Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Go Abroad, Then Land the Job

We all know Education Abroad is a great overall experience for an individual, but for your future it could also land you your dream job. Today in the job market, employers are realizing how important it is for their employees to have knowledge of the world and be aware of different cultures. Education Abroad really just makes a person more self-aware and willing to break out of their shell. It is a truly unique experience that really makes you stand out from your peers. The number of bachelor students who went abroad in 2012-2013 was only around 14.3% and the total of US students who went abroad, this includes all college programs, is just a slim 1.5% of students. You could be a part of this number.

I haven't gone abroad yet...
Well my first question is are you crazy?! There is whole world out there for you to experience! You need to get on the bandwagon now and look into some different options for going abroad. I know students don't go abroad or think they can for a lot of reasons. More often than not students don't end up going abroad during their college years because they face financial or time restraints. Be sure to really plan ahead and decide when is the best time for you to go. There are endless opportunities and if leaving during the semester isn't a choice, then look into going abroad Summer, Spring Break or during Winterim. If you can't afford going a whole semester or year then just shoot for a short-term option. That way, you still get the international experience and you don't have to miss a semester on campus. Even having that two weeks of international experience will put you one step above someone else who didn't spend any time abroad in their undergrad, when applying for a job.  

I kind of look at it like this, you spend the money at your home campus to go to college, why not spend the money and study in a different country. When it comes down to it, Education Abroad is an investment in yourself. Who doesn't want to invest in themselves, believe in themselves and truly better themselves in all aspects? It's also an investment in your future and like I said earlier, an investment in one day helping you land that dream job. We are human, we never stop growing and Education Abroad is one more of those experiences that really promotes personal growth. Think of the world as your textbook, you will learn more from it than any other textbook you have ever had. The possibilities are endless and I promise you, you will not be disappointed!
I've gone abroad, how do I market that?
Great, I am so glad you took that step outside your comfort zone and lived, saw and breathed a different part of the world! Welcome to the club, you will never forget those memories you made abroad or the friends and that country will always be your second home. However, now you are home and maybe you're a little confused at how to market your time abroad when applying and interviewing for jobs. I hope I can help you out and set you in the right direction!

You need to be specific on your resume in what you did exactly abroad: volunteered, worked or studied. Getting involved while you're abroad can also be a great idea, just one more thing to add to your resume and to your experience. Really emphasize on not only your resume, but your cover letter what you did, learned and how these skills will benefit you in the work field. You can highlight all the ways it made you grow as well. Whether that be your confidence, ability to adapt, independence, your problem-solving skills, complex thinking skills or your flexibility. How did your experience improve your leadership skills? Having leadership skills in the workforce today, as we all know, is huge. These are some points you could use to really sell your Education Abroad experience to employers. Also, make sure you really emphasize the learning experience and don't make it sound like a big vacation, anyone can take a vacation.
So Education Abroad not only gives you the chance to grow personally, but it also gives you the opportunity to one day land that job you've been dying to have. It's all about how you market your experience and how that time abroad makes you more unique than the other applicants.  If you have not gone abroad yet I hope this blog opened your eyes to what you are missing and just how much Education Abroad can influence your life. If you already have gone abroad then I hope you took something away from this blog that will help you in your future when applying for jobs! I know I am closing in on the ending of my college career and I want more than anything to express how much Education Abroad changed my life in hopes of getting a job I love.
 
Even First Lady Michelle Obama realizes and stresses the importance of Education Abroad. In the words of Michelle Obama, "When you study abroad, you are help making America stronger."

