IIE Passport Directory 2013 - (Page 18)
IIEPASSPORT STUDY ABROAD DIRECTORY
The Study Abroad Voices Blog: A New Online Resource from
IIEPassport.org now features Study Abroad Voices, a blog with useful information on international study from students, advisors and experts. It is a great opportunity for students and advisors
to get some guidance for your study abroad experiences. Blogs are written by IIE’s two expert guest bloggers. Colleen V. Tomanek, faculty counselor, instructor, and coordinator of study
abroad at Harper College writes posts under “Pack your bags and study abroad.” And Ken Lewandoski, executive director of Appalachian State University’s Office of International Education and
Development and director of the university’s International Student Exchange and Study Abroad writes “Stuff your study abroad advisor says.” Some of the posts featured this year explored the
professional benefits of studying abroad and the true economic costs of study abroad. Here are two of this year’s highlights:
Interview with Calhan Nolan from
Studied at Xian International
University in Spring 2011
Tell us about your time studying abroad.
I studied at Xian International University, where I was in classes three days a week for three
hours blocked. The teachers were extremely helpful, and we covered many different aspects
of Chinese culture, such as the Great Wall, major historical events, food, and what it means
to be a Chinese citizen.
Getting to know individuals who had grown up in such a different culture was really
interesting for me. Just having the opportunity to hear their ideas and understand how
they thought America worked was great. I liked trading cultural knowledge, which was
beneficial to my overall experience.
I was born in South Africa and lived there until I was eight years old, so I was familiar with
other cultures. Nevertheless, my study abroad trip to China was the first time I had been
entirely on my own in another country.
What was your life like in China?
It was nice on many levels. First, the prices in China were cheap compared to the United
States. On campus, there was a cafeteria where for 7 Yuan (the equivalent of $1.00) you
could get a full plate of noodles with meat and vegetables. Secondly, I had the opportunity
to interact with Chinese students frequently, especially because a decent number of
Chinese students could speak English. We would work together on our assignments for
class, and afterward we would all hang out on campus. I would say that there were maybe
five Chinese students whom I became very close to while there, and maybe forty others
whom I would see regularly. Students were willing to show us where they hung out in
the city—different restaurants, shopping centers, and Internet cafes where they spent a
lot of time playing online games. All this allowed us to experience the daily activities of
Chinese students who were our age.
What is your favorite memory from your time studying abroad?
My favorite memory was when a Chinese friend took us to his hometown of Chengdu in
the Sichuan Province and introduced us to his family. While we were there, we ate a meal
with him and his family. That was the highlight of the trip for me. It made me feel really
welcome and established our friendship, which was incredibly meaningful.
Would you recommend studying abroad?
Yes, I think that study abroad helps you understand other peoples and cultures around the
world. Studying abroad also throws you into situations that you wouldn’t find at home and
challenges you to grow.
I think that students should know that there are many different types of study abroad
programs out there, and that it’s not that difficult to get signed up for a trip, which could
end up being one of the most meaningful and memorable experiences of your life. Studying
abroad is part of your education just like anything else, and a great time to do it would
be in your first couple of years in college. I had decided on a major before I left, which is
economics, and seeing a different part of the world only enhanced my understanding of the
field. I witnessed an entirely different economic system, and seeing how people reacted to
different economic matters made me even more interested.
In my mind, there’s no downside to studying abroad. I think that students should not be
afraid of difference, or worry that they won’t fit in or enjoy the experience. We had a range
of different people on our trip, from an ex-Marine in his forties to a freshman in college.
We all walked away from the trip feeling empowered. People should put their reservations
aside and take the leap because studying abroad really is a life-changing experience.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Passport Directory 2013
A Message from Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO, IIE
How to Have a Successful Study Abroad Experience
Fast Facts from Open Doors
Funding Opportunities and Resources for Study Abroad
The Study Abroad Voices Blog
How to Use the IIEPassport Program Listings
Study Abroad Program Listings in Africa and the Middle East
Study Abroad Program Listings in the Americas
Study Abroad Program Listings in Asia and Oceania
Study Abroad Program Listings in Europe
Study Abroad Listings for Worldwide Programs
Fields of Study
Index of Advertisers
IIE Passport Directory 2013