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Mentor Profile

Bio

mentor picture Emily Le
 
Emily Le
Doctoral Student, previously International Programs Counselor
UCLA
I am currently a doctoral student at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, specializing in Comparative and International Education. Prior to starting my PhD program, I was an academic counselor in the... I am currently a doctoral student at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, specializing in Comparative and International Education. Prior to starting my PhD program, I was an academic counselor in the Asian Languages and Cultures department. I also worked in the study abroad field, primarily as a study abroad advisor for the UCLA Education Abroad Program. I received my B.A. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara and my M.A. in Asian Studies from Cornell University. I studied abroad on EAP Vietnam as an undergraduate student. It was the first time I've ever been to Vietnam. It was a wonderful experience. As an international student, I discovered more about country and myself than I would have if I was just a tourist. Having studied abroad and focused on Asian studies in college, I believe it is important for students to explore other cultures and traditions by studying abroad, especially in non-traditional countries. There are few opportunities in life where one can just pick up and live abroad; college is one of those times and all students should take advantage of it!

Responses

  1. Study abroad gave me a deeper understanding of the places and cultures that I’ve always heard and read about. I grew up learning about Vietnam and the war through my family, professors, and textbooks. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to live and study in Vietnam that I gained a deeper understanding of the people and culture and admiration of everything the country has been through and achieved. I learned more about myself and my heritage from my study abroad experience than from all the lectures I’ve attended, books I’ve read, or movies I’ve seen. Besides the personal aspect, my study abroad experience also helps me when advising students. One of the reasons why I became a study abroad advisor is because I enjoyed my experiences abroad and I want more students to take advantage of this opportunity. I can relate to my students and they also feel more confident about their decision to study abroad when they know someone has already done it.
    7 answers – Personal
  2. Some issues to keep in mind are the student's motivation to study abroad, their cultural background and varying attitudes towards traveling and studying abroad among different cultures.
    9 answers – For African Americans – For Asian/ Pacific Americans – For Hispanic/ Latin@ – For Native Americans
  3. I didn't have any concerns about racism while studying abroad. My concern was how a Vietnamese American would be treated in Vietnam. In some ways, the Vietnamese are more critical of Vietnamese Americans. Vietnamese Americans are expected to speak the language properly and understand everything about the culture and when they don't act accordingly, they are sometimes criticized for it. Vietnamese people don't always understand that Vietnamese Americans are different. They assume if you are ethnically Vietnamese then you should be able to speak the language and understand the cultural nuances. Vietnamese Americans returning to Vietnam should be aware of this and not take offense.
    6 answers – Racism
  4. Yes, I did. My study abroad experience was the first time I returned to Vietnam. I am glad my first trip there was through study abroad. Going abroad as a student is completely different than going abroad to visit family. I was able to visit my family but I was also able to explore the country, which my family would have never allowed me to do on my own.
    3 answers – Deciding On A Program – Racism
  5. There are a few ways to do outreach for underrepresented students. One would be to collaborate with the Academic Advancement Program on campus, which works with underrepresented students. Another way is to target student groups. Many students want to study abroad but they don’t know how to get started or find funding for it. If you have returned students who are involved in any student organization, you should ask the returnees to talk about study abroad during one of the meetings. The returnee can talk about their experience and mention any scholarships available. Funding is important to most students and it is important that they are aware of all the study abroad scholarship opportunities.
    5 answers – For African Americans – For Asian/ Pacific Americans – For Hispanic/ Latin@ – For Native Americans
  6. I felt very safe. My program was very small so we had a lot of support and looked after one another. I used my common sense and tried to avoid any situation which could jeopardize my safety. I generally tried to avoid large crowds of people and usually traveled with my friends. Overall, my experience abroad was great and I always felt very safe wherever I was traveling.
    9 answers – Deciding On A Program – Gender – Safety Issues – While Abroad
  7. Since I knew I wanted to study abroad as a freshman, I planned out my schedule in order to study abroad my senior year. The only change I made was in the destination. The application process was very simple once I decided on where to study.
    6 answers – Personal
  8. I got booster shots for tetanus and hepatitis shots. However, a number of universities require students to get hepatitis shots before starting college so most study abroad students don’t need as many shots as before.
    2 answers – Health – Before You Leave
  9. I never really felt threatened. I have been in situations where I was harassed because I was a woman. In those situations, I would just ignore the offender and walk away. It is always best to avoid getting into an argument or confrontation while abroad since you won’t always understand the cultural impact in certain situations.
    4 answers – Gender – Safety Issues
  10. I cover the cultural differences regarding gender roles, safety and racism in the host country. However, I do stress that students should go abroad with an open mind and try to view things from the host country’s perspective. How other countries view these issues is completely different than how Americans view them. If students keep this in mind then they will be able to handle any situation.
    4 answers – For African Americans – For Asian/ Pacific Americans – For Hispanic/ Latin@ – Racism – Gender – Safety Issues – For Native Americans
  11. Usually once students return home they are still excited about their study abroad experiences and are gladly willing to share it with others. Help students to ease into their transition by having them speak with other students who are interested in studying abroad. This way, the students can channel their excitement while adjusting to their home environments.
    1 answers – Re-Adjusting to Home
  12. I never really felt threatened. I have been in situations where I was harassed because I was a woman. In those situations, I would just ignore the offender and walk away. It is always best to avoid getting into an argument or confrontation while abroad since you won’t always understand the cultural impact in certain situations.
    2 answers – Gender
  13. Recibí inyecciones (vacunaciones) contra el tétanos y la hepatitis. Sin embargo, ciertas universidades requieren que sus estudiantes reciban inyecciones de hepatitis antes de entrar a estudiar en la universidad y por eso muchos estudiantes que van a estudiar en el extranjero ya no necesitan tantas inyecciones como antes.
    1 respuestas – Preocupaciones: antes de salir
Sponsors
CEA Global Education
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