Here you can read general study abroad tips from returnees.
• “It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my entire life, giving me new viewpoints and comprehension of both my scholastic and personal life.”– Pearl Anderson, Full-Year 2014-2015
• “I met awesome peeps who I will keep on being connected with for the rest of my life. The comradery and friendships I created while abroad were, by a long shot, the best piece of the experience.”– J. Swenson, Fall 2013
• “I loved the individuals I met, getting to experience such a unique city and all that it brings to the table.” – Alex Armstrong: England, Fall 2011
• “The practicum was so great. I got to live with MONKS for a month, and it changed my life. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, yet I adapted with every new experience. I changed so much and l learned the most I’ve ever learned about myself and who I am. Since my return, I’ve began a human science program that I love. I love how I feel, I love knowing who I truly am. My life is to a considerable measure more agreeable with myself. I feel so at peace and I realize what I need in life to become the best me possible, really live up to my true potential and calling.” Laura Bleyhel Tokyo, Fall 2013
• “I have a new found strength in myself and belief in what I can accomplish. Studying abroad has permitted me to see that I can live a less hectic life as I go to class in the States, and that life can be enjoyable while concentrating on school and my career and future family!”– Melissa McSherry, Fall 2014
• “I adored gathering with so many different individuals while I was abroad – both Italians and other American and International students. I learned that Individuals could be extraordinarily cordial and it was amazing to consistently meet new people all the time. I likewise cherished gathering with others from all diverse upbringings and backgrounds, as far as area, ethnicity, funds, and so on. It truly served to broaden my viewpoint and add to a world perspective flavoring to my life.” – Meaghan Phillips, Spring 2011
• “I sense that I have a totally new viewpoint on the world, a feeling of what is essential in life and what I need to do with my future. Living for 5 months in such a unique place made me acknowledge how individuals can be pretty much as cheerful living altogether different ways of life. I feel substantially more autonomous and realize that I would like to live abroad in the after graduating university.”– Mustafa Pariminda, Fall 2010
• “The greatest satisfaction was having a discussion simply in Arabic, or making another companion, or listening to some new individual’s story. I completely adored the weekends when we took off to visit places and met individuals along the way.”– Alexander Marin, Fall 2014
• “Study abroad changed my life by opening my eyes to a whole new world of conceivable outcomes and brought me to a place inside myself that I didn’t know could have existed.”– Randy Schwebel, Fall 2010
• “When I departed, I truly felt like I was now a part of their way of life. Getting the chance to embrace and adjust to an alternate lifestyle and to get to know and invest time with Argentinians was by a wide margin the best piece of my time abroad.”– Mary Kaplan, Fall 2013
• “It has provided for me a great thankfulness for all that I’m gifted with in the United States. I’m forever a different individual now. I absolutely consider things distinctively different in the wake of studying abroad. I think I finally understand my parents. Trust me, it really is great.”– Robert Patterson, Fall 2009
• “After my short 12 week program, I know I have a family in India, and I know I will be back.” – Huse Gretheren Summer 2009
• “This will transform you. I think it does in ways that help one to rise up to any occasion. You will notice it most significantly when you return, when you are back in ‘you present reality.”– Muffy Todd Fall 2010Comments from multiple students that have studied abroad,
I took a gathering of Swedish understudies to Spain the previous summer and France this mid year through TWU. Two Worlds made an incredible showing with providing great host families and customizing our gathering exercises. Having run into a couple of issues while abroad with my understudies, I needed to address a hidden reason for issues that both students and parents appear to neglect or be uninformed of. Our gatherings stayed 6 and 5 weeks, and regardless of to what extent we stay, we appear to run into “culture shock” issues, when it happens is contingent upon the understudy. Having explored this issue personally and through the students I have found that some never encounter it to a large degree while others experience it more severely. To help other understudies to get the MOST out of their experience, I felt compelled to share with you things to consider when studying abroad, to help you to comprehend that regardless of your length of stay, you will most likely have culture shock to some degree. It is best to prepare before going abroad to help decrease the amount of culture shock. Regardless, even with this readiness it is unavoidable that you will encounter a few side effects of culture shock. You may be unaware or unconscious to the fact that the dissatisfaction and feelings you are encountering are identified with culture shock; in retrospect, this becomes apparent. In the event that you comprehend the marvel and its conceivable reasons, you can diminish its effect. Attempt to familiarize yourself with its signs.
Individuals generally encounter numerous feelings and emotions while adjusting to an outside society, changing from fervor and enthusiasm for the new culture to sadness and apprehension. The challenges that you encounter as you incorporate into another society can be an aftereffect of what is termed “Culture Shock.” Most specialists concur that culture shock, albeit regularly delayed, is unavoidable in one structure or an alternate. However acclimating to a remote culture, and living through troublesome times of progress can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling, fully worth the occasional discomfort and extra effort.
