Your Top 5 Study Abroad Articles For The Start of Summer

by Nate Nault /
Nate Nault's picture
Jun 02, 2012 / 0 comments

Although I still have 2 weeks left at Beijing University, I would venture to guess that just about every other study abroad student has flown back to America. For those who stayed abroad to travel or work, you made a great decision and I hope you make the most of your extended experience abroad. For those who are back home, enjoy your time with your family, eating your favorite foods again, and catching up on everything else you may have missed while you were gone for a semester or year. While I usually just list my ten favorite posts in these articles, I've decided to take a more personal approach, selecting 5 articles I think will be most useful, and actually write my own thoughts on each article before providing the link. My hope is that although there are fewer articles, the extra commentary will make the actual post more helpful!

Traveling Smart: 8 Words Global Students Should Avoid: Blog

May 24, 2012

While this posts refers to 8 specific words, it's a great reflection about the meaning of words, and how those meanings can and often do change from country to country and culture to culture. Whether the act of translating it into another language changes it's meaning, or the same word in the same language can differ according to location, we now live in an international environment, and knowing how what you say will effect others is extremely important, especially when studying abroad! From the post:

"Words are arbitrary. A number of letters stringed together doesn't mean anything until meaning is given. With world views constantly changing, meanings are also in a constant morphing state. A word seen as perfectly acceptable one minute could be seen as extremely offensive the next. Even if a word isn't considered offensive, it's connotation could change, causing you to say one thing when you meant another."


Academic Programs International Blog

May 24, 2012

This post, written by an API Peer Mentor, discusses the definition "home". As study abroad students, we're in a very unique situation - we're fortunate enough live in another country for a semester, year, or longer, and that place can often feel like a "second home". Of course, the unfortunate part about living in another place for an extended period of time is that you'll often have a number of feelings toward that place, some sad, some happy, some conflicting, etc. Christine does a great job of not only revealing her own feelings about her "home", but she also comments on different ways of thinking about the concept of "home" that may provide help for many other study abroad students! From the post:

"The most common phrase I keep hearing, now that graduation is just around the corner, is: “I’m going home.” But the more I hear it – and the more I keep saying it myself – the stranger it is in my head. In the last two years I’ve had four addresses; and only two of them have been in this country. Only one of them has been with the people who raised me. So, yes, I’m returning to the place where I grew up, but does that really mean I’m going home?"

Why No One Likes The Friend That Studied Abroad:

The Study Abroad Blog

May 24, 2012

This is actually a post from my own blog that I wrote awhile back about the "returning from studying abroad" experience. After landing at the airport, seeing family and friends again, and catching up on some much needed sleep, many students are surprised to find that being back home isn't going as they had originally thought. Friends might not be interested in talking about your experience, you feel awkward in situations or at places that used to feel "normal", and you may even feel down in the dumps. Using what I've learned from my own experiences returning back to the U.S., I've tried to provide a little bit of help for those students who find themselves feeling the same way. From the post:

"If you’re on your way home from studying abroad, you’ve probably already experienced all of the ups and downs of culture shock. You rode the emotional roller coaster, but in the end, you couldn’t be happier with your time abroad. You make it home and are on cloud nine for a few days before a mysterious feeling of depression comes over you. Unfortunately, it’s not a mystery. It’s a phenomenon known as reverse culture shock, and although it doesn’t affect every returning student, there’s a chance it could get to you."

Pre-Departure Reminders:

Talk Nerdy 2 Me

May 24, 2012

Although many students find themselves returning from abroad around this time of year, for others it's the beginning of a 2 - 3 month prep period for their trip abroad in the fall. The list of things that need to be done can be pretty lengthy, and we all have a tendency to procrastinate. To help you avoid heading to the airport on your day of departure with an overweight suitcase, missing Visa, or empty bank account, the guys at Talk Nerdy 2 Me prepared this post, a list of 10 things to help keep you on track. From the post:

"With finals FINALLY over with and school wrapped up for summer, it’s easy to get distracted from the mundane tasks that are still between you and your study abroad trip. Here are 10 important things you can do to stay on track."

8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 22:

Talk Nerdy 2 Me

May 24, 2012

And for the last post - 8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 22 written by Christine Gilbert of Almost Fearless. The title makes the content of the post pretty obvious, but I wanted to include it as this is the time when most 22 year-olds are graduating from college and are faced with the challenge of figuring out the next stage of their lives. As study abroad students, our options are more numerous due to our international experiences, and although following a traditional path is totally acceptable, for those of you who have been inspired by studying abroad to go a different route, this post is for you! From the post:

"When I was 22, I wouldn’t have listened to my old curmudgeonly self. I would have said, “You don’t get it”, then put my headphones back on and headed over the Haymarket. I might have written about it on my blog over at (remember that site?) under my pen name ‘nehalennia’. 1999 was a great year, and I was going to make a million trillion dollars working the internets. Instead I got laid off from my dot com job and ran into the warm embrace of reliable employment. So despite the fact that I wouldn’t have taken my own advice, here are 8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 22"




Nate Nault is the Study Abroad Editor for Wandering Educators