All posts by raybaands

FINAL POST

This semester, this class taught me so much and has opened so many doors of just understanding studying abroad. I’ve learned the reasons why going abroad could be beneficial, yet hamrful to some, and also why It would be a good fit for me. Starting off in the class, I had the wrong idea of where I wanted to go and why I wanted to go there. I thought that money was going to fully stand in the way and that people just study abroad to just get away from where they’re from and into a new scenery. I learned I would like to study abroad  to learn and see first hand how other cultures interact. It’s fascinating to see how different but yet similar people of different backgrounds can be. I hoped that as I get older, I’d be mature enough to know when I’m ready.In the end, I think I’m actually more ready and mature than I give myself credit for. I also had no clue that studying abroad supposedly should cost the same if not cheaper than your tuition  you are already paying for the semester.  It was actually ironic because my mom and I were talking this weekend about this study abroad course. We also brought up how expensive it would be and how it would be a lot more than what I’m paying right now. It would be interesting to now share the information I’ve gotten. The only knowledge of studying abroad I had at first was from movies and a little from my friend who was a foreign exchange student back in high school. Since movies glamorize everything and my friend and I never really talked into depth about finances and the hard work that goes into studying abroad, you can say I knew little to none. Now, I can say that I definitely understand the concept more. I figured out that I would like a more structured study abroad experience. I get very uncomfortable with too much independence, no schedule, and no familiar faces. I don’t think I’d have fun if it was an experience where my activities were solely up to me. Honestly, I’d probably just stay in  my room where I felt comfortable. I also would prefer more of a short-termed study abroad experience because I feel I’d get too home sick to even appreciate my time there. Although, since the short-termed is more expensive, I should consider getting out of my shell and going with long term. If I were to study abroad, I’d like to do an internship or as well for the purpose of research opportunities and credibility. The program that I love the most is a summer GEO Direct-Enroll program at the American College of Greece. The reason I love this program the most is because it has multiple programs and classes I can take that’s specifically for my major. I’m also a big fan of this whole short-term studying abroad. I also would love to go to Greece so it’s a win-win. I want to go to Greece because it offers a lot of classes for my major and, who wouldn’t want to go to Greece? I think it’s probably one of the coolest and unusual places to go nowadays. The most I know about Greece is from the basics you learn in history class, the Parthenon, the Acropolis of Athens, the whole nine yards. I’ve also seen and learned about Greece from movies, such as 300, and many more. Even though I’m pretty sure movies aren’t the best way to portray Greece in it’s modern time, the history of Greece is still cool. I also love watching and reading about Greek mythology, although, I think Greek mythology could be considered a stereotype. I feel like a lot of people when they think of Greece, automatically think of them as toga wearing, 12 God having people, even though it was so long ago. Actually, Greece has a large proportion of Christian Orthodox. Although I don’t know much about Greece, I really want to explore and learn more about the culture and language. I think that’s another reason I’m pulling towards Greece so much. I have never traveled there or even met anyone that has been there. Finally, I learned study abroad isn’t for everyone.  A lot of times, people engage in things to make themselves seem more precious than they really are. It’s like, they don’t help people for the people benefit, they do it for their benefit. And posting on social media for others to see them participating in these international programs, gives them comfort to make it feel like they’re doing something right. It is also true that individuals, especially those that have more money than the average family, makes sure their kids participate in some type of fancy service-learning program, but, while they boast on Instagram, they forget to not only help and care about what they’re doing internationally, they forget to help out with things that are going on in their own backyards. Although many aren’t passionate about their services, depending on your internal goals and motivations, you can definitely still engage in international volunteering experiences and do more good than harm. It honestly all just depends on you. There are people in this world that genuinely want to give back, with no cell phones or personal satisfaction. Some people really want to just help. Study abroad was a fun engaging class. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of it!

CULTURAL IDENTITIES CASE STUDY

The cultural factors that are in play a role in this situation is how men view and objectify women. This type of standard is the same across many cultures, it’s just that the intensity of it changes. I would tell my host family about this situation and would try to travel in groups rather than alone.

Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving I attempted to tell my parents about studying abroad. I want to go the Athens, Greece so I took it among myself to go to the studioabroad website and go through the whole plan with them. Long story short, they were not having it. My parents are very firm on what they want and do not want, but it’s okay, I’m very persuasive. We’ll see again during Christmas.

