All posts by Logan Churchill

Week 8: Intercultural Development

After reading through all of the different stages of intercultural development, I would say that as of right now in my life I’m falling between the stage of acceptance.  I feel like I empathize with others well and I’m always trying to learn more about others cultures.  I love asking other people questions about themselves because it gives me a different perspective.  I don’t think that just because someone does something different than me that it makes it bad or necessarily good.  And I don’t like to really judge others on a whole because I wouldn’t want to be judged by them either so I try to always think about it from the perspective well how would I feel if I was in their shoes.  This helps me with not judging them and anything they do.

Thanksgiving

I was sitting at the small table with my Abuelo (grandfather) and little brother and his best friend.  We were talking about school and I told them how I would like to go study abroad in Spain.  My Abuelo looked up at me and said “really?”.  I was like yeah I loved Costa Rica, why not go somewhere new and explore my opportunities.  He was so excited.  He ended up telling me he went to study abroad in Spain in college too.  He said it changed his life forever.  I asked him why he never mentioned it since it had such an impact on him.  He didn’t know that I was interested in traveling so he never brought it up.  But he was telling me how it was his first time on a plane and he didn’t know what to expect.  He ended up almost missing his flight and caught it by running onto the strip.  We were all laughing.  He says he was running in front of it waving his hands and yelling that his luggage and everything was on that plane and they weren’t leaving without him.  He refused to stop even when everyone was yelling for him to move out of the way for safety reasons.  They finally let him on once he explained that all of his belongings were on that plane and he wasn’t leaving till he got his things.  When he got on the plane, he said his friends were impressed saying he was the stuff for making the plane stop for him.  I found out my little brother during this conversation would like to study in Italy.  He doesn’t know where yet but he knows Italy.  He said if he doesn’t go to study he’d still love to go and visit and see what it’s like there.

Week 7: Existing Knowledge and Questions About Host Country/Culture

I don’t really know anything as of now about Spain.  I haven’t done much of my research yet.  I have never actually been there yet either.  I don’t know anyone personally who has lived or even visited Spain before.  I don’t know of any stereotypes for Spain’s culture.  I can take another Spanish class if I’d like to further my knowledge with Spanish that will help me while I’m there.  The books I would read to learn more about their culture and history would be “Don Quixote”, “Homage to Catalonia”, “The Shadow of The Wind”, “The Color of a Dog Running”.  I don’t know of any news sources yet for Spain.  I have seen Pan’s Labyrinth.  I took three classes of Spanish in High School and one in Middle School.  In order to become better, I can read the books and study and keep up with the news once I find a reliable source I like.

Questions:

What other languages may be used and how can I learn this new language(s) to help me?

What is the weather like and what clothes will I need to bring with us?

What kind of transportation is available to my area and how much will it cost?

What things do I need to be aware of like dangers?

What are specialties I need to experience before leaving Spain?

What time periods are good for doing certain activities like shopping or eating and where may the best places be for this?

What are the people like (welcoming, not welcoming, snappy, rude, nice) towards visitors?

Who should I contact in case of emergency?

What can I do to fit in with locals and culture?

Is there anything that may be considered rude or anything along those lines that typical Americans wouldn’t view as rude in our culture?  (quirks, behaviors, certain language, etc.)

Week 6: Financial Aid 101

I chose this article because I know as a teen and growing up with my parents, especially my mom, they wanted me to budget and learn how to do it efficiently.  To this day, I am not very good with it.  I am great at saving but not really with determining where the money should go once I get the check.  Or even how long I should be planning in advance for something big coming up and utilizing the budget as a means to help me financially plan for it.  I’m the person who knows where my money is coming from and when and how much and what I will be paying and when but I won’t physically make a budget to map my whole plan out.  I am going to start going by what this article says and determine what are my goals first and then evaluate it from there.

http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Topics/Budgeting-Spending/Budgeting-Saving/Establishing-a-budget

Week 4: Funding My Study Abroad

I am interested in the CIS abroad Intern in Costa Rica, CIS abroad Semester in Ghana, API in Madrid, Spain: Antonio de Nebrija University Spanish Language, Business and Humanities.  The program in Costa Rica is for an internship which would be a great experience for me and I would like to see Costa Rica again.  However, I am leaning heavily towards the program provided in Spain because I like how their classes are taught in English and Spanish and I have the option of living with a host family or in a dorm.  I tried to select different places because I like travelling and experiencing diverse cultures.  I used the website we went over in class and used the map and just looked around at what was offered at these various locations to see what caught my eye.  The programs offered in Spain and Ghana both are for business students.  I don’t really have one thing that’s making me like the Spain one other than the fact that I would really just like to Spain out of the other programs I had to choose from.

