Tag Archives: abroad

#Chinese Garden

24 Mar

Wanna climb the pagoda? 😊 The beautiful sight greeted me on the way to classes. It’s a lovely pagoda up on the hill and part of a park in the middle of our campus.  I love all the #colors!

**Just don’t go up there at night. 😂  It’s pretty much destined to live as a kind of ‘kissing kastle’ sort of place at night.  When all the students have 7 other kids in their rooms, couples find privacy here 😜

A Lovely Day For #Flowers

20 Mar

I just ❤ the Beautiful trees here on campus! Spring is one of my favorite seasons!

The #Magic is Real in China!

6 Feb

​Big announcement folks – the #magic is real!  It all starts with a bathroom phone at the #Hilton in central #china 

Just dial 0 and a whole new world opens!  Not sure if it works for all phones or just this one. . . But ladies and gentlemen the truth is out. Magic is just one phone call away! #travel #abroad #humor #travelhumor

“46 Study Abroad Statistics: Convincing Facts and Figures”

3 Jan

“46 Study Abroad Statistics: Convincing Facts and Figures”

by Ruth Kinloch via “Study.Smart”

Are you thinking about studying abroad, but are not sure if it’s worth your time? Or are you ready to participate in a study abroad program, but need some extra talking points to convince your parents that you’ve made a smart decision?

The number of American students who go abroad has more than tripled in the past two decades (304,467 students in the 2013-2014 academic year), and this increase is likely to continue. International education is on the rise, and for good reason: research has shown that students who study abroad have better career prospects and are more socially aware. Read on to discover more study abroad statistics, facts, and figures that reflect the latest trends in international education.

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Benefits of studying abroad

For many years, the benefits of studying abroad have been described in words like these: “It will completely change your life!” and “You will come back a new person.” But the exact long-term benefits were unknown. Now, though, the positive impact of study abroad experiences can be proven with study abroad statistics.

The Institute for International Education of Students (IES) conducted a survey to explore the long-term impact of study abroad on the personal, professional, and academic lives of students. Here are some interesting findings:

  1. 95% of the students who were surveyed admitted that studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity, 96% reported increased self-confidence, and 95% said it had a lasting impact on their worldview.
  2. More than 50% of the respondents are still in contact with U.S. friends they met when studying abroad.

One of the goals of study abroad programs is to train future global leaders who will respect other cultures and political and economic systems and care about the world’s welfare. The survey reveals that study abroad is succeeding in this mission:

  1. 98% of the students stated that study abroad helped them better understand their own cultural values and biases, and 82% said that it helped them develop a more sophisticated way of looking at the world.
  2. 94% stated that their study abroad experience continues to influence interactions with people from different cultures.
  3. 87% of the students said that study abroad influenced their subsequent educational experiences. Nearly half of all respondents took part in international work and/or volunteerism since studying abroad.
  4. Three-quarters of the respondents said that they acquired skill sets that influenced their future career paths.

The survey results proved that studying abroad can greatly influence a student’s life. The results of the survey show that study abroad had a positive influence on the personal development, academic commitment, and career paths of the students who took part in IES study abroad programs.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results show that the longer students study abroad, the more significant the academic, cultural, and personal development benefits are. But the survey also suggests that study abroad programs lasting at least six weeks can also produce good academic, personal, career, and intercultural development outcomes.

The Erasmus Impact Study (2013) analyzed the effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and on the internationalization of higher education institutions. The results of the study proved the benefits of studying abroad for the career development of mobile students. The study highlighted that mobile students are more likely to get managerial positions in their future careers and are less likely to experience long-term unemployment.

Here are some key findings.

  1. More than 85% of Erasmus students study abroad to enhance their employability abroad.
  2. More than 90% of mobile students reported that they improved their soft skills, including their knowledge of other countries, the ability to interact and work with people from different cultures, adaptability, foreign language proficiency, and communication skills. . . . .

READ MORE

LA We’re Back!

1 Jul

Made it to LA now on to my St. Louis and the Mississippi. 🙂  Can’t wait to see the folks 💝

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We made a layover in Hong Kong, I think I’m in love!

