced those who did.
His thoughts on First Impressions
I was surprised to discover how friendly most people are abroad. The Vietnamese people were warm and kind, even in the rainy months, even in the blistering heat!
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
Looking back on everything, if I could’ve changed one thing, it would be to lighten up and have more fun.
Study Abroad in the UK
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
I only regret that there were places I didn’t visit because I was nervous. To anyone studying abroad I recommend taking advantage of invitations and solo adventures. See everything you can.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
In Canada, classes are lecture-based with lots of note taking. But about halfway through my first class in England we put down our pens and to debate us to really think and gain the confidence needed to speak our opinions.
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
I'm an aspiring author, and I was interested in walking the same streets as the greatest writers.
Teaching in Hong Kong
Her thoughts on Adaptation
If you stay in a place long enough, there comes a point when the culture becomes part of you.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
It was through all of my experiences in Korea that I truly came into myself and wasn’t afraid anymore to be who I wanted to be. I was free!
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
I formed friendships with teachers from five different continents, learned how to be independent in unfamiliar surroundings and challenged myself to try as many new experiences as possible.
Interned in Ghana
McGill University
His thoughts on Motivation
I wanted to do this internship because it aligned perfectly with my interests in law and international politics.
His thoughts on The International Workplace
I made an effort to work closely with the local employees. It was as simple as making sure I didn’t sit with the other interns at lunch, sharing it instead with my Ghanaian colleagues.
His thoughts on The International Workplace
In Ghana, it’s not acceptable to simply go into someone’s office and ask for a file. I had to be patient and spend a significant amount of time simply making friendly conversation.
His thoughts on Boosting Your Career
The internship has certainly helped my career. It opened my eyes to enthralling work that can be done with public policy in developing countries.
Interned in Kenya
University of Waterloo
Her thoughts on Motivation
As someone who loves to learn new languages, immerse myself in different cultures, and engage in unique travel experiences, I had a desire to go out and explore the world around me.
Her thoughts on Language Learning
Whether I was at work, volunteering, or just walking in the markets, locals would take the time to teach me a few words in Kiswalhili.
Her thoughts on Language Learning
In the workplace, everyone spoke in English, but my supervisors and co-workers taught me a few words in the local language, and when I would go out on weekends to the market, I would try to apply what I’d learned.
Taught English in Korea
Mount Allison University
Her thoughts on Motivation
I wanted another chance to live in a foreign culture, but I wanted to take it a step further and go where I wouldn’t be able speak or read the language.
Her thoughts on First Impressions
I felt disoriented and overwhelmed in the first couple of weeks. The jet lag, new language, pollution and creepy seafood all added up to feeling way out of my comfort zone.
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
It was tough to connect with other teachers outside of school, but my breakthrough came when I got involve with the Seoul Players, a theater company for expats.
Traveled in Europe
Plymouth State University
Her thoughts on Coming Home
I quickly realized that people tire of hearing your stories. It's difficult to communicate what the experience abroad was truly like. I began missing my gypsy lifestyle.
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
I worked six days a week, sometimes for over 12 hours a day to make over $4,500 in three months, enough to fund my travels, as well as the necessary preparations, like a passport and a quality backpack.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
Fear holds people back from taking the leap to travel, but I believe it is vital to have as many unique experiences as you can. I believe in living an extraordinary life.
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
We rarely ate at restaurants, instead packing picnics. But we made sure to have one nice meal out in each country to taste local specialities.
Studied in France
Carleton University
His thoughts on Boosting Your Career
I liked the idea of being immersed in a foreign culture, and the potential to bring back skills and knowledge to sell to employers upon graduation.
His thoughts on Personal Growth
Studying abroad forced me to change as an individual and learn about things that I previously had no interest in.
His thoughts on Language Learning
My time abroad has allowed me to gain fluency in French to a level where I can express myself with a degree of ease and spontaneity.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
When things go wrong during your time abroad (such as missing your train), don’t forget to be happy and keep a sense of humor – this will go a long way!
His thoughts on Personal Growth
Before my exchange, I can definitely say that ambiguity was not my friend! But things changed during my exchange and I handle it much better than I did before. 
Taught English in Japan
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
The most important thing I learned about communication was that insecurity wasn't going to get me anywhere.