What is Culture Shock? When we deal individuals who offer the same fundamental social disposition as ourselves, the framework functions admirably: the distinctions in mentality between two Americans or two Germans, extensively talking, are significantly more inclined to be of the individual or personal kind than the social kind. When we collaborate with individuals of other nationalities than our own, be that as it may, the issue emerges. Interchanges separate on the grounds that their social demeanor are in a far-reaching way not quite the same as our own, the results are often feelings of confusion and hostility or at least frustration on both sides. This situation is called “culture shock.”
One has a tendency to get the feeling that “culture shock” is an illness that everybody routinely gets after a certain time allotment of time, nothing could be more distant from reality. “Culture shock” is really brought about by the previously stated befuddlement of others social mentality, not by a sickness, as some infer. What’s more it’s effectively seen that the student or understudy who doesn’t keep a receptive outlook and open mind, and doesn’t contribute much effort in attempting to comprehend an outside society, is continually going to be in a condition of shock. Such individuals had best just stay home, for on the off chance that they inflexibly clutch onto their previous state of mind, they will – as a general rule – have never really left “home” in the first place, defeating the entire purpose of study abroad!
A fundamental reason for negative responses to an alternate society is the propensity to judge something that is diverse or just “different” as substandard. It is essential to be open to the cultural way of life into which you are going, to attempt to dispose of stereotypes and generalizations, and to study and absorb as much as you can about their way of life before your departure. In the event that you instruct yourself on the numerous facets of the nation in which you will be living while abroad, you will better comprehend, appreciate and admire your new surroundings much sooner. Before your flight, find out about the nation’s history, financial situation, traditions, customs, religions, art, and political structures. Research their manners, expected conduct, and implicit rules. Understanding out about present day issues will help you to get a feeling of how individuals evaluate situations from their alternate points of view. Go on the web and converse with different students or understudies who have gone to your host nation to realize what issues you may possibly experience and perhaps they can even offer some insight on how to deal with such issues.
Most of all, just understand there will be a great deal of change as well as progress in your life, you will be adjusting to a new school, new friends, new family, new culture and oftentimes also a new language. The less you judge and the more open minded you are, the better your experience will be. Check in with yourself and be honest, can you be open to change? How well do you manage stress? Do you really want an eye-opening life changing experience? Are you ready to learn and be understanding? Are you ready to stretch your wings and put yourself out there, at least for a short while, in order to test the waters of your new life abroad? If you can answer yes to most or all of these questions, you will have the skills to work past the inevitable culture shock and its symptoms. Look upon this as a once in a lifetime experience that not many others have the privilege to experience. Be willing to conform, you will gain a whole new perspective and understanding not only of the country you visit, but of yourself and humanity in general. That is EXACTLY what studying abroad is all about.
Appreciate your time and make the best of each circumstance you confront, you will be a better individual from it.
Ms. Bjorklund-BeaconBjorklund-Beacon, Swedish Students in France and Spain Study Abroad
I am from Germany, age 12. I saw my brother and sister study abroad in France and Greece. I thought it would be such a great adventure to study abroad,my parents were worried that I was too young, but I was right. My English before I came to England was OK, but I feel completely fluent just after 3 months. My writing has improved to levels they have not seen in such a short time before. I owe a lot to my host parents who are busy but take the time every night to practice speaking and writing and overseeing my homework. They say I am their foreign son. I like it in their home. For parents worried about sending your younger children on programs I think if they are committed to going, they will probably have a great experience. There are 3 other exchange students my age in my school. 1 boy like me and 2 girls. We all are having a great experience and only 1 girl is home sick. I told her not to call home so often and have tried to include her more in activities my new British friends and I do, she said it is helping. I like to help others. I will be leaving in a few months but I plan to return as soon as my parents will let me because this has been the greatest experience in my life so far.Klaus, German in England semester program
I am really enjoying studying abroad in Barcelona. I have been really trying hard and I finally understand Catalan… now i just need to learn how to speak it.
Yesterday was the national day of Catalunya, so my family took me to this HUGE parade. Last week they celebrated the festivals of Saint Mercè, patron saint of Barcelona. Everywhere I went were people, parties, concerts and fun. I really enjoyed it all with my friends. So far, I have gone biking all around Barcelona with my host father. It was a great way to see the city and get to know each other. I even tried my hand at surfing 5ft waves with some new friends I just made from school. These are all things I could never do back home in Idaho. This whole experience is more than I could have ever expected. There have been quite a few twists and turns I never expected, but I wouldn’t change a thing. My Two Worlds counselor told me to keep an open mind and to try everything. That has been the best advice I’ve gotten the whole trip. I am finding a new part of myself that I really like.Justin, Barcelona, Spain