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Hospital Mis-Prints :)

8 Feb

Courtesy of the hospital here in China. If you stop by, you can visit the Blood Chamber, Urine Chamber, Cell Chamber, Ultrasonic Knife Teetment Center, X-Ray Perspective Room, and the Ultrasonic Scalpelout Room

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Strolling through Seoul

27 Jan
Ihwa Mural Village

Ihwa Mural Village

Our China University was specially blessed this year with an entire 2.5-month long winter vacation before classes start up again, and the foreign teachers here make the most of their free time.  Many of us have headed off to such exotic locations as Bali, New Zealand, Australia, Heinan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, India, Tibet – even the stunning ice scultures of Harbin here in China!

Personally, I decided to return to the charming city of Seoul, South Korea.  Have you ever watched the old Harrison Ford movie, “Sabrina”?  I always remember that quote: “America is my country, but Paris is my home.”  That kind of reminds me of Seoul, America is my country, but Seoul is my home.  The part modern/ part ancient artistic buildings centered around the lovely Han River and filled with lovely, kind-hearted people always brings out the calm, secure feeling that soothe my soul and rest my spirit. I could spend months just wandering from shop to cafe to palace to park, listening to the sweet locals and getting in touch with the looser, more contented me.

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This time, I was able to bring along my mother, who had never seen the city before but wanted to get a glimpse of the place that has captured my heart.  We were initially planning to stay for 2 weeks, but plans changed and we only spent 1 went out and about the town.  Although Spring is definitely a prettier time to visit, having the tourist sites mostly to yourself and looking at all the winter products up for sale was pretty sweet.  If you do visit in the winter, I highly advise that you visit the many, many, many unique cafes scattered around the buroughs.  Try out their “Peppermint White Chocolate” and a Blueberry BelgiumWaffle while watching the world go by outside the windows and tell me you don’t fall in love with the city too. ❤

Seoul is a place to have fun and take your time, you simply shouldn’t try to rush through everything. I know there is a lot to see, and you feel like you need to get ahold of all of it, but you run the risk of loosing the real feel of Seoul in the process.  I wouldn’t say Seoulites are a slow-paced as the Spanish or some of the the Latin Americans, but they definitely like to wander thorugh life to the beat of a slower drum.  You get up a little later, and grab breakfast at a hidden coffee shop.  Then you meander through the winding shopping streets to visit one of the many palaces, stopping for ice cream and a hot chocolate for an afternoon snack. Sit there for a while, chatting and looking at all the sparky fashions walking past you, then slowly wander home via a different path.  Maybe stop at a small park on the way home?  Someone once said Seoul was like a Southern Drawl – you talk slowly, throwing in a few “dahlings” and “sweethahts” to create a classy charming feeling. Don’t miss out on that feeling or you’ll miss the spirit of Seoul.  It’s indescribable.

Tips:

