Tag Archive for 'Study Abroad'

How to make study abroad dreams a reality

By Emily Colon

I think it’s safe to assume that many college students dream of studying abroad. Well, what if I told you that dream could become a reality? Every single time you talk to people who have studied abroad, they all tell you that it was the best time and experience of their lives. I don’t know about you, but I know that every time I hear someone talk about their experience, it makes me want to travel right then and there!

Unfortunately, I have not studied abroad because I am just a freshman, but I dream of studying abroad at least once if not more during my undergraduate education. What I want to tell you about is how to make studying abroad possible.

First off, the place to start is the Office of International Affairs located in Dempsey Hall. They can get you on your way. If your problem is not knowing where to go, that should not be a problem because you can pretty much go anywhere in the world. Many people’s first thought is that they can’t afford it, so they miss out on a chance of a lifetime experience. What most people don’t know is that there are tons of scholarships available. You can even use your financial aid to pay for study abroad expenses.

Okay then, once you have a location in mind and have found a way to pay for it, you have the basics down, but still have so much more to cover. Other things you might want to cover are what you plan to do in this foreign country and how long you will stay. Many more things need to be planned before you embark on your trip, but these tips will get you started.

A great place and resource that can help and answer a lot of your questions is available to you right now on your computer! All UW Oshkosh students have access toThe Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas, an online database that has a ton of resources that deal with studying, volunteering and working abroad. It has tips on what you need to do to prepare for a trip and so much more. I have been exploring the page and have found it really useful. The next time you are thinking of studying abroad or are just curious, make sure you visit The Big Guide online.

Career Adviser Intern Stephanie Levine Unpacks Her Study Abroad Experience

By Stephanie Levine (pictured below wearing black)

Hi, I am Steph Levine, the College of Business Career Advisor Intern in Career Services. In addition to working in Career Services, I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in professional counseling at UW Oshkosh. During January interim I had the opportunity to participate in a two week study abroad to Malaysia. The course, entitled Counseling, Spirituality, and Service in Malaysia, counted for a three credit elective toward my degree. Since completing my undergraduate degree, my one regret was never studying abroad. When I learned about this opportunity from my professor, Dr. Kelli Saginak, I knew it would be the perfect chance for me to gain the study abroad experience that I always felt I had missed.

Our group consisted of twelve students, our professor Dr. Kelli Saginak, and her friend and colleague, Dr. Thana Singarajah from Idaho State University’s Department of Counseling. As well as being a professor and clinical provider of mental health services, Dr. Thana is originally from Malaysia and was a great resource for us on our journey.

Our trip was split between two destinations, one week in the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, and the second week in George Town on the island of Penang. During our time, we participated in a number of service learning experiences including volunteering with toddlers and school aged children as well as children and adults with disabilities. In addition to service learning, we assisted our professor in leading three days of workshops on play therapy. The attendees, who were mental health professionals and graduate students, shared their excitement and passion for learning.

It was wonderful to see so many professionals dedicated to providing excellent care to children and adolescents, especially in a society and culture where counseling is not viewed in a very positive light. Our trip also consisted of cultural experiences, including visiting temples and mosques, attending cultural dance performances, hiking and seeing the waterfalls at Templer Park, visiting an elephant sanctuary (and riding elephants!), and making Chinese “love letters,” a wafer like fortune cookie in celebration of the Chinese New Year. To say that our days were busy is an understatement.

Overall, it was a great learning experience for me both personally and professionally. I feel I am leaving my journey with an increased sense of multicultural awareness and the desire to break down cultural and language barriers to connect with others. Based on my experience and hearing the positive experiences of friends throughout the years, I would highly encourage any student to consider studying abroad. It is a once in the life time opportunity and a great learning experience to add to your resume.

Have you completed a study abroad and are not sure how to include it on your resume? Call or stop by Career Services to schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor. We would be happy to help you showcase your learning and experience!

To learn more about what life is like abroad, check out The BIG Guide to Living and Working Overseas!

Unpacking your study abroad experience

By Sheng Lee (@shengdanger)

Winter break is over and the spring semester is in full bloom. For many students, their winter break was spent in another country where they participated in research and various learning experiences.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh offers three types of study abroad experiences: faculty-led programs, direct enroll programs and student exchange programs. To learn more about study abroad programs at UW Oshkosh, visit the Office of International Education, or attend the study abroad fair on Thursday, Feb. 9, in Reeve Memorial Union from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

As stated under UWO’s Office of International Education website, study abroad is a transformative experience which leads to personal growth. It allows for active engagement in pursuit of knowledge and skills while offering options for advancing unique and diverse personal and career goals.

According to the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University, you will gain 12 career essentials by choosing a study abroad experience:

1.) Developing professional competencies

2.) Communicating effectively

3.) Solving problems

4.) Balancing work and life

5.) Embracing change

6.) Working effectively in a team

7.) Working in a diverse environment

8.) Managing time and priorities

9.) Navigating across boundaries

10.) Acquiring knowledge

11.) Thinking critically

12.) Performing with integrity

Not only will these skills help you develop personally, these are skills employers value from employees who have studied or interned abroad:

  • Interacting with people who hold different interests, values, perspectives
  • Understanding cultural differences in the workplace
  • Adapting to situations of change
  • Gaining new knowledge from experiences
  • Ability to work independently
  • Undertaking tasks that are unfamiliar
  • Applying information in a new or broader contexts
  • Identifying new problem/alternatives solutions
  • Working effectively with co-workers

Want to learn more about what life is like in a foreign country? Check out The BIG Guide to Living and Working Overseas.

(Source: Gardner, Gross, and Steglitz 2008, Unpacking your study abroad experience: critical reflection for workplace competencies. CERI Research Brief 1-2008. Collegiate employment research institute, East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University)


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