View more about Michelle Obama on Education Abroad at the link below. Great read!

https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/01/19/first-lady-michelle-obama-when-you-study-abroad-you-re-helping-make-america-stronger

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Life Happens

Life happens. It never goes as planned, no matter how much you plan in advance for it. You graduate high school, the place where you think you are invincible and have limitless time. You then go onto college where you spend four years figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life. It's like society has set this model of what the "American Dream"  is. It goes like this: mainly people graduate, get a job (if they're lucky), get married and have children (sometimes). Then when they are say 35, have a big white house, a husband and those 2.5 kids they wonder okay, what next? I have succeeded, I accomplished the American Dream. I say, break out of that mold, live the life you want to live. Don't get married, never have a kid, become the crazy old cat lady or do it all out of order. Life is not meant to have a mold and people need to start realizing their own dreams versus the ones they think they have because society tells them too. Basically, what I am trying to get across is, that life happens and before you know it you have so many more commitments than you did just a few years previous, whatever those commitments may be, kids, a husband or 10 cats. I guess as I get older and my college years dwindle, I have been thinking a lot about the future and what it holds, what direction I will go when I graduate college. I just keep thinking of how fast time goes by and to not waste a second. It's so hard to explain in words, but going abroad really just makes you feel alive in a way you haven't before. You have these moments abroad where you just are so utterly amazed by the moments you are in, you never want them to end. It's a beautiful feeling. So while you are young, in college and this time is all about you, study abroad. Be selfish. You are only young for so long, so be selfish with who and what you give your time to. I can tell you from experience that your time spent abroad will never be wasted.
 All I know is growing up my mom always inspired me with her travels of going abroad to new places all through her 20's and I couldn't wait for it to be my turn. When it finally was my turn, it all went entirely too fast. Once you go abroad it changes you in so many ways when you come home, you have often altered, but everything at home is the way you left it. To be honest, some days it's hard to be back in my same routine I had before I left. I just feel like I am dying for another adventure and routine is so difficult. You just catch the travel bug and are constantly looking for ways to go back abroad, new adventures are always waiting to be had. I know what you're thinking, I just have so much going on with school, I don't know if I could leave for a whole semester. How will I afford that? These are all reasonable questions and ones you must address, but just stop. Just stop thinking of why it wouldn't work or why you can't and start thinking, HOW it will work and HOW you are going to do it one way or another. That's where I am right now in fact, figuring out how I will go abroad one more time before I graduate. It is really just the commitment you put into it and the effort you put into going.
There are so many study abroad options to choose from, there is something for everyone. I knew study abroad was my goal so I spent an entire summer working endlessly at two jobs to raise the money to go. You know, yeah I did give up my social life for the summer, but the experience I received in return for that summer was so much greater than what I gave up. I know now that I can always look back proudly on my time in college and remember traveling a new part of the world, I am a part of a slim 5% of students in the United States who go abroad every year and that is something to be proud of. Wouldn't you like to join that small percent? In the end, I hope I can inspire just one soul looking for an adventure, to go abroad. If you go abroad early enough in college then you always have the option of going again, but even getting to go once is a gift. Take the chance, be selfish and go abroad. Better yourself. Get lost and find yourself. Education abroad gives you the opportunity to create yourself. Opportunity is knocking at your door, but it won't always. So take the chance because before you know it, life just happens.   

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Everyone Has a Country Bucket List, Here's Mine.

When people often think of going abroad they think they of all the hot tourist places like Italy, France, or Australia. Yes, all of these countries are amazing and have so much to offer, but what about the countries that are off the beaten path? Why not taken the path less traveled and go to a country that not many can say they've studied abroad in? After going abroad and studying in the United Kingdom my eyes were opened to the world and more possibilities. I have fallen in love with countries that I have never even been to. Before I left for Education Abroad I dreamed of seeing places like Italy, and I still do, but now the top of my list consists of Croatia, Thailand, and Iceland. They are countries I had never even thought of, but now I can't get out of my head. These destinations are huge spots that Europeans like to spend their holidays at.

They are countries that tourists often turn their blind eye towards, but also might hold the most unique experiences. Going somewhere like the UK my first time abroad was amazing, but culturally it was pretty similar to the United States. There are differences, but not like going to Thailand where the culture is largely different from that of the United States. Once you take that first step abroad you start to get braver, more adventurous. You think hmmm....well maybe I could go to a country where they don't speak English or maybe I could go to a country that I normally would have perceived as being completely outside of my comfort zone. They say to take the path less traveled in life and studying abroad in one of these countries, would definitely be the path less traveled. I can't tell you enough how much Education Abroad opens your eyes. It makes you well-rounded, independent and just aware of what is going on in the world around you. It forces you to leave that little Midwestern bubble so many of us grew up in.