  • Take Your Time! If you have limited time, just visit one of the palaces or history museums.  Pick up either Building 63 or Namsan Tower – don’t try to do both.  It’s much better to move at your own pace and enjoy the sites you do see than to feel harried and rushed to see it all.  I say this because there is a LOT to see, and you just can’t make it everywhere in a week.
  • Test Out New Taste Buds! ~ Belgian Waffles, Italian Pasta, Chinese Peking Duck, Mexican Tacos, and Korean BBQ – Seoul has it all.  Don’t be too picky about the foods you try – be adveturous!  I admit I’m just not the greatest fan of street food or trying new dishes, but in Seoul you really should make the effort.  Their Ox Bone soup is delicious and the Chicken Galbi is to die for.  Some of the foods will look stranger than they taste. Korea actually uses a lot of the same ingredients as Americans (carrots, celery, green pepper, chicken, pork, fish, noodles, garlic, lettuce, ginseng, etc), they just put them together in unique ways.  And I msut say, the end result is often pretty yummy.
  • Watch your $$$ ~ Seoul has gotten a lot more expensive in the last two years, even since I was there last summer.  Taxis now run a minimum fee of 3,000 Won (~ $3), and other items have copied the higher priced trend.  Coffee shops easily cost as much as US stores, as do many shopping locations.  It’s a lot easier now to find yourself spending a ton of money unexpectedly. I recommend taking out a set amount of money each day (Woori bank doesn’t usually charge an ATM fee and we took out about 200,000 Won per day and split it between the two of us), and forcing yourself to stick to that.
  • Housing ~ While I usually recommend that you stick with the hostel idea for cheaper housing, I know that for some people this isn’t feasible.  My mother injured her back and couldn’t climb the stairs at our hostel and we had to find a place with a comfortable bed and a elevator for not a horrible price.  One of the other places you can check out are the Love Motels.  It sounds sketchy, but they aren’t as questionable as you might think. In a country where many couples still live in a home with both of their parents and their children, private time can be hard to come by. So there are a lot of “Love Motels” that rent by the night or hour for not a lot of money, and they are usually pretty nice.  We found one that had 2 beds, a large flat screen tv, a in-room computer, free wifi, a huge bathroom and bath, lovely wooden heated floors, and sweet desk clerks for only 60,000 a night. It’s a little pricey, but better than the upper level hotels and just as nice to stay in.
  • Buy a subway pass ~ Now that the taxi costs have gone up, it will save you a lot of money to pick up a subway pass, even if just there for a few days.  The subways are brilliantly easy to use and most directions are based on coming out of the closest subway stop.
  • Check out some of the stranger sights if you have time! ~ There is a trick-eye museum and lots of street art if you are interested. There are also some really artsy student shops near the university areas, and plenty of hiking expeditions to check out.  Don’t just focus on getting from tourist site to tourist site. Walk around a bit at each stop, and don’t be afraid to check out a small alley. You never know what cool thing’s you’ll find!

Check out our Itinerary Here!

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Namdaemun market

13 Jan

They seriously have 50 billion of everything here!

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Happy Winter Solstice!

22 Dec

In China, the shortest day of the year is a pretty big holiday full of yummy food, friends hanging out together, and lots of memories.

 It is especially important this year to my seniors.  College in China is arranged a little bit differently than in America, or at least the program here at SIAS is.  The seniors won’t really be returning next semester; they will spend their final time at college working on a major thesis and getting practical experience in the big wide world.  While many of them have decided to stay in the area, life is changing for them right now.  No more classes all together, no more busy dorms and exciting group activities await them.  Mostly its a time for timid dreams and future worries; a time when they are reminded of just how precious this 3.5 year period, and these wonderful friends, have actually been.  

For the past seven semesters, each set of students have lived together (dorms are divided by major and year), studied together (as freshman, they are divided by major and exam-score, so that each group of students has every class with the same students for the rest of the school career), played together (KTV, KTV, KTV!!!), and grown together.  They encourage and prod and love each other to death for this brief, but much beloved time. Then, as it does for all college students, it ends as quickly as it began.  Suddenly, they find themselves drifting in different directions, with this one headed to Shanghai, that one to Australia, and these two King’s College in England.  They are realizing just how scary that future is and trying to cling to as much of their time together as they can.

Thus, Winter Solstice, the last holiday before the semester ends in China, is an especially important one for my students this year.  According to tradition, people must get together and eat dumplings on the Winter Solstice; otherwise their ears will freeze in the coming winter and they will both fall off.  Supposedly, eating ear-shaped dumplings will help you keep your ears warm in the future. It’s a time for friends, fun, and storing up great memories for the present. A time to love and remember that you are loved.  

So, in honor of my much beloved, parting students; they would like me to wish you the same spirit of the season. We would like to wish you all a very happy Winter Solstice. May today’s dumplings be your best dumplings! May all of your friends be present! and May all of your Memories be Cherished.

HAPPY HOLIDAY!

Life in China: Bring Your Towels

2 Nov

On the random list of things to bring when you move to China, I’d probably put towels pretty high on that list.  A lot of schools or housing places will provide you with one big towel, a hand towel, and a washcloth.  And you can always find those at the local Waka (said Wanja – I know, I don’t get it either).

But it you are the standard American, addicted to the soft fluffiness of your large snuggly king-size towels, you need to bring your own.   All of the Chinese towels are the thin, cheap version you would expect at a 3-Star hotel.  Just generally un-productive. I’d leave the hand towels and wash cloths behind; just bring a generic white fluffy towel.

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