#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World

by Dacey Loving / Oct 20, 2017 /
Dacey Loving's picture
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World
 
At a hostel, in the ballroom, with a room full of the most influential travel bloggers in today’s technological world. What can we accomplish? 
 

Change.

 
And this is exactly what we did, together. This is exactly what we will continue to do. Hoping to unmold the minds of the young to allow for genuine formation of thoughts and ideas without influence, by sparking their curiosity of a world unknown to them. Hoping this will lead to knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for all cultures and all differences around the globe. Hoping, to make a better world for tomorrow. Together, we can do this. Together, we can create change. 
 
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 

Welcome!

 
In New York City, sitting amongst the top 100 travel bloggers at the 2017 Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship, I felt instantly inspired - and tremendously awestruck - by the impact of these truly amazing and intelligent individuals. Their contributions make an enormous splash in the global society of travel and life outside the borders of home. Coming together to learn more about the issues that have developed around the topics of studying abroad and global citizenship, can only bring forth collaboration of these leaders to create solutions and drive the world into a more global and compassionate path. 
 
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 
Netanya Trimboli. From #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
Netanya Trimboli
 
Fran Holuba. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
Fran Holuba
 
Upon meeting at the White House for the first time in 2014, this group of influential globetrotters made it their mission to spread the word of the importance of traveling and studying abroad. The Travel Bloggers Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship is a collection of the top journalists, bloggers, and digital media influencers who set forth on a mission to encourage our younger populations to take advantage of opportunities for travel and study abroad. After this inaugural event, it was reported that “the summit sparked a dynamic conversation that went well beyond the White House walls and created over 4 million impressions worldwide on social media. Having generated so much interest, the community of bloggers grew into a deeply engaged network of changemakers who continue to build new partnerships and ensure that more young people have the opportunity to reach beyond our borders.” The 2014 Summit was a phenomenal start to the revolution of global change, which helped to accelerate our reach this year. At the 2017 Summit, we earned nearly 43 million media impressions, reaching 12 million individuals! This tenfold increase is due to the efforts of making these issues known, and advocating for more awareness and change. Let’s keep that going!!
 
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 

What is “abroad,” and why should we go there? 

The term abroad, put simply, means foreign. Something different, afar, distant, overseas, outside the confines of your hometown, state, and country. To travel. To see what else is out there, because you never know until you’ve experienced it. I could go on, but there are more important matters at hand. One being that if we elect to study, intern, work, or travel abroad, we expand our knowledge of the many cultures and ways of life around the world. Which, in turn, creates understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of those that might seem different than us, but are really the same, and are here for the same reasons. To live. And to live among each other in peace. 
 
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 
For some, travel is not always easy. In terms of time and money, it can seem difficult to schedule, as well as pretty expensive. I find this an obstacle myself. However, budget traveling, workaways, working overseas, and hosting international students or travelers can help to cut costs. Even these options will allow for submergence into a culture other than your own, while providing exploration on a smaller dime. Also, “travel” doesn’t always have to mean booking a flight, hotel, car, tours, etc. It only means to get out and explore! Venture out to a restaurant with a new type of ethnic cuisine. Visit your local bookstore or library and peruse the shelves for books about a different culture and way of life. Make conversation with new people you cross paths with. If you have a car, drive somewhere new for the day. If you travel by public transportation, try a different route to work, or pick a new stop on the bus or subway. Meander in the uncharted territory around you, and design your own adventure! Use the Internet as your tour guide, and search the best sights to see around your area. A local adventure of your own will open your eyes to new, interesting, and diverse avenues of life all around you, which you might not have been aware of before. There is always something to discover, and you’d be surprised by what you might find! 
 
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 

The Mission 

At this year’s summit, much emphasis was placed on engaging students to study abroad, and encouraging them to begin traveling and learning about the world at younger ages. To that end, a variety of speakers shared their insights and reasons why travel and international education are critical for progression and development of a globally minded world. These topics included getting students more involved and interested in studying abroad, taking vacation from the work place, preserving our natural curiosity as humans who travel and explore, how exposure to the unjust leads to fighting for change, and that setting aside our differences can help us to appreciate the peace and beauty surrounding us. 
 
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 

The Crisis

The number of students who study abroad, versus the number of students who attend college, is extremely low. According to opendoors, conducted by the Institute of International Education and the U.S Department of State, only 1 in 10 U.S. undergraduate students study abroad before they graduate. Yin Star, the Director of Study Abroad at Shepherd University, found this is mostly due to financial strain and apprehension, as well as the stress of leaving family and friends for an extended period of time. It is important to note: the earlier students get involved in travel, the better. This leads to a curiosity to learn and experience more, and in turn, generates the desire to travel and see more of what the world has to offer. Which is why motivation for studying abroad is crucial for today’s young learners.  
 