Why not go to Thailand ride an elephant, buy some fruit from a floating market, go to Bangkok or visit Wat Arun also known as the Temple of Doom. Thailand has endless possibilities and offers a diverse experience.
Krabi Island, Thailand
Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand
Iceland, you're probably thinking why would I ever want to visit a country that is called an ice land? Because it is spectacular, that's why! Go visit the geysers, watch whales of the coast or visit Landmannalaugar which contains mountains, lava fields and a volcano. What a site it will be! 
Landmannalaugar, Iceland
Iceland
When I tell most people I want to visit Croatia they just give me a blank stare, most people have never even heard of the country. I hadn't either until I saw a picture advertising for it in a London tube station and let me tell you, I was hooked. Croatia has a lot to offer. I am pretty sure I talk with my boss Melissa, everyday, about how I want to go to Croatia. If you do find yourself in the country, first I am insanely jealous if you are, and second be sure to visit the country's most breathtaking park, Plitvice Lakes National Park, swing by Zadar an old historic town of Croatia, and if you have a chance sail the Adriatic Sea along the Croatian coast.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Dubrovnik, Croatia
You know that spot right outside your comfort zone that so many of us hate visiting? Well let me tell you folks, that is where the magic happens, where life happens. So going abroad is scary enough for you and out of your comfort zone? Then great! Visit Australia or Ireland, but just be sure to take the countries off the beaten path into consideration. Visit them one day, maybe when you're a little braver and the world doesn't seem like such a big and scary place. I will never regret where I studied abroad, but I do wish I had taken a look at other countries that were more culturally different as well. Then again, I never would have discovered Croatia if I had not been in that London tube station. All I know is when I get to the end of life I want to be proud of the life I have lived and know I explored every inch of this beautiful place we call earth. Life is supposed to be full of adventures, making mistakes, getting lost and finding yourself along the way.

This week in class my professor gave me some great advice and I just though I'd share it with you all. It really just spoke to me.

" Life is messy, especially those lives well lived."

Cheers,

Morgan
         

Friday, December 19, 2014

So...You're Going Abroad

Well here it is, what we have all been barreling towards, the end of the semester is finally here! I sure hope finals week has treated you well! With the end of the semester being here that also means the departure date for many of University of Wisconsin-Platteville's study abroad students. Whether you are studying abroad in Winterim or the Spring semester, the dates are quickly approaching! First off can I ask, will you put me in your suitcase and take me with you? Just kidding, kind of. You may be filled with nerves, are bursting with excitement and definitely have questions. I remember the first time I studied abroad, I was a wreck the entire week before I left.  I can assume you are feeling so excited because you are leaving the United States possibly for the first time on your own or you could be feeling like you might be sick for the very same reason. I just want you to know you are not alone in the way you are feeling, it is completely normal. To comfort yourself, think of what a great accomplishment this is going to be and how independent you are going to become after the journey you take with Education Abroad. Think of all the friends you are going to make and how many different parts of the world you are going to see. Think of all the amazing memories you are going to make that you are going to cherish for a lifetime.

I can tell you in that week before I left there were points where I got so nervous I thought maybe I shouldn't go, but then I realized how utterly ridiculous I was being and going abroad is a once in a lifetime kind of experience. I was that girl who came from a very small Iowan town, surrounded by very small-minded people. It's crazy the things that going abroad does to a person. I never like to think I was small-minded because I always had such a desire to see the world and experience other cultures, but I can't help but admit before I went abroad I probably also had some of those same small-minded Midwestern beliefs and studying abroad widened my perspective and opened my mind to so many possibilities. I could never go back to the way I was before I left. Only 5% of students go abroad in the United States, wouldn't you just love to say you are part of that 5%, that you took this leap into the complete unknown and had an experience that changed your life forever? I know I would love to study abroad again and if possible, I will before I graduate! Let me tell you a few tips that might ease your nerves a little about going abroad or just to reassure you that you have made the right decision.