Her thoughts on Language Learning
I realized that my Japanese wasn't going to improve unless I used it, and I didn't need to be afraid of talking to strangers – all of my best encounters came as a result of taking a chance with people.
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
Teaching in Japan made an immeasurable impact on my life. When I returned to Canada, I knew I had to stay connected to this experience in some way – it really shaped my career aspirations.
Interned in Madagascar
University of Waterloo
His thoughts on The International Workplace
Persevere. Companies, while willing to help students, have other commitments that are much higher on their priority lists and perseverance will be your greatest asset. 
His thoughts on Adaptation
At first it was a challenge to communicate with the Malagasy employees, but I quickly realized that I’d be more successful if I made the effort to adapt.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
I wasn’t afraid to travel, try new foods, or get my hands dirty helping the villagers.
Taught English in South Korea
University of Alberta
Her thoughts on Motivation
I’d always been really interested in Korean culture; and through my research I learned that South Korea really provides the best package when it comes to teaching overseas.
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
The kids love their teachers! I taught fourth grade through sixth grade and it’s the only time I’ve ever felt like a rock star! My students would get so excited every time they saw me.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
There were things that I didn’t understand, or that I found confusing… but I always took a step back and reminded myself that different cultures have different ways of doing things.
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
Be fearless; be open to advice and criticism; and be willing to throw yourself into the process of trying to communicate.
Worked in Switzerland
University of Waterloo
Her thoughts on The Application Process
To prepare for the interview I checked the company’s site and the qualities they wanted in the ideal candidate. I wanted the interviewer to know I’d done my prep work. I was offered the job on the spot!
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
With younger children it was surprisingly easy to get my point across. When we did have problems communicating, we’d act out the words, which would often result in us laughing!
Her thoughts on Adaptation
The biggest challenge I found to living in the Alps was the altitude. For the first few weeks I was out of breath after just a short walk to work. As an avid runner, this was a big shock for me.
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
On a trip to Morocco, we drank tea in a cave home with an Arabic family, attended a Bedouin wedding and went on a camel trek in the desert – things I never dreamed I’d get to do!
Studied in Australia
HEC Montreal
His thoughts on Motivation
It’s fundamental for our generation to understand the forces that shape the cultural backgrounds of people around us. Traveling is undoubtedly the best way to gain that understanding.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
This experience taught me that everything eventually falls into place in life and there’s no need to worry about things we can’t control.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
If you are willing to try new things and push your limits, I don’t see how your study abroad experience could not be a success.
His thoughts on Boosting Your Career
As a business student, studying overseas was a great idea as it enabled me to extend my business network. I met individuals abroad that could eventually become business partners.
His thoughts on Coming Home
I have decided to be as passionate about my hometown as I am about other places of the world. Surely, I would have never truly appreciated home if I had not gone away.
Studied & Learned a Language in Germany
Western
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
My advice for others is that when you’re on your excursions, be sure to explore the treasures within your own host city too!
Her thoughts on Motivation
If you have an interest in your host country, you'll find it's easy to adapt. You might even find new cultural norms that suit you better than your own.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
If you get lost in the middle of Barcelona looking for the Picasso museum, so what? Explore what's around you!
Her thoughts on Coming Home
Coming back felt as if I had left my second home.
Studied in the Netherlands
Mount Royal University
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
Studying abroad developed my cross-cultural communication skills and made me more approachable and unafraid – which I'll take with me into my future career.
Her thoughts on The Application Process
In writing my application, I felt the most important aspect was to show my passion for traveling, learning and experiencing new cultures.
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
I was amazed at how easy it is to travel in Europe. I visited over 15 countries during my semester abroad!
Studied in Morocco
Drake University
His thoughts on Motivation
My sister spent a semester in Istanbul when I was 15. The thought of her thriving on a completely different continent got me thinking that maybe the world extended a little bit past my hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
His thoughts on Cultural Differences
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I thought I'd offend my hosts at some point and there would be some sort of rift. There wasn’t in the least -- my family loved me like a son.
His thoughts on Cultural Differences
What struck me the most, seeing my home in a different light, was just how much stuff Americans had and how much space they had for all that stuff.
