Stories From Abroad

 

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Stories From Abroad (102)

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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

102
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2
(2)
1736
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Asia (30)
1735
4
Australia, New Zealand & Oceania (4)
1888
4
Central America & the Caribbean (4)
1734
3
Eastern Europe & Russia (3)
1737
4
Middle East & North Africa (4)
1731
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North America (includes Mexico) (8)
1732
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South America (9)
1738
12
Sub-Saharan Africa (12)
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Western Europe (32)
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(1)
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Build Experience in School (1)
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Intern Abroad (14)
2101
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Learn A Language Abroad (6)
2102
34
Study Abroad (34)
2103
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Teach English Abroad (17)
2104
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Travel Smarts (8)
2239
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Virtual International Internships (20)
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Volunteer Abroad (15)
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Work Abroad (6)
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Working Holiday (5)
102
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Simpatico in Florence
51
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
52
9737
Passionate About Panama
53
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
54
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
55
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
56
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
57
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
58
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
59
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
60
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
61
16174
An Empowering Virtual Internship in Nicaragua
62
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
63
16161
A Bright & Friendly Cross-cultural Workspace
64
16017
A Globally-minded Visit to Qatar
65
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
66
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
67
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
68
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
69
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
70
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
71
15333
A Literary Education in the UK
72
14088
An Eye-opening Experience Teaching in South Korea
73
14483
Finding Home, By Teaching Abroad
74
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
75
15347
12 Months, 12 Countries!
76
15383
Hustle and Bustle in Vietnam
77
15327
An Open Mind & Open Arms in Spain
78
15387
Bliss on a Budget in Brazil
79
15644
Discovering the World on Campus: International Skills at Home
80
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
81
9752
Giving In Guatemala
82
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
83
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
84
9787
A Spring Semester in London
85
9807
Fast Friendship in Korea
86
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
87
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
88
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
89
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
90
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
91
10851
Tips From Tasmania
92
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
93
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
94
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
95
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
96
10157
Changing Course In China
97
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
98
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
99
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
100
102
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.
Studied in Italy
College of William and Mary
His thoughts on Motivation
I didn't make the final decision to go until two of my friends returned from their years abroad. I couldn't resist their stories!
His thoughts on First Impressions
At first, I was constantly excited; everything was so new and Italian. Every street was magnificent, every person European, every piece of clothing beautiful.
His thoughts on Adaptation
At some point in June, I had a moment of pristine clarity: I was no longer the naïve, awkward American boy I had been when I arrived in September.
His thoughts on Adaptation
Somehow I had integrated myself into the culture. And after months of freezing weather and many hardships, I had emerged a new person.
His thoughts on Language Learning
I studied hard. I completed a grammar workbook, I studied a dictionary and a book of verb conjugations, I listened to music, I read short novels, and I begged classmates to speak to me!
His thoughts on Coming Home
They acted as if I had never left, even though I was bursting with excitement about my year in Italy. I wanted to tell them EVERYTHING, but they couldn't have been less interested.
Interned in Panama
Centennial College
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
Interning was much more about my personal growth as a global citizen rather than prowess with MS Office or project management tools.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
It's all about perspective! Adapt and just go with the flow, or risk losing your mind.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
Be sensitive, but don't take anything too seriously. It isn't personal, it's just the way things are.
Volunteered in Nicaragua & 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.
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!
Studied in France
Carleton University
Her thoughts on Motivation
Studying international business was a good reason to go abroad and experience how globalization has affected the business world.
Her thoughts on The Application Process
The visa application process is long and confusing. There was definitely a lot of confusion along the way. But don't be discouraged; it's completely doable.
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
Read a lot! Read about the history, culture, and people of the city you're planning on staying in. Gather as much information as you possibly can.
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
Through Facebook I signed up for a few exchange student groups in my host cities, which allowed me to participate in events they organized and get to know a lot of people.
Her thoughts on Language Learning
The big success for me was the fact that my language skills improved tremendously. I came to Lyon barely being able to keep up with a conversation and left being able to speak with ease.
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
During my stay I was able to network a lot and meet not only other students, but also professionals.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
My travels also improved my communication skills, my cultural understanding, independence, leadership skills, and helped me develop a thicker skin.