Home will always be there.
Opportunities like Education Abroad won't always be available to you. Take comfort in the fact the home will always be home and you can always go back. You can't however always see other parts of the world. The older you get, the more commitments you start to have. The more commitments you have, the more difficult it is to just take off and travel , that's why college is the perfect time to travel and if you have taken the leap and applied to Education Abroad I am so happy for you.

You will not be gone forever.
Some of you may be going abroad for just a few weeks, months or even a year, but let me just solidify this, YOU WILL NOT BE GONE FOREVER. Time passes so quickly and in the grand scheme of things the time you will be away from home studying abroad is just such a small fraction of your life. Also, I know from experience how quickly time passes when you are abroad, mainly because you are having the time of your life. I was abroad for 4 months, but it really felt like two weeks, and although part of me was ready to see home, the other part of me felt like I was leaving what had become home to me in those 4 months.

Family and friends can come visit. 
I know, I know. You can't help but think how much you will miss all your closest loved ones and how will you go without them for that long. The plus side is they can come visit! That possibility is always present. There is also always Skype, Face time, Facebook and other endless ways to stay in touch and see each other via the internet. Plus you will make many new friends who will become your little study abroad family.

Do not pack your entire closet.  
I know you're thinking how is this tip supposed to help calm my nerves? Well let me tell you, I know you are probably packing and repacking your suitcase like crazy. You're probably thinking, oh I need this and that, but you don't. I'm sure this is only adding to your nerves and really isn't helping the situation. Although people have probably told you this a million times, don't over pack. Only take what is necessary. You can and will want to buy so many things while you are abroad, you will want that extra room to bring them home with you. Let me tell ya, shipping packages home is not cheap! Plus, buying clothes abroad and dressing like the locals is part of the way you can immerse yourself in their culture in just one more way!
Studying abroad just changes so many things in your life, it's hard to put it all into words. The more you travel, the more places you find that feel like they could be home. You begin to leave your heart in so many places and with beautiful people that will forever hold a part of your heart. In some ways you won't ever truly feel at home again because of this. Although that seems like a terrifying fact, you will love it because it makes you feel so alive, so free. I hope after reading this you feel a little less stressed and now the excitement is more present then the nerves about going abroad. When you first step onto that plane remember that step is the first step of your new adventure, the first step to the rest of your life.

Now go on, have an amazing journey. Your adventure awaits!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Why not Edinburgh?

Looking for a place to study abroad and you just can't quite decide on a country because you simply want to go everywhere? Maybe you're just looking for a spring break program. Well my first experience abroad was spent is Scotland and it was a beautiful journey. I would strongly encourage anyone to study in Edinburgh or even just to visit. The city has beautiful architecture letting you see a time long before your own, amazing people who love to talk to foreigners and endless opportunities. So you may be thinking, why Edinburgh? I am going to go through the top ten things to do in Edinburgh so if you are just there for a short time or will be living there for months you should be able to accomplish some or all of these must see and do things in Edinburgh.