His thoughts on Coming Home
Everything I had been craving so badly while I was gone was the same as when I had left – there was no big celebration behind eating peanut butter, drinking American coffee or using a electric hand dryer again.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
In Morocco, your taxi driver may speak one of any four languages – and you have to be ready that French might not be one of them. To me, the fun lies within this unpredictability!
His thoughts on First Impressions
I'd taken autumn for granted while I was home; I'd never even thought that it simply didn’t exist elsewhere in the world. When it was gone I had a surprising time adjusting.
Studied in India
SUNY: University at Albany
Her thoughts on The Application Process
At first I thought studying abroad would not be feasible because of the cost. But, to my surprise, there were plenty of study abroad programs that were extremely affordable.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
I thought it was important to have an open mind in terms of location. Any country inhabited by human beings was fair game!
Her thoughts on First Impressions
The biggest surprise was the impact my presence had on those I encountered. They were extremely grateful for our service and excited to welcome us.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
There were instances along the way where I really had to reach deep down inside for the courage to work through and finish the program – but never once did I think about giving up.
Her thoughts on Coming Home
I’ll never take my air conditioned home for granted again, because I spent 10 days building a simple, four-wall structure the size of my bedroom for a family of 10.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
My life’s paradigm has been completely shifted for the better.
Her thoughts on Coming Home
I thought my biggest concern upon returning would be the jet lag. But that just goes to show how studying abroad changes a person!
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
In time you’ll realize that most people you encounter are more similar to you than they are different.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
There will always be divides and differences between cultures, so we must accept them and look past them.
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
With the world becoming increasingly interconnected, it is important to develop cross-cultural skills.
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
It is somewhat disrespectful and pompous to assume that all other cultures are familiar with the ways of one's own. A respectful bond is the key to success in any interaction, especially a cross-cultural one. 
Volunteered in Guatemala
University of British Columbia
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
Some of my fondest memories from my trip to Guatemala include the times I spent speaking with locals, playing with their children, and helping them prepare meals.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
The locals I met not only opened my eyes to a new way of life but also provided me with insight on my own strengths and passions.
Studied in France
McMaster University
Her thoughts on Motivation
I am a self-proclaimed "Francophile", and for someone who is pursuing a double major in French and History, it made perfect sense to go to France and be immersed in all that I was learning about.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
The French live at a slower pace and really take the time to enjoy life's simple pleasures. There isn't as much of an urgency to always hurry through the day.
Her thoughts on First Impressions
I found that a good way of coping my first month in Lyon was to run on autopilot and be task oriented. I was constantly checking things off my "to do" list.
Her thoughts on Language Learning
Actions, gestures, intonation, voice inflection, facial expressions, and body language play just as much of a role as the oral component.  
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
I would walk the length of the market and peruse the stalls, stopping every now and again to nibble a sample of cheese or saucisson.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
Learn to laugh at yourself when the little things go awry - laughter is often the best remedy for an embarrassing situation.
Studied in the USA
University of Waterloo
Her thoughts on Motivation
I felt that experiencing some of the environmental issues discussed in lectures first-hand would provide a much more enriching learning experience.
Her thoughts on The Application Process
It’s highly important to create a real picture of yourself so that instructors and organizers can match you with people who have similar personalities, as well as varied weaknesses and strengths.
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
Instead of spending time on the computer at home, I was looking for trails to hike and species to identify.
Her thoughts on Coming Home
Of course I missed my family and friends, but my experience was so enriching and eye opening, that I really would have been content to stay longer.
Interned in Germany
University of Waterloo
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
Take as many language courses as possible before you go anywhere! Even if your job is in English, co-workers prefer speaking their mother tongue.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
I grew so much as a person through my experience going abroad. You learn so much about yourself and what you are capable of doing.
Her thoughts on Language Learning
My German was good enough that by the time I got back from Germany, I was able to skip one German level, and I’m hoping that by the time I graduate, I’ll be fluent.
Interned in Uganda and Singapore
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Her thoughts on The Application Process
I think what made me successful was not only my previous work experience, but my determination. I didn’t let negative responses slow me down.
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
Being treated as a professional and knowledgeable in my field really made me feel confident in my work.
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
It was important to understand that how things were getting done was what was best for the people there, not what was best for me.
Her thoughts on Adaptation
Knowing that my loved ones were waiting for me and that I wasn’t going to be gone forever helped me get over the homesickness.

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