Are you ready to go Above and Abroad? Join us for our Annual Study Abroad Fair, Wednesday, September 8th 2015 from 10am to 3pm in the MLK Jr. Union University Ballroom! The Study Abroad Fair will include information about universities and colleges around the world! .You will also get a chance to participate in raffles, and speak with faculty members from the Office of Financial Aid and Health Services, to prepare you for your trip overseas.Remember, the Study Abroad Fair is the one of the first steps to making this a reality!
Studying in the Bahamas with Joseph: I started my Bahamas journey by leaving Charleston around 7 am to head to the Indianapolis Airport. Once getting to Indy airport, I met up with my group and met up with Dr. Carter. We all got our boarding passes and began our flight towards to Atlanta for a brief layover. We finally got to Fort Lauderdale that afternoon and took a bus back to our hotel for the night. It was there that I finally met Dr. Lizowski who would be in charge of my learning during the adventure. For dinner 5 others and I decided to take a hotel taxi to go get some crab legs at a authentic seafood restaurant. We found the Rustic Inn and split a bunch of crab legs and coconut shrimp. Actually the coconut was the best dish by far and we wish we would have just ordered that because it was hands down the best we had ever had. After getting back to the hotel, the two guys I would be rooming with (Matt and Tyler) decided to go with me to the hotel’s bar to get a drink before bed. I “manned up” (sarcasm) and got a strawberry daiquiri which was amazing. We ended our first day playing heads up with some girls on the trip before going to bed. Sadly all of us struggled to fall asleep and did not get the best rest. This was mainly out of excitement for the next day to travel to the Bahamas.
We left our hotel and arrived at the airport at around 9 am during our second day. We had originally thought we were leaving at 9 for Andros but we did not leave until roughly 11:30 am. Everyone sat around and waited and I learned how to play yuker finally. Our plane was a 30 passenger plane and many people were nervous to fly on it, but I was just excited to fly in a smaller plane. On our flight over I was able to see the ocean and I even thought I saw some dolphins way down swimming and jumping out of the water.
Taking my first steps on Bahamian soil was fantastic mainly because of just how warm it was. We got through customs and took taxis (which were vans) to drive an hour to our new home: Forfar Station. Once everyone arrived from their taxis and we had lunch, we went out for our first snorkeling of the trip. We took one large boat out to Dave’s Reef to snorkel and I was determined to get tan, so I did not put on sunscreen.. which I would later find out to be a terrible idea. As for the snorkeling, I was very nervous. I am not the best swimmer and I had never snorkeled before so I was not sure what to expect. Turns out snorkeling is very cool and I loved it. I eventually even dove down in some places to grab sea shells and conchs. Once we got back to Forfar we had dinner and had a brief orientation of our expectations for the trip from Dr. Lizowski and the Forfar staff. After playing volleyball and unpacking, I sat out on the deck and watched the waves roll in and out that night with others in the group. Sleeping was very hard and uncomfortable due to the heat and my sunburn, but as the week would go on it would be easier for me to sleep.
We started our routine today that would end up being our routine throughout the week in terms of eating schedule. We would eat breakfast at 8 am, lunch around 12 or 1, and eat dinner at 6 pm. At 9 am we went out to another area to snorkel called Staniard Reef and Staniard Wreck. This was a rough time snorkeling due to the waves and wind being so strong. I swallowed a ton of salt water and it was not the most pleasant thing. I did however dive down to find a tulip mollusk and conch shell that I would later take home. We ate lunch at the 2 mile beach and by then I could really feel the sun’s power. The previous day I did not wear sunscreen and today I only wore a tiny bit. I also did not wear a shirt all day so that did not help my case. When we got back I lathered myself in aloe vera and played volleyball and ping pong with some people. I was extremely tired by the end of the day but I still went outside to the deck that night to feel the breeze and watch the ocean waves with others. Sadly sleep was still not easy that night and the sunburn was the main reason for that.
Today would be my first day teaching in the Bahamas and it would definitely be an interesting one. I would teach at Fresh Creek Primary School and the drive (which was rough like the other drives) was 45 minutes, so breakfast was quick. When I got to the school I was a little nervous but quickly settled in with my teaching. It was hard because I could not hear all that way from the previous night because I either had too much water in my ears or I slept on my ears weird. Either way it was hard to hear my students’ responses at times and it was a struggle. My first couple activities were alright and the students responded well enough; however, my best activities were my puzzle activity and my reader’s theater.
The students responded well to putting the puzzles together in silence and really worked hard to do so. They also enjoyed reading the plays in front of the class and acting them out in a way. I was in charge of ringing the school bell when it was time for lunch or break time. My teacher was very helpful at times when the students got a bit crazy and she was in the classroom and I really appreciated her being there after all. She enjoyed the gifts that my partner Brianna and I gave her too. After teaching we went back to the station to relax and some presented their topics for Dr. Lizowski. I forgot to mention this yesterday but I presented with Matt yesterday about sharks and we did a fabulous job presenting as we usually do when we present together.
If you want to read more blog posts by Joseph Click here to visit his blog!
We are Wishing You Well Post-Graduation Molly Button!