Scott Monument
Right on Princess Street in the heart of Edinburgh lies the Scott Monument in all of it's glory. The Scott Monument is the largest monument to a writer in the world. It is dedicated to Sir Walter Scott. This iconic landmark is the centerpiece of the city and is a must-visit while in town. Admire the beautiful architecture of the monument and climb the 287 stairs to the top to admire the beautiful view.
City of the Dead Tour
Scotland is known for it's truly morbid and haunted history. Truly find yourself in Edinburgh's past with the world famous Edinburgh Ghost and Underground Tours. View some of the cities old vaults that lie beneath the city sidewalks. For around 30 years, the vaults were used to house taverns, cobblers and other tradesmen, and as storage space for illicit material, reportedly including the bodies of people killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for medical experiments. As the conditions in the vaults deteriorated, mainly because of damp and poor air quality, the businesses left and the very poorest of Edinburgh's citizens moved in.  If you are up to learning about some of Edinburgh's haunted history and ready for a memorable experience in Edinburgh then these tours are just for you. Trust me, they're a scream.
The Elephant House
Harry Potter fan? Then visit the White Elephant, the place where the magic began. This is the location where J.K. Rowling sat with a coffee in hand, maybe even a scone and wrote all of the Harry Potter books.  Enjoy a nice cup of coffee, my favorite was the Cafe Mocha and a chocolate brownie, and bask in the hip and magical atmosphere. After you are finished be sure to visit the cemetery behind The White Elephant, this is the place where gravestones inspired some of J.K. Rowling's character names, such as Thomas Riddle.
Whistle Binkies
Get a feel for the city and its night life at Whistle Binkies right on the Royal Mile. They offer a variety of live music every weekend and the place is hopping with natives to the city so you can truly immerse yourself in the culture. Take your girlfriends or your mates into town and chill out in the booths listening to music or get up and dance the night away!
Arthur's Seat
Climb a dormant volcano right on the outskirts of the city and get a view to die for. A short walk from Edinburgh's Royal Mile, Arthur's seat lies in Holyrood Park. The top is very windy, but the view of the city is rewarding. It is quite a hike and you will definitely be feeling it the next day, but boy is it worth the view.
Calton Hill
Visit one of the most beloved spots in the city. The view from Calton Hill has inspired visitors and locals for generations. From this point in the city you can see for miles. Also while at Calton HIll be sure to visit some of the city monuments such as the National Monument and the Nelson Monument. The National Monument was inspired by the Parthenon because Edinburgh has a lot of Greek influence and was often referred to as the Athens of the North. The monument was built to commemorate the Scottish servicemen who died in the Napoleonic Wars, but was never finished and only half of it stands today. It is still quite hauntingly beautiful if you ask me, but it was often referred to as Edinburgh's shame. The Nelson Monument looks somewhat like a telescope and was built in honor of Lord Admiral Nelson who died in the Battle of Trafalgar.  The hill hosts a variety of events year-round one of the most popular being the Beltane Fire Festival in April. It is quite a unique experience and this hill was one of of my own personal favorites in the city.  
National Museum of Scotland 
The National Museum of Scotland offers endless exhibits to look at and endless knowledge to gain. Not to mention the architecture is beautiful. The museum has certain exhibits that only stay for a small time frame, so be sure to  catch some of those because they are rather fascinating.
Edinburgh Castle
This is such a unique castle and offers such a beautiful experience. The castle was built on an extinct volcano and is now called Castle Rock. The castle through the centuries has been a military base and a place of royal residence. Part of the castle today is devoted to a war memorial and is quite magnificent. This castle, along with a lot of other Scottish attractions offers panoramic views that are out of this world.
Princess and George Street
Take a stroll along two of the most popular streets in the city. Both streets offer endless things to do. Hope off the bus on Princess Street and be right in the middle of a very alive city. While I was in Edinburgh I loved all the opportunities Princess and George Street gave me. I always had something to do.
Princess Street
George Street
Portobello Beach
Beach, huh? You probably do not think of hitting up the beach while you're in a place like Scotland, but Portobello Beach is a must see. It offers such a unique experience at a beach that is so different from the one you'll have in a tropical place. Take a picnic, walk through the little shops, wade through the water or just go to watch the sunset. It is a very tranquil place, where the sky seems to go on forever. While I was there my friends and we got caught in the middle of a flash parade for Saint Patrick's day. It was quite the experience and one I won't ever forget from Portobello Beach.
Edinburgh, my beautiful home away from home. That city will forever hold a piece of my heart. These were some of my favorite places in Edinburgh and where I spent a great deal of time. Looking at these photos and writing this blog post makes me miss it even more. What I would give to sit on Calton Hill right now or relax with a cup of coffee at The Elephant House. Edinburgh will make you fall in love with a city more than you ever though possible and if you do choose to study abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland or even just visit, I hope the time you spend there is just as magical and life-altering as mine was. So my question to you is, why not Edinburgh?

