The excitement of traveling and working overseas after college might be exactly what some grads are looking for, but what are the realities and how can you actually make it happen? That’s what we talk about in today’s episodes as we explore heading abroad after college.
When Stressed, rub your temples
Longwood professor Jeff Halliday decided to go to China straight out of college to teach English to Chinese students.
Jeff recounts many enlightening experiences including exceptionally respectful students and staff members, being presented with small gifts just for being there. Then there was the strange experience of complete silence in reverence for periods being in session, with only the furious scribbling of pens and pencils and the occasional footsteps in the hall as a backdrop.
Other things that were different to growing up in the states encountering young adults between the ages of 19 and 22 with grey hair due to stress faced at school! Hanging over their heads at every semester was the threat of not being able to continue with school and therefore losing the opportunity to a good future.
So, would there be any stress relievers? Yes, Jeff remembers a morning ‘ritual’ where the bell would ring and all students downed pencils, glasses and started to count and massage their temples with closed eyes in a regimented way!
Listen to "Abroad for Education"
What’s mine is yours…I guess…
Taylor, a 2013 graduate signed up for the Peace Corps, something she had always wanted to do since middle school.
Disembarking from a 3am flight, she remembers the gorgeous snow-capped mountains of Kyrgyzstan, where she’d spend her time teaching English in small rural villages.
She was exposed to a totally different and opened her up to a new perspective on life and community. Even though she was homesick and just wanted to be alone her host father would pull her out of her isolation by banging on the door, on pipes – anything to get her attention; and despite being annoyed at first, she would always feel better after spending time with her new family.
Taylor felt that the biggest contribution she made was actively doing her part to change the perception the community had of a stereotypical American, to view them as unique and vastly different people.
After this episode, decide for yourself whether experiencing life abroad as part of the culture could be enriching to your life, or just a waste of a year or so.
In this episode, you'll hear:
- Some of the most incomparable cultural situations you could ever imagine
- How the schooling in two very different countries are opposite extremes to that in America
- Some sensitive and stressful experiences that could easily befall anyone just by being regarded as different
- Why experiencing some time abroad could be the most enlightening experience to start your adult life off with.
- How the challenge of personal comfort zones lead to tremendous personal growth.