Posted by: Naima | August 1, 2009

Catching Up With Study Abroad

While I was in South Africa, I managed to conjur up an internship with College Jolt. It’s a website that features a series of blogs written by and for college students. The topics range from advice on ending relationships to starting internships. The theme of my blog is global study. Considering the fact that I’ve only recently returned from a semester in South Africa, studying abroad seemed like a topic I could talk about knowledgeably.

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My series is called “Get Out of There!” and focuses on studying abroad in regions that are a little less orthodox. Based on data from the Institute of International Education, the top ten places to go abroad are as follows: United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, China, Australia, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, CostaRica.

When I write for College Jolt, my goal is to put a spotlight on places in the world that are not on that list but are incredible and offer great programs nonetheless. Since so many of my friends from Bates went abroad to different places all over the world, I’ve been able to talk to them about their experiences so that I can incorporate real accounts into my blog.

My first post explored the possibilities of studying in India. More specifically, I chose to look closely at Hyderabad and Mumbai. I was able to briefly interview the handful of friends I have to spent time there and put together a short post about how awesome it would be to study and wander around India.

As I finished up my blog post about studying abroad, a handful of my friends from Cape Town were in New York City for the weekend. I’ve said in past posts that I haven’t really processed my time in South Africa. But while I was able to catch up with friends in an entirely new environment, I had my first real brush with rehashing my abroad experiences. Even though I left Cape Town feeling like I made some great friends,

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seeing them in the United States somehow makes the relationships seem more real. At this point, I’m just so excited to see them again. Being able to verbally explore my time abroad was something I was missing out on this summer. Having so little time between deboarding the plane and starting my job put me in a position where my thoughts were engulfed by new colors and sounds of New York.

Since so many of my friends in NY have experienced similarly rushed transitions, it has been nice to have friends around who know what that feels like. Tomorrow, I’m heading home to Chicago to visit my parents and friends from high school. The visit i only lasting a few days but I compared to the 24 hours I spent in Chicago the last time I was there, this ought to feel like I’m settling in. I’m getting excited to be in my city on my block in my bed.

Peace and then some,

Naima

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