Studied in Korea
University of Wisconsin: Oshkosh
Her thoughts on Motivation
Studying in South Korea had always been a personal goal, so when my school finally offered the program, I knew I had to sign up.
Her thoughts on The Application Process
I really wanted to make sure that the application went smoothly. I never doubted myself and I was never negative about all the work I had to put in.
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
I took out a loan and worked a lot before I left. I made sure to save money from each paycheck to put into my Korea fund.
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.
Volunteered in Tanzania
SUNY: University at Albany
Her thoughts on The Application Process
It was a little overwhelming, but I was able to narrow my search when I really focused on what I wanted out of the experience.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
At first there were aspects that I didn't really like or agree with, but I kept an open mind. I think that's the best way to overcome culture shock.
Her thoughts on First Impressions
It took me about a month to really start to understand, accept, and finally enjoy the culture.
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
In Tanzania I didn't have my iPhone or laptop; and it was enjoyable not constantly being bombarded with emails, te1t messages, and phone calls!
Her thoughts on Homestays
I appreciate them so much for welcoming me into their home and making me feel like I was their own daughter.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
I realized after the trip that I eventually want to find a job that involves traveling. I really want to see and e1plore other parts of the world!
Studied & Learned a Language in Spain
CUNY: Hunter College
His thoughts on Taking It All In
For me, eating my way through a place's cuisine is the ideal way to understand its history and culture.
His thoughts on The Application Process
My only advice for completing the paperwork is to start early and keep an organized file of the applications, keeping checklists and staying aware of the deadlines.
His thoughts on Coming Home
I find myself still thinking about it constantly, several times every day. I'm legitimately obsessed.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
Remember why you're studying abroad in the first place: to immerse yourself in a new culture and rhythm.
His thoughts on First Impressions
That first month abroad was like riding a euphoric wave of feeling liberated and suspended in the moment.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
Traveling has affirmed my belief that it's paramount to disconnect from technology sometimes and allow the natural impact to seep in.
Volunteered in the DCR
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.
Virtual Internship in Nicaragua
Her thoughts on Virtual Work Skills
As part of the first-ever virtual intern cohort, trial and error were a natural part of the process! But collaboration prevailed and we adjusted to all the features of video call software.
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
I researched Nicaraguan sport and fitness in attempts to make anatomy class a little more interesting -- but personal encounters always triumph over research!
Her thoughts on Virtual Work Skills
Patience is the most useful tool when working with technology, as the solution is usually simple and achieved by remaining calm. Frozen faces, delayed responses and technical difficulties were guaranteed!
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
All cultures have different ways of seeing things. We see the world through a biased lens, regardless of our best intentions. Challenging conversations can help us learn and grow.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
Teaching in a new culture, I knew I had to expand my understanding of health and science in the region to teach successfully.
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.
Virtual Internship in China
Her thoughts on Virtual Work Skills
I bought decorations at the dollar store, including a children's map, letters and bunting to create a cheerful Zoom learning environment.
Her thoughts on Virtual Work Skills
Managing my schedule was a challenge because I was working on Beijing time, with lessons at 5am my time. But once I set myself a routine, it got much better!
Her thoughts on Virtual Work Skills
Of course I'd like to travel to China and teach in person, but working virtually is great opportunity to connect while we do not otherwise have the chance.
Her thoughts on Virtual Work Skills
My first class felt like a disaster! I was tangled in my headset and pointing in the wrong direction, but like anything in life, with practice it started to feel a lot easier.
Traveled in the Middle East
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
To bridge the cultural divide, I had to accept that in Qatar modernity and tradition are not polar opposites, but rather two dynamics that define society equally.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
First-hand insight can't be gained in the classroom, so it was important to me to challenge my American-centric viewpoints through an immersive experience abroad.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
Always reflect on your own society before evaluating another. You can’t find common ground unless you’re open to changing your preconceptions -- both about your host culture and about your own.
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
While appearance isn’t everything, making a sincere effort to accommodate your host’s cultural norms is an essential sign of respect in professional settings.
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
If I could give one piece of advice to a young traveler, it would be to do some research beforehand. Having basic background knowledge about the central pillars of the country you’re visiting makes all the difference.
Traveled in Europe
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.
Interned in Ethiopia
UBC: Sauder School of Business
Her thoughts on Motivation
I've always wanted to go to Africa and see for myself what it's really like there; and being a commerce student, I also find it interesting to see how different countries conduct business.
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
If there was a misunderstanding, we could always use our hands or try with English, but we always tried in Amharic (the local language) first!
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
The most important thing for me was to go with an open mind, and have zero expectations. You have to adapt and things aren't always the way you want them to be.
Interned 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.
Studied 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 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.
Worked in the DCR
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.
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.
Taught English in South Korea
University of Waterloo
Her thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
When it comes down to deciding which country and program to choose, do a ton of research and conduct informational interviews to find out what’s best for you.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