Week 11: Global Education

Part 1

As we discussed in class, a lot of international students feel more comfortable around other international students because they have more in common with them. Also, with us Americans, I feel like it’s easy to meet us, but to get and maintain a relationship with us is hard, which is why many Americans believe in keeping minimal friends. The article mostly talks about the importance of forming new connections with different people. At my time at VCU, I have met international students but I haven’t genuinely made connections with them, nor would consider them as a friend.  I think to make this less of  a problem, it should be a club of people that want to ensure international students feel welcome.

Part 2

I could definitely relate to the students’ responses about culture shock. When I was younger, I saw culture shock on a smaller scale, as in culture shock within your own nation. In the United States alone, I’ve observed with my own eyes people not being familiar with their own neighbors. Even the way different American cultures talk is different. Sometimes, you can even tell which area a person is from just because of their accent. As for what international students could get confused on, a lot of our slang doesn’t make sense in America.

Part 3

I do think It is possible to have a valuable global experience without leaving the US, although, I don’t think it would be as significant as actually leaving. One of the things this article taught me was that 40% of the United States population are minorities and 10% are foreign born. We have the opportunities to immerse ourselves in different cultures right in our own backyards. In my opinion, even though it’s easier to just not go abroad, going abroad could single-handedly have a way greater effect on you. Being in the place where the culture originated had the greater chance of you really learning and understanding their traditions and customs.

Part 4

After reading this article, I can see why international students are important, yet I can see why they can affect the American college experience as well. It’s important that American students be culturally aware, but also, colleges make it such a priority to get international students and end up neglecting those in the United States. College recruiters spend time, money, and resources on ensuring international students are covered rather than us.

INTERVIEW ASSIGNMENT

1)What college did you attend?

2)What did you study in college and how long?

3)How old are you?

4)Is the Sensory Integration approach useful and necessary in Occupational therapy?

5)Does it have a huge affect on children if you choose to use different methods on kids rather than just using the Sensory Integration (SI) approach

6) What is the best way to separate personal feelings and work? I know it’s hard to try hard with something or someone ad no progress is made, so is it best to keep your emotions and professionalism together?

7) Do you enjoy the school atmosphere for your career field? Why?

8)What are the major problems in the career field?

9) What do you feel is the best way to fix or solve these problems?

10) Have you ever been or studied abroad? Do you think going abroad is beneficial to being an Occupational Therapist.

 

When I graduate college , I plan on becoming a pediatric occupational Therapist. For my interview, I wanted to ask questions that I always ponder, and things I knew were going to be useful for me in the long run. Renee Kotva is someone I look up to because of her accomplishments at such a young age. She is a 26-year-old pediatric Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) at an elementary school in Indianapolis, Indiana, hoping to be a OTR soon. Ms. Kotva attended Brown Mackie College in Indianapolis for her COTA degree but before that she received a B.S of Human Biology at Logan University. Also, as of last year she was in the OTR program at the University of Findlay in Ohio. She expressed to me that having her bachelors was cool for her because she feels like knowing background knowledge of the human body and it makes her a better COTA. As for using a type of approach or method for her counseling she says, “I do not use a specific approach or frame or reference to treat” however she believes “many children benefit from sensory accommodations more than any other aspects of treatment. When I had asked her about separating her emotions from her work, she responded by saying “this is a hard question”. She continued to go on about how some nights she’s stayed up countless hours thinking about a certain caseload and patients, but she finds that taking her feelings out, would make her less effective. Ms. Kotva loves doing her job in the school atmosphere very much. She likes the fact that her caseloads maintain the same throughout the school year, allowing her to form genuine connections and there is so much excitement when she sees progress. As fa as the problems in her field, she feels there is a disconnection between administration and the therapy staff. The special education department is comprised of mostly teachers at not only the school where she worked, but schools all over the country.  She says, “it’s frustrating because they do not know or sometimes understand different laws, regulations and rules that therapists have to go by, including OT, PT, speech and psychologists.”. This issue can be resolved by ensuring that the school districts should have some type of therapist not only in each school, but one represented in the administration. Lastly, she feels like going abroad is important in being a pediatric occupational therapist. A lot of kids are from different cultures are in need of assistance so going abroad would really help with that. As for her going abroad, she has traveled a lot and has recently moved to Anchorage, Alaska. She said she’ll update me on all her Alaskan adventures because “she’s only a phone call away”. 

