Friday, September 6, 2013

Five Ways Studying Abroad Can Jump Start Your Career by Jessica Hopper

Studying abroad has become almost essential.
It’s a part of the college experience that students can capitalize on, making themselves more marketable and a major resume builder. So for those planning, participating, or returning from a study abroad program, here are five key ways to use that experience to propel your career.
Admissions and Application Essays
When applying to a study abroad program, each student must write an essay of some sort detailing how the trip will benefit him or her, both academically and personally.
“We want students to think through why they want to study abroad, how it will relate to their major and academic plan,” said Dorothea Hast, assistant director of the Office of Study Abroad at the University of Connecticut.
When approaching the essay, students are often forced to think about their career goals and writing those aspirations out can prove valuable.
“Sometimes when you put things down on paper, it helps to solidify your ideas and goals,” Hast added.
Travel Blogs
Many students on study abroad trips choose to keep a travel blog or online account of their experiences to share with family and friends back home, or to simply keep the memories. These online journals are also useful in showing employers that a candidate is both familiar with creating online content as well as having extensive practice with written communications skills.
As social networking and online media content becomes increasingly important in the professional world, having experience with popular blogging websites and social media networks is a valuable asset that should be included in a resume. To show potential employers you can create your own website proves you are familiar with the Internet-dominated world and are prepared to help their organization.
In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, having written communication skills is listed in the top 10 qualities that employers look for in an applicant.
Language Skills
While studying abroad is growing away from the original idea of learning a foreign language, being bilingual is still one of the most valuable skills a student can have.
With the increased importance of ideas like “global economy, globalization, global workforce, a second language is almost going to become a necessity,” Larry Druckenbrod, assistant director of Career Services at UConn, said. “If you can communicate in another language or two, you are marketable.”
Beth Bailey, a senior English major at Denison University, is also “unofficially” pursuing an independent major in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, the pursuit of which was aided by her time spent in Amman, Jordan.
“Most citizens of the world speak at least two languages, and since Arabic is the language spoken in a large part of the world, a part that is at the center of many contemporary social, cultural and political conflicts, it is an in-demand skill,” Bailey said.
Involvement while Abroad
Being involved is just as important as any language skills acquired. Even in non-English speaking countries, students have the option of finding part-time jobs and joining clubs, extra-curricular activities that would both enhance their experience and make them stand out in an applicant pool.
Intimidating as it may sound to join a club or seek employment in a foreign country, it is possible and can be made easier if students do their research before the program starts.
“It is rare and unusual to work, but if you plan ahead, it can happen,” said Druckenbrod. “It says to future employers, ‘I am going to be actively involved in this organization, just like I was with my study abroad experience.’”
Krista Palmer, a junior double majoring in political science and French, has found ways to get involved while studying abroad at La Sorbonne in Paris this semester.
“I’ve immersed myself in French culture and have taken advantage of every opportunity that I’ve encountered,” Palmer said.
Students looking to get involved can contact their school’s study abroad office, and should also contact the school that they will be studying at once they are abroad. This will allow them to find programs to participate in like babysitting, teaching English, or even interning with local businesses.
Life Lessons
One truth that can be learned from talking to anyone who has participated in a study abroad program is that it is one of the most life changing and transforming experiences available to students. For many people, it provides focus and motivation, and for others it may change life goals entirely. But for nearly ever student, study abroad experiences create a heightened sense of maturity, independence, self-directness and responsibility, all character traits that are essential to finding an internship or post-graduate career.
Tom Gosselin, a senior English major at UConn, returned from his semester as an intern with an HIV/AIDS awareness group in Cape Town, South Africa, with a renewed sense of focus.
“You go abroad and think about what’s really important and why you want to do what you want to do,” Gosselin said.
Without a doubt, in my opinion, studying abroad is something every student can use to their advantage once college life is over, and real life begins.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Missing Madrid...

Sabes cuál es el truco de los valientes? No decir nunca que tienen miedo.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

You sound like you're from London!

Hello mates!
This is me seeing the sights in London.

Buckingham Palace!

London Tourism - definitely different than what I was used to in Madrid

Entrance to St. James Park

Just a nice little stroll...

View from the steps of the National Gallery

Mind the Gap!

And here he is - Big Ben!

Houses of Parliament

View from Across the Thames.


Westminster Abbey - where Will and Kate got married (Yes, I am obsessed with them!)

St. James Cathedral - where Princess Di got married! (Yes, I love the Royal Family)

The Shard - the tallest building in Europe

London's Tower Bridge

And of course I found myself a cute little coffee shop overlooking the streets of London! I was a happy girl. 

And I ended my last night in London with watching a musical.

The end!

Less than 24 hours in Paris!

After 700 steps up the Eiffel Towel! (Yes we took the stairs) Almost to the top...

Paris at night.

The moment when it sparkles....

Parisian love.

My tour guide/cousin Joe!

The Arc de Triomphe!

The Louvre!

I wonder what all the commotion is about...

Mona Lisa Madness

Just stumbled upon some Da Vinci painting in the Louvre.

The Venus de Milo

Man made beach in Paris? Yes.

Ended the trip with the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

Au revoir Paris!