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Main Six

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Education Abroad Office has endless amounts of programs that you could study abroad with. Our office however, likes to highlight our main six study abroad programs. These programs are the universities we have the best relationships with, know the most about and we can guarantee will offer the best support. These six programs are in Italy, Japan, Spain, England, Australia and Fiji. Over 10,000 students from 250 institutions have participated on on our six Education Abroad Programs. These programs have a lot to offer students; a great deal of student support from knowledgeable on-site staff, exciting excursions and co curricular activities, and unique opportunities to integrate into the institution, community, and culture abroad.  They offer students an experience of a lifetime, colorful opportunities and I hope after reading this you find the program just for you!

#1: The American University of Rome, Italy
Rome. Who doesn't want to go to Rome, I know I do. AUR is perched high above Rome on the Janiculum hill, just above the famous Trastevere district.  Founded in 1969, AUR is one of the oldest degree-granting American universities in Italy.  With a total enrollment of about 500 students, the university attracts students from 40 countries worldwide, bringing a unique international perspective to the campus. Occupying a single, self-contained campus, AUR offers spectacular views of Rome.  The campus includes two main buildings, a library, and gorgeous gardens and terraces for studying or enjoying conversations with classmates from around the globe.  The surrounding neighborhood offers a range of shops, restaurants, pubs, and cafes, and all of Rome’s historic museums, theatres, monuments, and galleries are just a short bus ride away, making it easy to experience all that the city has to offer. You can study at AUR over winterim, summer, for a  semester or a full academic year. If that doesn't just sound like the most wonderful Italian adventure, then I don't know what does.

http://www.uwplatt.edu/education-abroad/aur-rome-italy

#2: Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies, Japan
When I think of Japan, I think of a very unique and different culture from that of the United States of America. NUFS was founded in 1947 and is fully accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education.  With a total enrollment of about 800 students, international students from around the world account for nearly 40 percent of the student population, bringing a unique international perspective to NUFS. The current NUFS campus, built in 1996, is located on the northern border of Nagasaki City and its suburb of Togitsu.  Nagasaki, a city of about 500,000 people on the western island of Kyushu, is built around a natural harbor and climbs up the surrounding steep hills. The city boasts spectacular views and proximity to natural sights such as its rugged coastline, beaches, islands, volcanic mountains, and a national park. You can study at NUFS for either a semester or a full academic year. Ready to have your life enriched by a vastly different culture? Then NUFS is just the place for you. For more information please visit the link below.

http://www.uwplatt.edu/education-abroad/nufs-nagasaki-japan

#3: Spanish-American Institute of International Education, Spain
When I think of Spain I think of beautiful architecture, unique food and a dynamic and happening culture. SAIIE is located in the heart of medieval Seville.  Founded in 1984, SAIIE instructs American students studying abroad through UW-Platteville Education Abroad and offers an intercultural learning experience through academics, excursions, conversation partnerships with native Spanish speakers, volunteer opportunities, and internships.  In addition, SAIIE serves as a language academy for international students wanting to learn English, bringing a unique international and intercultural perspective to SAIIE. Occupying a single, self-contained building, SAIIE is just minutes from many of Seville’s famous sights.  The surrounding neighborhood offers a range of shops, restaurants, cafes, and pubs, and Seville’s museums, galleries, monuments, and nightlife are easily accessed by public transportation or are within walking distance.  With a population of 750,000, Seville has all of the advantages of a big city while still maintaining Spanish charm and culture. You can study at SAIIE over winterim, summer, for a semester or full academic year. Wouldn't you like to be charmed by the Spanish culture? I know that sounds wonderful to me! For more information please visit the link below.

http://www.uwplatt.edu/education-abroad/saiie-seville-spain

#4: St. Mary's University, England 
Ready to have the time of your life while living in one of the most famous cities in the world? Then this program is just for you. Founded in 1850, St Mary’s University is the only Catholic university in London and the largest in the UK. The Catholic ethos of St Mary's University provides students with a values-based education that is open to all, and where all students and staff are respected and valued.With a total enrollment of about 4,000 students, international students from around the world account for nearly 10 percent of the student population, bringing a unique international perspective to St Mary’s University. The beautiful St. Mary's University campus is situated on the grounds of the historic Strawberry Hill House making it a welcoming community for students. At St Mary's University students get the best of both worlds with our beautiful green space close to the hustle and bustle of Central London only 25 minutes away by train. At the same time students have all the advantages of the restaurants, cafes, pubs, and malls of nearby Kingston and Teddington. You can study at SMU for the summer, a semester or for a full academic year. Wish to see Big Ben, ride the London eye, visit Buckingham Palace and other endless possibilities? Then, SMU in London is the perfect opportunity for you! Visit the link below for more information.
 
