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Mentor Profile

Bio

mentor picture Christa Sanders
 
Christa Sanders
Associate Director NYU in Ghana
New York University
As an undergraduate I studied in Madrid, Spain for a fall term. In just one semester, my eyes were opened to the world. I learned a language, traveled extensively, made Spanish friends and had the opportunity to fully immerse... As an undergraduate I studied in Madrid, Spain for a fall term. In just one semester, my eyes were opened to the world. I learned a language, traveled extensively, made Spanish friends and had the opportunity to fully immerse myself in a vibrant culture with a rich history. My experience compelled me to re-evaluate my role in the world as an American as well as a woman of color. I was forced to reconsider my assumptions and thoughts and adopt a more open-minded, worldly perspective. I truly learned the great importance of being a global citizen through my study abroad experience. Studying in Spain encouraged me to pursue further academic and travel pursuits in Latin America. I spent a summer in Northern Brazil learning Portuguese and traveling throughout Latin America. My interest in the developing world was peaked as a result of that experience. I later spent almost 6 months backpacking through East, West and Southern Africa. In East Africa, I was fortunate to develop a project to assist victims of the 1999 famine in Ethiopia. In the same trip I also had a rare opportunity to meet former president Nelson Mandela in Durban, South Africa. This meeting has impacted my life forever.

Responses

  1. Study and travel abroad has impacted my life in countless ways. As a result of early travel and study abroad experiences, today I am a more open-minded individual with a deeper appreciation for world cultures and international affairs. I have also chosen to live and work outside of my home country, the United States. The experience has been personally enriching and professionally rewarding in more ways than I could have ever imagined...
    7 answers – Personal
  2. Beyond travel and study experiences, study abroad has also influenced my career decisions. My passion for the international education field and firm personal belief that a study abroad experience is a necessary and life-changing experience has greatly influenced my desire to have an international career. My personal mission to open students’ minds to the world through international education has blossomed through my work in Madrid, Spain with Syracuse University and Voices of Changes (an organization I co-founded to help support American students of color abroad). Most recently, I have had the opportunity to manage NYU’s new study abroad program in Ghana where I direct the daily program activities including the coordination of academic courses, excursions throughout Ghana and West Africa, cultural activities, conferences, etc. Having the opportunity to develop a study abroad program on the African continent continues to be extremely rewarding experience, one that fulfills me personally as well as professionally each day.
    7 answers – Career
  3. Studying abroad in a non-traditional destination provides numerous opportunities for personal growth, a deeper understanding of world cultures and true cross-cultural immersion. In many instances there are unique opportunities to be involved in volunteer work and impact local communities in need. This experience in itself can be life changing. An experience in a non- traditional setting can also prove to be an added plus when seeking employment. Studying in a non- traditional location demonstrates one’s ability to adjust to almost any environment as well as distinguishes one’s resume from others. Studying abroad in a non-traditional place helps make one a truly global citizen.
    6 answers – Deciding On A Program
  4. I studied in both Europe and South America and, honestly, felt safe in both places. In my view, safety and security issues are chiefly the responsibility of the student and program. Whether in the developing or developed world, students must familiarize themselves with the local culture and societal norms, not take risks unnecessarily and be accountable for their actions. Students must be aware of their surroundings at all times and be proactive when it comes to personal security by following general security tips (i.e. not walking alone at night but in groups, making oneself less visible/”flashy”, locking doors and placing valuables in safes, etc.) Programs must provide security measures or tips and helps students understand the cultural do’s and don’ts as well as general safety precautions abroad. A student should view safety in the same light whether they are in city such as Manhattan or Ghana’s capital, Accra.
    9 answers – Deciding On A Program – Gender – Safety Issues – While Abroad
  5. While it’s always best to plan ahead and bring the required prescriptions or over-the-counter medications from home, there is no reason why you cannot seek out a physician/hospital in the country of study to obtain a prescription or medication. Much of the medication abroad is exactly the same as in the United States but it just has a different brand name. Medication purchased abroad also tends to be less expensive than in the US.
    2 respuestas – Health – While Abroad
  6. It depends on where you plan to study. It’s best to check the CDC ( www.cdc.gov) or WHO (www.who.int) websites for immunization requirements. For example, in Ghana, without yellow fever immunization, you are not permitted to enter the country. Several other immunizations are also highly recommended for students traveling to Ghana although not required. It’s best to visit an overseas clinic in the US before your departure where a medical professional will be able to prescribe the necessary shots and recommend appropriate medication for your period abroad.
    2 answers – Health – Before You Leave
  7. Through NYU’s Office of Global Education a series of pre-departure orientations are conducted before students leave the United States. These sessions thoroughly address issues related to gender, race and safety as well as other topics (academics, program activities/ cultural excursions, safety, health, housing, community service, etc.) Students are also provided with a pre-departure handbook for the site, which contains information on Ghana as well as specific sections addressing some of the aforementioned topics. Upon arrival, students at NYU in Ghana also experience a week-long, intensive orientation program where there are sessions specifically focused on security (security tips are distributed to the group by the NYU in Ghana security officer and members of the local police as well as the University’s official security company present on the local situation and how students can protect themselves against crime), cultural do’s and don’ts (within this topic- the role gender plays in the society/relationship issues as well as an open discussion on African American/Diaspora, Caucasian, Latin American and Asian perspectives/concerns on race issues in Ghana are addressed as necessary). We also have a documentary that investigates the issue of race through interviews with students of different racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds who have studied on our program in the past. This film is a useful tool for exploring the overall theme of race in Ghana.
    4 answers – For African Americans – For Asian/ Pacific Americans – For Hispanic/ Latin@ – Racism – Gender – Safety Issues – For Native Americans
  8. Estudiando en el extranjero en un destino no tan tradicionalmente visitado puede aportarte numerosas oportunidades para el crecimiento personal. Comprenderás más profundamente la cultura exótica de la gente del país donde estás te sumerges totalmente en ella. En muchos casos, hay oportunidades en estos países de ayudar a la gente pobre y las comunidades de escasos recursos. Una experiencia como ésta puede cambiar tu vida: Por ejemplo, los empresarios (empleadores) estiman a los que han vivido en lugares exóticos o del tercer mundo porque son valientes y capaces de adaptarse a un ambiente más exótico y diferente al de los paises más desarrollados (turísticos). Viviendo así, te distingues de otros y te haces ciudadano global (del mundo).
    4 respuestas – Decidiéndose por un programa – Preocupaciones: antes de salir
  9. Siempre es mejor planear cualquier cosa y traer tus propias recetas y medicinas de casa, no hay ningúna razón por la cual no puedes buscar un médico/hospital en el país en que estás estudiando para obtener una receta o medicina. Mucha de la medicina en el extranjero es igual a la de los Estados Unidos pero con diferente marca. Además, medicina si es comprada en el extranjero también es normalmente más barata que en los Estados Unidos.
    3 respuestas – Alojamiento
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