US Study Abroad Students 1989 - 2015. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
US Study Abroad Students 1989 - 2015
 
Undergraduate Participation in US Study Abroad. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
Undergraduate Participation in US Study Abroad
 
Total number of US students who studied abroad. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
Total number of US students who studied abroad
 
Total number of International Students in the US. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
Total number of International Students in the US
 

The Solution

Studying abroad creates opportunities other than just visiting a new country. It allows for immersion into a new culture and way of life. Often times, after high school and college, travel gets difficult and opportunities become sparse. Life gets in the way, finances are an obstacle, and work tends to take over. While studying abroad, students gain college credits for their degree path, along with knowledge and skills to enhance their resumes. Students who study abroad, or travel on mission or volunteer trips to other countries, return home with experiences they take with them throughout life. They are able to build relationships with people from all over the globe, to better establish and create lasting bonds. Learning to communicate with people from different cultures is an extremely relevant skill to have, as the era of globalization ascends. Students need this skill to be competitive in the job market, and to keep up with the evolution of the world. While abroad, and immersed into this new way of life, students are not only exposed to new languages, but also rituals of different cultures. This exposure allows for acceptance and understanding of a new way of life that is different than their own. Thus, creating cultural and global tolerance - yet another skill that is essential for a globally minded and peaceful world. 
 
This year, we were lucky to have heard from a few students who shared their experiences about studying abroad and traveling. Each spoke about the insights they gained, and the relationships they built with so many new people. They shared that these experiences have not only changed their outlook on life, but also how they see and interact with the world around them. A panel with two young women, Paw La La and Houreidja, was truly inspiring, and both spoke eloquently about their life experiences. Paw La La is a 16-year-old Global Citizen Curtis Scholar who spent many years of her young life in a refugee camp between Myanmar and Thailand. She came to the United States when she was about seven years old, and spoke about the extreme differences between life in America and life in the refugee camp. This was enlightening, especially coming from such a young woman. Customs that are not necessarily “socially accepted” in the United States, were the norm in the refugee camp. There were many things Paw La La struggled with, most of which were based upon her culture, and understanding what it meant to be a refugee. She hid behind this for many years, but has now chosen to embrace it and take pride in her story, while sharing it with the world. Houreidja is an American student, and the winner of the “Explore the World” award from Hostelling International, who traveled to Brazil to study race. While there, she learned about the differences of race, not only within herself and her home, but also within a country where race and demographic look very different from where she is used to living. Through her travels and studies, she realized that there are inequalities everywhere, and hopes to relieve the world of this common injustice. 
 
Along with these speakers, students from the program, Global Glimpse, shared stories of their travels to Ecuador, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, to help within the local community. All those that shared with us said the most difficult part about the trip was not having their cell phone and friends from home. In the beginning, they were hesitant and did not want to befriend one another, but eventually grew close and formed life-long friends. Each student also spoke about their curiosity and desire to learn more about different areas of the world, as well as their pledge to make travel and exploration a priority. In the end, this is the goal. To inspire students and spark a curiosity in them so they want to see more of the world than just their own backyards. Whether that be through trying new types of foods, seeing new cities, or venturing overseas, we need to catch their interest in travel, in order to instill the importance of being a global citizen. 
 
Houreidja and Paw La La. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
Houreidja and Paw La La
 

Vacation…TAKE TIME OFF!!

As we move from college to the work force, reality sets in, and one obstacle of travel is planning, and actually taking the time off from work. Katie Denis, Vice President of Project: Time Off and speaker at the Summit, said the following, “many of those who work, are deprioritizing time off, and working too much.” A good number of today’s jobs are remote or “work from home” jobs, and people just do not plan to take time off. The office is everywhere. So why schedule and plan time off? Because if we don’t plan, it won’t actually happen. This is especially true of American millennials. This generation is the least likely to take vacation time because they feel the more work they put in, the bigger and better their reward will be. Millennials also feel as though they need to prove themselves in order to be seen as the best candidate for the job, though, studies have shown this to be false in many aspects. Skipping out on vacation does not always advance your career in ways you might expect. It actually causes a multitude of adverse effects not only to those who deny vacation, but also to the culture of time off in the work place. Studies show the values of taking time off include higher productivity and performance in the work place, a more positive attitude towards work, increased happiness, improved mental and physical health, and better relationships and social lives. Project: Time Off is promoting these positives, along with changing America’s attitude toward taking vacation and time off more seriously. Read more about Katie Denis and her Project: Time Off voyage to revive American vacation from the work martyr’s point of view. 
Katie Denis. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
Katie Denis
 

Sustainable Change = Peace

Maher Nasser from the United Nations, a keynote speaker of the Summit, noted that travel is part of our history as homosapiens, and we need to preserve that in every way. We were made to be explorers and discoverers, adventurers and voyagers, pioneers and seekers of innovation. Let’s keep this ritual alive through travel. In order to make sustainable change, we need to ensure peace around the world. As humans of the Earth, we are all responsible for coming together and taking action towards a transformation of cultural awareness and global citizenship. According to Nasser, 1.2 billion people travel abroad, and 6 billion people travel within their own country. If all of these people take a piece of knowledge about the country they visit, back to their home country and spread the word, think about how much change would be created! 
 