While abroad, I realized my passion for teaching and developed a greater understanding and appreciation for every teacher around the world.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
You will encounter difficult situations abroad, but it's important to stay open-minded to new experiences, people, cultures and perspectives.
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
Remember to use body language to communicate! Smiles are universal – they work with anyone, anywhere.
Taught English in Hong Kong
His thoughts on Cultural Differences
I like knowing I've lived in a place where things are done very differently, and everything still functions.
His thoughts on The International Workplace
Respect the way they run their classrooms abroad. And try to fit in.
His thoughts on Personal Growth
Simply put: When I'm teaching abroad, I feel at home.
Taught English 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.
Traveled 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.
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!
Taught 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.
Traveled 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.
Built Experience in Canada
University of Ottawa
His thoughts on Personal Growth
To me, contact with other cultures is like a breath of fresh air, drawing the mind outward, beyond simple preconceptions and rendering the bigger picture visible.
His thoughts on Motivation
Here’s a key piece of advice for every global career hopeful: Keep in mind that lectures, textbooks and classrooms aren’t the only place to learn.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
I knew that beyond pursuing my diploma, I also wanted to build relevant skills and experience during my time at university.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
There are many ways to build international skills on campus. Classroom discussions, international students, extracurriculars, sports, music and art all play a role in developing your cross-cultural awareness.
Studied 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!
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.
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.
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.
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 Korea
University of Wisconsin: Oshkosh
His thoughts on First Impressions
The biggest surprise was how big Seoul was. Coming from a small town and being thrown into this busy, chaotic metropolis was an adventure in itself.
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
To truly understand some things you must experience them first-hand. Reading a book can only tell you so much.
His thoughts on Adaptation
I quickly found that eating out in Korea is one of the cheapest and most fun things to do. There are always places to eat and you never eat alone.
His thoughts on Adaptation
I missed having my own room. I had to get used to sharing space – but it was just another way of making friends.
Interned in Cambodia
University of Ottawa
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
En apprenant à écouter mes collègues et en les observant lorsqu’ils discutaient entre eux, j’ai rapidement su adapter mon comportement et mon discours afin que tout le monde se sente plus à l’aise.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
Cette expérience m’a donné plus confiance en moi-même et m’a montré que la persévérance et la motivation sont des qualités qui peuvent nous mener bien loin!
Her thoughts on The Application Process
Même si je n’avais pas le profil idéal pour mon poste, je me suis rendue jusqu’au bout du processus de sélection et j’ai été récompensée pour mes efforts.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Volunteered in Belize
Flagler College
Her thoughts on Homestays
My host mother was a stay-at-home mom, so I was fortunate enough to spend time with her, learning about her life and Belizean culture.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
Keep an open mind and try everything at least once, whether it’s a new food, dance or excursion.
Her thoughts on Coming Home
My return was full of mixed emotions. On one hand, I was looking forward to seeing my family and friends; but I was sad to say goodbye to my host family.
Taught English in China
His thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
I took a week-long course to get my TESOL certificate, had a contract lined up the following week, and within a month I was on a plane to Yangshuo!
His thoughts on Adaptation
The more a teacher assimilates into the local culture, the easier budgeting becomes!
His thoughts on The Right Attitude
By getting out and meeting people, exploring and becoming part of the culture you far more likely to enjoy it.
His thoughts on First Impressions
From day one I was treated like a professional and a friend. Everyone seemed thankful to have me here helping them become part of the global village.
His thoughts on Pre-Departure Preparation
I came to China with a return air ticket and $1,000 in the bank. But I spent my last couple of months at home living like a miser to become 100% debt free BEFORE leaving the country!
Volunteered in Guatemala
Carleton University
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
My travels allow me to engage skill sets critical for the modern world but are rarely used in our day-to-day lives.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
My volunteer work and experiences abroad have solidified for me that any future career I undertake needs to involve interacting with people.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
As someone who struggles with insect-related phobias, I was surprised how easily we humans are able to overcome fears and hesitations during challenging experiences.
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
Being invited to partake in a sacred Mayan ceremony showed me the willingness of the local people to welcome newcomers. I'll carry those ideals of welcoming and inclusion forward with me throughout my life.
Studied & Volunteered in Greece
University of Wisconsin: Oshkosh
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
I wanted to find a trip that would create meaning for my major, and help with my goals. I knew that as a future educator, this could be incredibly beneficial for my career.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
It’s important to have a go-with-the-flow attitude, and to be able to adjust when plans might not always go the best they can.
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
It was such an empowering experience to actually get through to someone who speaks an entirely different language than you, and for you actually to understand each other.
Her thoughts on The Application Process
I started almost a year in advance. By starting early, the process seemed more exciting than stressful, because you are getting ready at your own pace and building towards a remarkable trip!
Taught English in Georgia
Flagler College
Her thoughts on Motivation
I wanted to teach English abroad to build my resume, travel and immerse myself in a unique culture.
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
The soccer club was a great opportunity for me to get to know my students better and help them build skills.
Her thoughts on Homestays
I developed a close relationship with my Georgian family and remain in contact with them through email and Skype.

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