http://www.uwplatt.edu/education-abroad/smu-london-england
  
#5: University of Newcastle, Australia  
When I think Australia the typical tourist thoughts come to mind, kangaroos, everyone can surf and an eternal summer,. but Australia has so much more to offer then just those things. UoN is an Australian public university established in 1965 comprised of five campuses.  Conducting groundbreaking research in health and medicine, science and engineering, and energy and the environment, UoN consistently ranks in the top ten universities for research.  And with a total enrollment of about 36,000, the 7,500 international students from 115 countries bring a unique international perspective to UoN. Callaghan, the main and largest campus, is located in the Newcastle suburb of Callaghan, just seven miles from Newcastle city.  The campus is comprised of over 345 acres of natural bushland and includes university buildings and lecture halls, sporting fields, a sports and aquatic center, and four residence halls.  Newcastle city, which is easily reached by train from the UoN campus, has a population of over 155,000 and offers a range of shops, restaurants, pubs, cafes, museums, galleries, and nightlife.  In addition, Sydney is just 101 miles, or two hours by train, away and can be easily been reached for a day or weekend trip. Students can study for an academic year or semester at UoN.You can study at UoN for a semester or for a full academic year. Visit the link below for more information.

http://www.uwplatt.edu/education-abroad/uon-newcastle-australia
  
#6: University of the South Pacific, Fiji 
Small island, rich culture, numerous beaches and no snow? This program is sounding better and better. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't mind skipping out on the Midwest winter!USP is a public research university owned by the governments of 12 member nations: the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.  With a student population of 22,000, USP attracts students from the South Pacific, Asia, and Europe, bringing a unique international perspective to USP. USP’s largest campus is the Laucala Campus hosts 11,000 students in Fiji’s capital city, Suva, on the island of Viti Levu.  The Laucala Campus consists of two campuses, upper and lower, and is approximately 10 minutes by bus from central Suva.  Suva city offers a wide variety of shops, restaurants, nightlife, cafes, pubs, theatres, and open markets, and there is a range of outdoor activities such as surfing, hiking, and swimming to be done just outside of the city.  With a population of 172,000, Suva has all of the advantages of a big city while still maintaining Fijian charm and culture. You can study at USP for a semester or a full academic year. Outdoor and city activities? Count me in. This program has an endless list of possibilities! Visit the link below for more information.

http://www.uwplatt.edu/education-abroad/usp-suva-fiji

These are the main six programs UW-Platteville has to offer, don't they all sound just wonderful? I know if I could and I had the funds and time I would go on every single one. These six options have so much to offer a student who wishes to study abroad and are so well constructed. Which in reality every student should have the goal to study abroad because it changes your life and as you get older your commitments only grow, so go now while your young and more carefree. It will not only enrich your education, but your life as well.

I hope I have now sparked your interest in one of our six programs and you will start your application today! Your adventure with Education Abroad awaits!

Want more general information about our Education Abroad Office. Visit the link below. 

http://www.uwplatt.edu/education-abroad

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Money. Money. Money.


Money. Money. Money. This always seems to be the biggest concern from students when they are considering studying abroad, I know it was one of mine and it is also one of the biggest reason's a lot of student's have also chosen not to go abroad. Well let me outline something very clearly, DO NOT LET THAT FEAR STOP YOU FROM HAVING THE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME. You can always earn money, it's always a possibility. How will I get the money to go abroad? How much does Education Abroad cost? Are there scholarships available? What about financial aid? These are all questions so many students continually have and I am going to try and clear some of it up for you!