We want to give our warmest thanks to our former Graduate Assistant Molly Button! We want to thank you for all of your hard work and outstanding contributions to the Office of Study Abroad! You have been so hardworking, fun, innovative, and most of all a great leader. We want to commend you for all of your determination and dedication to our office over the years. It has been a pleasure to work with you and we are so grateful to have had such a wonderful person in our office. Further, we want to also congratulate you on your new job working in the Study Abroad Office at IIT in Chicago! Once again thank you Molly for all of the hard work you have done in our office and we wish you well!
The Office of Study Abroad
Hey guys! It’s Mary, your professional writing intern, one last time.
It’s with bittersweet emotions that I say good-bye to my time in the Office of Study Abroad. I am really happy that I was able to sign up to be the professional writing intern here at the Office this semester. There was a lot going on, including completely revamping our study abroad website, that kept me busy and gave me a lot of experience that I can put toward future endeavors.
One of the best things about working at the Office this semester was meeting all of the people that work here. My co-workers freely gave out praise and encouragement that helped me to complete that tasks that I was assigned while working here. Everyone is friendly and happy to help with anything I could have needed. Being able to work in the Office itself, I was able to see that this sentiment was extended to all that entered looking for help on studying abroad.
Not only am I saying good-bye to the Office of Study Abroad, but I am also graduating this semester and saying good-bye to EIU. Like many of you, the excitement of finishing this step in my life is mixed with nervousness about what I am going to do next in my life. The rush to look for a “big people” job or a masters program, whatever you feel is the next step for you, can sometimes get exhausting, but I try to remember to take a break once in a while and remember how far I’ve come.
It is with a heavy heart but a happy smile that I sign off one last time from the Office of Study Abroad.
Deciding to study abroad is a big, but exciting, step. The opportunities are endless for a student wanting to experience the challenge of studying in a different country, but one challenge to face before you begin is getting your parents approval and/or financial assistance. Follow these tips to prepare yourself and your case before bringing the idea of studying abroad to your parents.
Do Your Research
Before you bring it up to your parents, do your research. Make sure that you know what you want to do, and anticipate questions that your parents will have. Some parents frequently asked questions can be found here.
- Course Credit
Won’t this make you fall behind in your studies?
All semester programs offer courses that transfer into EIU credit. The number of semester hours offered depends on the program so do your research, and know what classes your program provides. On summer programs, you are earning course credit where you would not have been if you stayed home. Our summer programs offer a wide range of courses, so again, do your research and know what you want to take, and how it will count, before speaking to your parents. Go to our Couse Finder to see which courses you can take that transfer into EIU credit.
- Financial Aid
How are we going to pay for this? We don’t have the money for that.
The Study Abroad Office has many options for financial aid and scholarships. With both of these, you can lower your out-of-pocket cost significantly. Make sure to ask to an advisor in our office about scholarships that you are eligible for and due dates. Also check out the Financial Aid section of our webpage.
- Safety Precautions
How will I know you are going to be safe in a foreign country?
Everyone involved with the Study Abroad program is intent on your safety. It can be scary to think about something happening so far away, but measures are in place to make sure that you are being taken care of while you are studying abroad. Check out our page on Health and Safety.
- Staying in Touch
But I’ll miss you too much if you’re so far away!
Sending you to college was already a big step for your parents; the thought for you in another country is scary for them. There are many ways that you and your parents can stay in touch while you are abroad, whether that be for the summer or for a whole year. Check out our page on keeping in touch.
Timing is key when approaching your parents about studying abroad. Make sure that you bring it up in a moment of happiness and relaxation. If your parents just got off work, had to deal with traffic, and now has to deal with your whining sibling, that’s probably not the best time to bring up something like studying abroad. Make sure that you time the discussion so that you have time to have a discussion.
Be Assertive but Respectful
Make sure when you are speaking to your parents that your tone of voice never reaches anything that can be called disrespectful, but at the same time do not back down. Answer your parents’ concerns with facts, and make sure they know you are serious and that studying abroad is not just a passing whim. If you present yourself as a mature adult making an informed decision, they will be more likely to treat you like one. Sometimes your parents just want to feel like they are part of your decision. It might be a good idea to have multiple options so that your parents can help you narrow it down. If there are still issues, do not be afraid to compromise. Studying abroad may not be possible this year/semester. Have a plan B program and make sure to bring up studying abroad next year/semester.
For information from previous Study Abroad students, come to our panel discussion on April 21st in the Casey Room in the Union!
During the afternoon on Friday the 24th of April, 2015, the Office of Study Abroad will be hosting the third annual HOLI: FESTIVAL OF COLORS from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Library Quad of Eastern Illinois University. Admission is FREE, so come out and celebrate the spring season with us in an explosion of color and friendship.
The celebration originated as a Hindu religious holiday, mainly in India and Nepal, as a day to rid oneself of past errors, end conflicts, forgive and forget. It also marked the beginning of spring, and the tradition of spreading colors everywhere is a way to celebrate and encourage the coming growth of spring’s flowers and plants. The festival has since spread throughout other Asian countries and on to countries like the United States. Here at Eastern, the Festival of Colors gives students an opportunity to get together with their friends and work off the stress of upcoming exams and the end of the semester.
