Study Abroad can be a life-changing experience. It takes courage to get out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself in new ways. What you think you know about yourself and the world will be challenged and it’s how you handle these challenges that will determine its impact.
In Study U Abroad I write that you become part of an ever-increasing network of globally-minded explorers who are in a unique position to use their experience to create more peace and acceptance in the world. Once you get past the culture shock, and reverse culture shock, what do you want to do with your experience?
The speakers in these Top 10 TED Talks For Study Abroad Students are inspirational. They cover topics like living in the present moment, challenging stereotypes and bias, how to live authentically, choosing peace instead of violence, human rights issues, meaningful travel and many more. As you watch them reflect on your own experience studying abroad and see how you can use it to help you transform your inner and outer worlds.
To continued adventures!
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Study Abroad is an amazing time to discover more about who you are and what you want in your life.
Study Abroad and travel with an open mind, willing to discover a more complete story of the people and places you encounter. Get beyond what you think you know about someone and look for exceptions to the stereotypes and any preconceived notions you may be holding onto.
Instead of thinking about what you’re missing back home or worrying about upcoming trips or exams, practice being fully present on Study Abroad. Soak in each sound, smell, monument, and conversation you have.
“Travel, for me, is a bit like being in love, because suddenly all your senses are at the setting marked “on.” Suddenly you’re alert to the secret patterns of the world.”
Study Abroad is short, so how will you use your time abroad? How will you connect and nurture your relationships?
Part of the power of study abroad and travel is creating more understanding, yet how does this happen? Richards says, “It all begins with empathy. Take yourself out of your shoes, put yourself in the shoes of another person.”
On Study Abroad you may have the opportunity to see first hand the disparities that exist in education around the world, often times based on gender discrimination. Use Ntaiya’s work as an example to enact change, “impacting one girl, one family, one village, one country at a time.”
I cannot think of a more vulnerable experience than being on Study Abroad. You have to constantly put yourself out there in new ways every single day. It’s your willingness to be vulnerable in life that will help you grow and have the most impact in the world.
When you Study Abroad you will encounter many situations that can challenge your own perspectives and beliefs. Ultimately you’re in choice in what you believe and the story you tell of the world.
Steves challenges us to travel thoughtfully, with an intention to step outside our own ideas of the world and seek understanding. Travel can take on whole new meaning if you get past your own fears and preconceived notions and engage with people. Steves said, “fear is, to me, for people who don’t get out very much.”
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