The main point is that no, Education Abroad is not free, but there are so many ways to earn the
money to go abroad. No one program costs the same amount and you also have to consider outside costs like traveling and living expenses. If you plan far enough in advance you can spend your summers working like I did to raise the funds to go. The University, the Education Abroad Office and many outside sources like the internet, offer a variety of scholarships and financial aid will apply just like it does back here on campus. The following is a link to the scholarships we offer.

http://www.uwplatt.edu/education-abroad/education-abroad-scholarships

Alright now let's get more creative and think more on a fundraising level! The following are ideas for raising money online or offline to go abroad.

To get started with:
Make a Video
Videos are such a key in today's world and they are such a key in marketing yourself. They are a great way to raise money and make people aware of your future plans and endeavors. There is a great app today called Adobe Voice and it is such an easy, quick and useful tool in making a meaningful video and telling a story.
    Writing Your Campaign Description 
    Keep it positive and consider what would inspire you to give to others and that will give you an idea of what direction to go in with your video. Make sure you explain why you want to go abroad and how much you will grow from it. Really highlight on how the funders' money will be used, how much it means to you and how it will only improve your education. Highlight on the fact that you are not asking people to fund a vacation, but so much more, a life-changing experience.

    To highlight more on earning money online for Education Abroad here are a few tips:
    How to Ask for Money Without Making it Awkward
    Now it's really time to put on your thinking cap! For each level someone donates at you can come up with your own little reward. People like to see where and what their money is being used for, so it's important to make them a part of your experience with Education Abroad. For everyone that donates $10 dollars you can promise to send a postcard. For those who donate $25+ keep a video blog for them and send a post card. If they donate $100, you can give them a video shout-out from a landmark in your destination country and share it with them via Facebook or email. This will really mean a lot to people if you take the time to recognize their efforts to support you.
    SHARE!
    Share your video and campaign on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Really any social media you are on that is one more face your campaign and video reaches. Even branch out and write personal email to people to fund your trip and include a link to your video. Go above and beyond to get it out there, make your goals known.
    Reach Out to Extended Networks
    This campaign is a great reason to expand your current network and demonstrate your initiative, for future prospects. If you are traveling to Spain, reach out to the Spanish Club on campus or your local Spanish Culture groups; find Spanish Speakers Associations or Spanish Education Organizations using LinkedIn and other online resources. Inform them about your desire to learn the culture and language through an immersion experience and the incentives you’re offering donors.
    Highlights on earning money offline for Education Abroad: 

    Arts and Crafts
    Sew, knit, make Christmas wreaths, whatever! If you like to craft then do so while earning money towards Education Abroad. Ask people to fund your trip in return for a craft or piece of art work. If music or writing is your thing host a concert at your university or a poetry slam. 

    Bake
    Hold a bake sale or sell hot chocolate. In this cold weather especially on campus students would love the opportunity to  stop quickly and buy some delicious treats and a hot chocolate to warm them up. You could also cater one of your family or friend's holidays. Some people hate to cook for the holidays, so offer to take it off their hands in return them making a donation to your travel fund. 

    Athletics 
    Alright so, if you partake in any sports ask people to donate for every win, shot, hit or milestone you mark. If they do then make a video and dedicate the achievement to them! Like to stay active while raising money? Partake in a marathon or a tough mudder! You could even create and host your own tournament, like a Dodgeball Tournament and have the proceeds go towards your travel fund! 

    Entrepreneurs and Educators   
    Time to get down and dirty! Rake leaves, shovel snow, mow lawns or tutor for tips! Get friends together to host a talent show for donations. Babysit or nanny for contributions to your travel campaign.Talk to local cultural groups and businesses that might help you sponsor an event or even your trip, in exchange for volunteering or supporting their products/services.

    A few last words: 
    Remember to give THANKS to all the people who funded and supported your journey. Let them know just how much it meant to you and how without it everything you have gained and experienced with and through Education Abroad would not have been possible without their help. I hope this post has been very helpful to anyone looking for ways to raise money to go abroad or had any questions about scholarships or financial aid. Remember to not let the fear of raising money to keep you from going abroad, it is an amazing opportunity and it's one you won't regret.    


    This blog post was adapted from an article done by NAFSA.