Maher Nasser. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
Maher Nasser
 
Along with the importance of traveling and studying abroad, Nasser explained the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations. These 17 goals and 169 targets, aimed to be achieved by 2030, will transform our world by helping to resolve issues faced by many around the world. These issues include poverty, hunger, health and wellness, education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, along with so many more. Putting an end to even one of these would transform the lives of numerous people around the globe. Imagine putting an end to all 17. Unfortunately, most people are not fully aware of what is going on in world unless they are submerged into it. Thus, many are not aware that 836 million people still live in extreme poverty. Or that poor nutrition causes nearly half of the deaths in children under five. Or, that at least 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is fecally contaminated, and 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets. These are just a few of the changes that can be made through success of the SDGs by 2030. Let’s make sure we get there. Read more about how you can help at http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ 
 
UN Sustainable Development Goals. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 

Stand Up For The Unjust

George W. Stone, Editor in Chief of National Geographic Traveler, spoke of travel as a transformative experience that allows one to realize what may actually be happening in someone else’s backyard. It helps to shed light on things that could never be imagined, yet are happening somewhere in the world. He shared a story about his journey to Zambia, to participate in a safari. During their excursion, they came across a poached elephant, and he said it was one of the most difficult things he had ever witnessed, first-hand. “Levels deep of reality, I realized how important it was for these people to stand up to poachers.” If he had stayed at home, he would never have come to this conclusion. Yes, we know the poaching of animals is an evil act. However, experiencing something brings the problem to life, and creates a drive inside to solve that problem. Thus, if we travel outside our homes, we might see things that are unjust. This, is how the ripple is started. And this ripple turns to small waves, which turn the tides to change. 
 
George Stone. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
George Stone
 

Venture Out Into The Wild, Like The Wildman Himself!

Don Wildman, (YES, DON WILDMAN!), Travel Channel TV Host and keynote speaker, shared about his experience living in New York, as well as a little history of the city, as this is where our Summit was held. He concluded with this quote, “humanity is most content, most at peace, most in awe, when positioned beside something greater than itself.” Thus, if we put our differences aside, and as humans, take our egos out of the equation, we will be happiest and in true harmony with each other. As we visit new places around the world, and meet new people from different walks of life, we can move past this and appreciate the beauty in the world around us. This is what it means to travel. Having the ability to see the magnificence and grandeur of the adventures awaiting you. 
 
Don Wildman. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
Don Wildman
 

Travel Connections

Along with gaining a sense of global citizenship, experiencing new ways of life, and creating memories that last a lifetime, travel connects you to people with varying backgrounds who want to share their stories, and hear about yours. Building relationships with people from all over the globe is a special part of traveling that often gets overlooked. Many of us who visit other places tend to stay in our own little bubbles, especially if there are language barriers. However, you can learn so much from people if you listen and interact with them. While traveling, and at the Summit, I made more friends than can count! I feel so lucky to have met the amazing and inspiring bloggers and travelers, and will cherish these memories forever! I can’t wait to see where they go next!
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 
Thank you so much to the co-hosts of the event, Hostelling International and Partners of the Americas, along with the amazing sponsors including National Geographic Travel, Virgin Atlantic, Global Citizen, Lonely Planet, Chipotle, Wanderful, Jetzy, Global Glimpse, Smithsonian Student Adventures, Diversity Abroad, and so many more, for an unforgettable and truly extraordinary summit!!  Also, a big thank you to Fran Holuba and Netanya Trimboli for organizing and conducting this incredible event!! 
 
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 

#StudyAbroadBecause

 
…there is a great, big world out there to learn about and learn from, and the more we know about each other, the more we understand, appreciate, and create tolerance, thus, the better we communicate and make change together, as one world.
 
Pin for later:
#StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 
Far more importance lies within this tag than just a post on social media. This tag reminds leaders from all over the world that we are united, and advocating for study abroad, travel, learning about each other, and global citizenship. Spread the word and join the revolution!!
 
Dacey Loving. #StudyAbroadBecause A Globally Minded World is a Peaceful World. From the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship
 
Dacey Loving is the Executive Editor for Global Education and the Global Education in the Classroom Editor for Wandering Educators. She is a passionate advocate for improving education, and making school the best possible experience for students and teachers. As a former teacher and education professional, she sees the many gaps in education, and is striving to help solve the literacy and equity problems facing our students around the world today. 
 
 
All photos courtesy and copyright Dacey Loving, except OpenDoors and Sustainable Development Goals courtesy IIE and the UN