Travelling Abroad and Confidence!

Do you have any advice for traveling abroad?

Jessie – When traveling try to blend in and make sure to research the culture you are going to be visiting.

Kati – Do a lot of research and have a plan, but also be flexible! Your expectations can easily be misguided. Don’t be so caught in your plan that you can’t roll with the punches.

Do employers look at travel abroad experience positively?

Jessie – Absolutely, I work in the department I do now because I have the experience abroad.

Closing notes:

The COM Core Skill – Confidence – has gotten a lot of attention today!! Let yourself shine!

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5 thoughts on “Travelling Abroad and Confidence!

  1. After studying abroad I found this blog interesting and really wanted to share my input. I have to highly agree with Jessie and Kati saying to research the culture and blend in. There are so many things that come off offensive to other cultures that wouldn’t even cross your mind if you don’t put yourself out there to learn about their culture. I took Interpersonal Communication last semester and a large portion of the class was spent on nonverbals and those differ greatly across different cultures. Things such as a thumbs up or even mere eye contact can be taken horribly negative in a different culture. I think researching the other country’s culuture is very important for your own well-being and our school’s reputation. We have “UNCW” written all over us when we are abroad so the last thing we won’t to do is have other countries frown upon our school. If confidence is getting so much attention as mentioned I think studying abroad would be a huge factor in benefitting or increasing confidence! It takes a lot of strength and personal growth to throw yourself into another place where you aren’t 100 percent comfortable.

  2. Studying aboard is an amazing opportunity students should definitely take advantage of. Personally, I have not been on a studying aboard program here at UNCW; however, I did take advantage of two amazing trips during my high school career through a program called EF Tours. The first trip insisted of a 12-day combo excursion to Spanish and Morocco, and the second trip a combo excursion to Italy and Greece. Due to my hopes of graduating a semester early, studying aboard unfortunately, might not be a possibility; nevertheless, I have high hopes of traveling outside of the country many more times in the near future, particularly to South America. I totally agree that when traveling to other countries, especially to those who have significant historical background, students should emerge themselves in the culture and do some type of research in order to be culturally educated. There is nothing worst then traveling with a group of people who show no interest in learning about other countries despite, the fact they actually paid to go. Being culturally aware is one of the best things students can do because it can open so many doors, especially for those students in our communication department. I also enjoyed learning that study aboard can greatly benefit students when applying to certain jobs. I have a question of my own. Would I be able to add my educational travel experience to my resume even though those trips were in high school?

  3. I believe that studying abroad is a great opportunity in many different senses. I have lived two experiences studying abroad, one in France and another one here at UNCW. I can say that each one of them have given me valuable knowledge that it could not be possible to get in a regular classroom. First of all, I had the opportunity to learn about different cultures, perspectives and views of the world. That really helped me to develop myself, being more tolerant and open- minded. Furthermore, I believe that the more you interact with people, the more you learn about others. What I enjoyed the most was not only learning new things and understanding different backgrounds but also teaching people about my country and my way of living. I remembered when applying to my first internship at Aon Corporation, one of the aspects they liked about my resumé was the fact I studied abroad. I think that you definetely become an important asset for any enterprise with this kind of experiences. They appreciated the fact that I could speak three different languores, but also they liked how I looked more knowledgeable and experienced. I would definitely recommend studying abroad!!

  4. As a student from Australia currently studying abroad I believe that Jessie’s advice was spot on! This is in fact my second study abroad experience, with my previous semester spent in Prague, a culture worlds away from my own and a native language (Czech) that I had never seen offered at my home University or High School. Since arriving in the U.S many people have asked me which country induced the most culture shock. My answer always surprises; America! Why? How could that be? I hear you ask, after all we have the same language, we watch the same television shows and we even fight in the same wars. Well, I think it’s all about perception. Going away alone to Europe for the first time meant I almost ‘over-preprepared’ myself for culture shock. I expected to feel confused, lost and often overwhelmed by the experience. So when I finally arrived, with my maps and my phrase books I actually was delighted to find the culture considerably easier to navigate than I first intended. Fast forward six months and I’m getting off the Plane in Wilmington. I hadn’t really bothered to research much because I already had friends in America, I watch A LOT of american television and I can speak the language! So no problems right? I was very wrong. The classes were a lot more ‘intense’ than i expected, the dress code is different to my home university and even the food took some getting used to. The moral of my story. No matter where you are going, remember to be prepared. Travelling abroad to study is the best thing I ever could have done for myself. I have a new perspective, great stories and the connections I have made have definitely helped me academically and professionally. I’m currently undertaking a fascinating internship thanks to connections I made with an American entrepreneur whilst I was studying in Prague. So my advice? Read up then let the adventures begin!

  5. This is a great blog post! I think not enough people study abroad and they should be encouraged to do so. I studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France during both spring and fall semesters last year and it was absolutely the best decision I have ever made! I agree with the advice given about researching the culture you may be entering. Studying abroad throws you into a foreign situation as it is, so it is better to know ahead of time what to expect when you arrive. A piece of advice I would give is to try everything! Really let your walls down. A studying abroad experience is something you will likely only experience once, so you might as well take advantage of the wonderful and perhaps strange opportunities given to you. I never thought I would eat frog legs or make my own olive oil but I am so happy I said yes to all those new experiences! Sure, it is normal to mess up (like when I missed a flight from Spain to France) or feel nervous as heck but in the end, you’ll look back and wish you could do it all again! I am saving up this year to return to France to teach English after I graduate and I couldn’t be more excited! So go out of your comfort zone, try something different and study abroad!

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