People of all ages and professions are encouraged to come and make a mess. As per tradition, colorful powder will be distributed to be spread on friends, family, and strangers. Participants will be sure to leave covered in all sorts of color with a smile on their face. Returning participants will remember the festival well and are sure to encourage new people to remember to wear white T-shirts or at least something they do not mind getting messy.
It’s sure to be a fun and messy time. Save the date, and I’ll see you there!
EIU student Samantha DeYoung is currently studying at University of South Wales for the spring semester. Follow her experience with her blog here.
January 3rd, 2015
After a very long two days of traveling, I am finally here! Sitting in my room watching netflix, it is raining, something I will get used to very fast here in Wales. Yesterday was definitely the longest day of my life, literally I was awake and traveling from 3pm Thursday when I left Pittsburgh until 3pm Friday when I finally arrived at the University. With two time changes, two fights, a bus, and a train, we finally made it. Our rooms are nice and have private bathrooms attached to them, our flat consists of 6 rooms that remind me of American dorms, all connected by a hallway that leads to our kitchen.
Yesterday at the airport, I was constantly looking for all of those gypsies I had been constantly warned about, and of course I didn’t see any at all! The airport atmosphere was very safe. Customs gave us all a very hard time since our course of study is only until April, but our documents say it is until June. We were met at the airport by a lady that showed us how to catch a coach to Cardiff. After arriving in Cardiff, we walked from the bus stop to the train station. From what little I saw of Cardiff, I think it will be very fun to visit and wander around down there. Everywhere we go people can’t understand us and they use words we don’t understand either. After several jokes made at our expense, the people here are beyond friendly and helpful. I have never had so many people offer to carry my bags and offer to show us where to go. People here go out of their way to help you, something very foreign to Americans!
(Cardiff Train Station)
(Castle on our way to the Treforest stop)
After climbing a mountain to get to the accommodations office, we were shown our rooms and could finally relax. Kait and I went into the Treforest village to buy shampoo, conditioner, water, bread, and soap for our rooms. The village is very cute and we passed a lot of small shops and restaurants. After stopping to get Chinese “Take Away” we walked over the bridge that crosses the railway and hiked back up to our rooms.
(Our pretty campus)
(The view from our Flat)
Everything has been very exciting so far, tomorrow we plan to go back to Cardiff to visit and to explore. We choose our classes on Monday and hopefully can start planning for all of our trips after that!
Today is the Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year!
The name of the holiday is based on the Chinese calendar being lunisolar which means the months coordinate to the cycles of the moon but the length is periodically adjusted to keep it relatively in sync with the solar year, which the United States follows. Because the Chinese are not the only ones who celebrate this holiday, the name Chinese New Year is interchangeable with Lunar New Year.
New Year festivities are a tradition for celebrating great ancestors, family, religion, and a surplus of abundance. Lunar New Year is celebrated through lantern festivities, fireworks, dancing, music, food, and relaxation. It is also traditional for windows and doors to be decorated with red paper-cut outs with themes of “good fortune”, “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity.”
Check out this from the New Dragon Dance Performers as they dance in honor of the Lunar New Year!
Every year for the lunar calendar is marked by one of the 12 zodiacal animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. This year is the year of the sheep, but there has been some conflict over what the Chinese word yang translates into: ram, sheep, or goat. The ancient Chinese symbol meant goat; so, those in China more commonly use goat as this years animal. People in other Asian countries disagree. In Korea, the symbol more commonly means sheep. All three translations are technically correct. I guess it just depends of what animal you can find in your area.
Do you want to find out what animal coordinates with your birth year? Click Here
Explore the places you can go when you study abroad!
It’s Mary, the professional writing intern here at the Study Abroad Office. It’s been about a month now that I have been working with the office. For those of you that are trying to get all of your paperwork done for summer programs, you know that it’s been a hectic month. Now that summer program deadlines are upon us, I know a lot of you will be looking at semester programs for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016.
When making a decision about where you want to study abroad, one of the main draws to a certain country is what you can do besides studying. I have found a website that should help you figure out where you want to study based on what you can do around your school. You can also use this website if you have made a decision about where you want to go but don’t know what you want to do or can do when you get there.
This website is not a comprehensive list of every place in a certain country, but it can give you an idea of what you can do once you are there. I would recommend doing more research than just this site for a more complete list of places to visit and things to do.
Roadtrippers.com lets you browse by:
–Attractions and Culture
–Food and Drink
–Outdoors and Recreation
–Points of Interest
–Camping and RV
–Entertainment and Nightlife
–Tours and Experiences
When you first get to the site, you are in the US. Simply zoom out and click and drag the map to find the country you want to explore.
A lot of countries in Europe offer cheap flights to other European countries; so, make sure to explore other countries besides the one you will be studying in. If you are worried about price, many of the attractions that you find on this website offer a price range when you click on them. You will soon realize that many interesting places to visit are low cost. Use this site and others to make the most of your time spent studying abroad!