International Educator - September/October 2011 - 34

haviors, just to realize when I actually spoke to them, that those were my prejudices and fears I was projecting onto them,” says Young, who is senior program coordinator for the university’s special projects and international initiatives. “This experience helped me keep my own cultural lens in check when I am working with students and partners abroad. It is easy for miscommunications to happen and even easier for them to spiral out of control quickly.” Hardly well-traveled during her formative years in Plattsburgh, New York, Young’s first experience abroad came in 1999, during her sophomore year at the State University at
laurie Young was a Peace corps volunteer in Jamaica from 2002–2004.

Oneonta. Practically on a whim, she chose Wollongong, Australia, for her semester abroad. She had flown by air only a handful of times and describes herself back then as young, nervous, and so lacking in confidence that during the semester, she barely ventured beyond the group of U.S. students she met during her orientation in the new country. When she studied abroad again during her senior year—this time at McGill University in Montreal, Canada—Young’s experience was, she said, “the polar opposite.” She forced herself to join organizations where she would meet students from across the globe and dove into French and Canadian culture. By the time she left, she said, Montreal felt like home. “I use these examples when working with students who are nervous about going abroad,” says Young, who is also a Peace Corps recruitment supervisor. “I share my stories to help them realize that they can break away from the group and have the experience they want.” It was Young’s Jamaica Peace Corps tour from 2002 to 2004 that changed her perspective on “just about everything in life.”

InternatIonal educator S E P T + O C T. 11

“I would have had a much harder time adjusting to life in Jamaica if I had not studied abroad beforehand,” Young concedes. “The experiences I had on my two study abroad programs helped me to prepare myself for the inevitable homesickness, culture shock, and reverse culture shock that I went through in the Peace Corps.” Yet Young discovered once in Jamaica that her Peace Corps supervisor offered very little direction or oversight. She later learned this was for a good reason. “She wanted me to experience the communities on my own terms,” Young explains. “This was difficult to work with at first because I was not used to having to create my own job duties and carve my own path.” After immersing herself in her new home and getting to know the locals, Young landed on a project: helping Jamaican artisans sell their crafts. With a limited background in business and marketing, she leaned on the artisans for ideas. With grants from USAID and Canada Fund for New Initiatives, she helped them create a catalog of their goods. She organized a craft fair to test the popularity and pricing of the artisans’ wares. When fair day came, Young says, “I was a nervous wreck.” “I had been bitten by a centipede in my sleep the night before so my jaw was throbbing in pain,” she recalls. “When I arrived at the [fair] most of the artists were there. An hour went by. No one was buying anything. Then, it happened; a bus…and it was full of people. They were from a local hotel and so excited to be seeing the ‘real’ Jamaica. People from other areas starting trickling in—the local hotel owners and their families, European backpackers who heard about it on the radio. The day ended with some of the artists selling all their products and others, who priced their stuff four times as much, realizing why theirs did not sell.” It was this third experience abroad that convinced Young to pursue a career with an international focus. Young often leans on the self-motivation, self-reliance, resourcefulness, and adaptability she acquired abroad to meet challenges in her current job. When she started at the University of Texas in 2009, her position was newly created, and she would have to help define it. “Without my Peace Corps experience to show me how to rely on myself for my own direction and guidance, this position would be very challenging,” Young says. IE
daNa wILKIE is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C. her last article for IE was “lands of Promise” in the May/ June 2010 issue.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2011

International Educator - September/October 2011
Contents
From the Editors
In Brief
Building a Literate World
In Sync:  The Peace Corps and International Education
Expanding Cooperative Education Across the Globe
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
Partnering
A View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
Supplement: A 360º View
Supplement: Making the Numbers Work
Supplement: International Recruitment and Enrollment Listings
International Educator - September/October 2011 - International Educator - September/October 2011
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Contents
International Educator - September/October 2011 - From the Editors
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 6
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 7
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 8
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 11
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 12
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Building a Literate World
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 16
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 18
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 22
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 24
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Sync:  The Peace Corps and International Education
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 30
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 32
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Expanding Cooperative Education Across the Globe
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 38
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 40
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 42
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 44
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Education Abroad
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 48
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 49
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 51
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 52
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 53
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Partnering
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 55
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 56
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 57
International Educator - September/October 2011 - A View From Out Here
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 59
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Forum
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 61
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 62
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 63
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Focus
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover4
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS1
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: A 360º View
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S4
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S5
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S6
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S7
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S8
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S9
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S10
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: Making the Numbers Work
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S12
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S13
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S14
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S15
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S16
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: International Recruitment and Enrollment Listings
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S18
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S19
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S20
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS4
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