Week 10: The Danger of a Single Story

There are many single stories I feel that people hold against me, but the two most common is race and religion. Because I am African American, many people think I should act a certain way. They believe black people are all loud (although I am loud), talk a certain way, that we’re from the hood and know no different, and that black women are “angry black women”. I find that often times people mix up the culture with the stereotypes, and the stereotypes most of the time don’t apply. It’s like we don’t get credit or are noticed until someone does something wrong that everyone else thinks proves how they think we act. Something Chimamanda Adichie said that really stuck with me was that the single story creates stereotypes that aren’t necessarily wrong, but they are incomplete, meaning the single stories made on people about their race isn’t what’s all to them as a person. Another single story people hold against me is my religion. They think just because I am a Christian and I’m not afraid to show it, I have to act a certain way. And if and when I neglect to act the way they expect, they’re quick to call me out on it and say I’m doing something wrong. A single story that I hold to others and absolutely need to get over is probably political affiliation. I preach freedom of speech but If I don’t agree or at least see where another persons political beliefs are coming from, I quickly dismiss it. This just means I should really keep a more open mind.

Week 9: Ethical Global Engagement

Honestly, after reading and watching this weeks assigned texts, it did make me question my reasons for wanting to engage in not only doing service-learning programs, but international ones as well. I could definitely see where they were coming from. A lot of times, people engage in things to make themselves seem more precious than they really are. It’s like, they don’t help people for the people benefit, they do it for their benefit. And posting on social media for others to see them participating in these international programs, gives them comfort to make it feel like they’re doing something right. It is also true that individuals, especially those that have more money than the average family, makes sure their kids participate in some type of fancy service-learning program, but, while they boast on instagram, they forget to not only help and care about what they’re doing internationally, they forget to help out with things that are going on in their own backyards. Although many aren’t passionate about their services, depending on your internal goals and motivations, you can definitely still engage in international volunteering experiences and do more good than harm. It honestly all just depends on you. There are people in this world that genuinely want to give back, with no cell phones or personal satisfaction. Some people really want to just help.

Week 10: Intercultural Development

I think I’m in stage 5 on the Intercultural development chart, which is Adaptation. I’m really big on empathizing and understanding so I think it fits me down to a T. I don’t feel threatened by other cultures in anyway. I definitely think I could still do some growing though. I am, although, accepting and can assimilate easier. This is why out of all the other ones, I chose stage 5.

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

The program destination I have in mind is Greece. I want to go to Greece because it offers a lot of classes for my major and, who wouldn’t want to go to Greece? I think it’s probably one of the coolest and unusual places to go nowadays. The most I know about Greece is from the basics you learn in history class, the Parthenon, the Acropolis of Athens, the whole nine yards. I’ve also seen and learned about Greece from movies, such as 300, and many more. Even though I’m pretty sure movies aren’t the best way to portray Greece in it’s modern time, the history of Greece is still cool. I also love watching and reading about Greek mythology. I think greek mythology could be considered a stereotype. I feel like a lot of people when they think of Greece, automatically think of them as toga wearing, 12 God having people, even though it was so long ago. Actually, Greece has a large proportion of Christian Orthodox. Although I don’t know much about Greece, I really want to explore and learn more about the culture and language. I think that’s another reason I’m pulling towards Greece so much. I have never traveled there or even met anyone that has been there. I have no knowledge of any news sources or anything related to that.

  1. Even though one of their most learned foreign languages is English, will it be enough to get me by while I’m there?
  2. What’s the common currency used?
  3. How much free time will we have to explore?
  4. If given a lot of opportunities to explore, is it more individually driven or in a more group setting?
  5. Is there anyway to volunteer in Greece or do some type of service learning while doing my studies?
  6. Whats would be my main method of transportation?
  7. Would it be more expensive to live in the dorms/ apartments to natives or other exchange students like me?
  8. What would be my total cost of my whole stay?
  9. Do you tip in Greece?
  10. How open are the natives to foreigners, and how do they view Americans.

 

WEEK 6: FINANCIAL AID 101

http://www.nafsa.org/Professional_Resources/Browse_by_Interest/Education_Abroad/Network_Resources/Education_Abroad/Financial_Aid___Study_Abroad__Basic_Facts_for_Students/#3

 

I chose the link from NAFSA because everything I needed to know was easily laid out for me to understand. The article covered the basics such as “why study abroad”, the need-to-know concept of financing study abroad, and even things I wouldn’t even think about, even though it’s really important. I liked this article because it explained all the types of loans and it showed what types of scholarships, grants, and aids you can receive by studying abroad. This article also left a list of links that could be used to elaborate more on what you had already read.  I learned that financial aid for studying abroad could affect your funding for the next semester of school. I also learned that to get your full award, you should enroll in your full-time credits, which is usually 6-9 credits for undergraduate students.