I plan on paying for the trip by working and saving ahead of time and budgeting for it.  I will apply to some scholarships as well just so it opens up my opportunities and I may not have to pay as much out of pocket.  I am also going to see what options I have and talk to the financial office.  Budgeting and planning ahead will help me save the most as well as looking at what options I have and learning about the opportunities around me.  Three scholarships that I may apply for are the following: Spanish Studies Abroad Scholarship Program, International Studies Abroad (ISA), American Institute for Foreign Study.

Week 3: My Criteria

I would like to go on a more structured study abroad program.  Where the teacher is guiding us and I’m included in a group of other students.  I would want to go study abroad only for a short period of time.  I would want to experience going on the trip with other American students who may be from another state but still from the U.S. like me.  An internship or research opportunities would interest me the most.  I would love to know what it is like to have an internship and have that unique experience.   Cost is somewhat a factor in my study abroad search.  It isn’t going to make a definite decision though.  If I really would like to go, I will make it happen somehow and apply for scholarships as much as possible.  I wouldn’t mind taking classes that may not actually match up with my coursework.  I like to learn new things and that may differ from what I’m coming here for.  I don’t really have a particular place in mind.  I love diversity and whether it is a small town or big city, I just want to come back home and have learned some new things or have a change in perspective on life.  I don’t have any specific needs that would need to be addressed before I left such as medical issues or religious requirements.  I would like to learn a language while studying abroad but I would still like it if my classes were in English.  I would like to be able to go out and experience what the community and environment on a whole is like.

Myths and Goals

I thought that employers didn’t think much of studying abroad.  They might have even viewed it as a vacation.  However, after reading this and the previous articles it has changed my mind.  Employers view it as opportunities that were given to these potential employees to become more diverse and deal with different cultures and individuals.  To learn a new language and learning soft skills.   I don’t know anyone personally close to me who has studied abroad.  The only times I’ve heard of studying abroad was in high school when the  teachers would have meetings with parents and students to tell us about the opportunities and different trips.

I hope to learn another language and become a part of the community where I go and to help those in the area  if it’s needed.  I would like to also learn a trade or something that is important to that culture that would give me skills in the working world.  I want to leave having made lifelong, positive relationships with others and stay in touch with those I meet.  I want to learn all I can about those who live in the community and their perspectives, ideas and different communication skills.

Study Abroad

I got the travel bug after traveling to Costa Rica in high school.  Soon after I went to California for work and just came back from a trip to Vegas.  These experiences mixed with some from family vacations have helped me to realize there is a bigger world than what I thought.  I love to learn other’s cultures and it helps keep me grounded and appreciate what I have at home.  I have no barriers when it comes to studying abroad.

After reading the texts, I made some notes of how they differed from each other or made me think of something I could change.  Cecilia Simon wrote in “The World Is Their Workplace” that working while studying abroad makes individuals stand out when it comes to employers.  I was not aware that this opportunity was available to students.  I thought studying abroad was actually just becoming popular.  However, after reading the other articles apparently students are not aware of it or choose to opt out of studying abroad.  Most of the articles stated that it was due to “…lack of information…”.  Karin Fischer believes it doesn’t just stop there, some students don’t want to travel somewhere where they don’t speak the native language of the area.  Therefore making them feel uncomfortable.  Most of what I read specifically from the article “A Global Education Opens Doors but Leaves Many Shut Out” says the main reason students don’t want to study abroad is because it can very costly.  What some students don’t know is that they have money available through scholarships and some are given to people who are first generation students or for minorities.  The one thing that caught my attention while reading everything was that I never thought about how studying abroad can really have an impact on a hiring decision.  It opened me to the idea that maybe I would want to consider putting that on my resume for the future.