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Mentor Advice

Question

What is one thing you wish you had known before traveling abroad that you know now?

5 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture LaNitra Berger
     
    LaNitra Berger
    Senior Manager of Research and Policy
    NAFEO
    I wish I had known more about the value of online resources in my host country before I...
    I wish I had known more about the value of online resources in my host country before I studied abroad. For example, when I lived in Berlin, I discovered a listserv of English-speaking academics called Berlin Scholars. The listserv members exchanged information about Berlin housing, items for sale, fellowships, and they even met up at different bars and cafes in the area. It was a great resource and a wonderful way of finding answers to questions I had while I was there. Before you leave, find out if a similar list exists where you’ll be studying. You may be able to ask questions about your host country before you arrive, and you may even make some friends to help you get settled.
  • mentor picture Kenya Casey
     
    Kenya Casey
    Study Abroad Advisor
    Emory University
    My one regret it that I didn’t volunteer while I was in Ghana, and I wish I had. I was so focused...
    My one regret it that I didn’t volunteer while I was in Ghana, and I wish I had. I was so focused on academics and getting to know the country that I did not make any time for service or volunteer opportunities. It is important to contribute to the community that you are a part of for that semester. In addition, you also want to ensure that your experience has that extra “added value,” i.e. something that can be added to your resume (think long term)!
  • mentor picture Tony Laing
     
    Tony Laing
    Ph.D. Candidate at Education Policy Studies and AFRO Studies
    University of Illinois – Urbana, Champaign
    That it’s okay to experience homesickness. When I studied abroad for the first time during my...
    That it’s okay to experience homesickness. When I studied abroad for the first time during my junior year, I did not realize how much I would initially miss my family and friends. I had traveled outside the US prior to my trip to Ghana, but only for a few days. As time passed while in Ghana, I became comfortable with my new surroundings and did not want to leave. It took some time to adjust however, and I initially called home often. The program director and other study abroad students helped me during this adjustment, ultimately contributing to my decision to stay. Looking back, this experience – albeit comprised of good and some bad emotions - opened my eyes to the world, and served as a springboard for other overseas programs I would later participate on as a student, researcher and/or visitor.
  • mentor picture Shannon Wilson
     
    Shannon Wilson
    Sales Representative
    Polymer Science, Inc.
    Seek out scholarships early. Financial planning is key. There are dozens of scholarships out...
    Seek out scholarships early. Financial planning is key. There are dozens of scholarships out there, but many have deadlines that are at least 6 months before your departure date. I winded up taking out quite a few loans to finance my study abroad trip, but this could have been avoided by searching for scholarships well ahead of time.
  • mentor picture Anthony Yuen
     
    Anthony Yuen
    Outreach, Communications & Marketing
    Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning
    I wish I had greater command of a second language. While I've studied Russian and German and...
    I wish I had greater command of a second language. While I've studied Russian and German and have been extremely fortunate to travel with friends who could communicate in the countries where English wasn't spoken widely, having competency in another language opens up so many doors and allows you to connect with people like no other way.
 
 
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