Study, Intern or Volunteer: Which Program is Right for You?

Today’s study abroad opportunities are limitless. In addition to conventional study abroad programs, students (and graduates!) now have the choice between a myriad of other program types as well. From internships to volunteer programs, students have the unique opportunity to find a program that directly caters to them. The question is – how do you know which program to choose?  Below are a few benefits and features of each program type to help guide you in your search for the perfect program.

 

  1. Study Abroad

Typical lengths: Summer, Semester, Academic Year, J-Term, May Term

 Today’s conventional study abroad programs offer courses in everything from Anthropology to Distilling. Gone are the days when students from only a handful of academic disciplines were able to study abroad. Nowadays, students looking to earn credit towards their major or fulfill general university requirements have the opportunity to choose from a variety of available courses and programs. If you have a set timeframe in which to study abroad – a semester, for example – or you’re interested in studying a variety of subjects then a study program may be the best fit for you.

 

  1. Volunteer Abroad

Typical Length: 2 – 12 weeks

 Volunteer opportunities offer individuals of all ages the opportunity to travel abroad for a shorter time frame. Participants have the chance to choose between everything from assisting a local wildlife organization to teaching English at a nearby school. Volunteer projects are typically short-term, incredibly immersive, and allow participants the chance to make a difference in their host country. Volunteering abroad is a great fit for students interested in a meaningful experience during a school break, those who feel passionately about a specific cause and individuals who may not be eligible for traditional study abroad programs (i.e. retirees, high school graduates, families, etc.).

 

  1. Internships Abroad

Typical length: 1 – 6 months

 Internships programs have become increasingly available over the years. With a wide range of options for professional fields, locations, and time frames, individuals have a lot of choices! These programs are all about expanding your knowledge within your field and gaining hands-on experience in a new setting. We recommend intern abroad programs for students interested in learning more about a particular field and recent graduates looking to gain professional experience before entering the workforce. With many options for start dates and durations, individuals can choose to go for one month, a semester, six months, or anywhere in between.

 

New Program: Intern and Volunteer in Argentina

We’re very excited to announce two new programs in a brand new location: Intern and Volunteer in Argentina! Both programs allow participants to fully experience Argentine culture in one of the country’s most exciting cities, Buenos Aires. Frequently referred to as the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires exhibits a perfect blend of European architecture with a distinct Latin flair.

Interns will have the opportunity to choose from a diverse list of available internship fields, ranging from Accounting to Museum & Cultural Management. Outside of their internship, participants will have time to explore their host country as well as partake in a number of activities throughout Buenos Aires. Internships have flexible start dates and are available for durations between two and six months.

Volunteers participating in the program will work alongside local grassroots organization to make a lasting contribution to the community. Available projects include Childcare & Orphanage Assistance, Eldercare, Environmental Conservation, Youth Sports Coaching, and Wildlife Conservation. Our volunteer program also has flexible start dates, with durations ranging from four and twelve weeks.

Find out more about our Intern and Volunteer programs in Argentina by visiting our website or speaking with a World Endeavors Advisor.

Intern in Argentina: http://worldendeavors.com/programs/intern/intern-in-argentina

Volunteer in Argentina: http://worldendeavors.com/programs/volunteer/volunteer-in-argentina

Phone: 612.729.3400

Email: info@worldendeavors.com

Funding Your Program Abroad

Earlier last month, the White House hosted a Travel Blogger Summit on study abroad and global citizenship. The event involved 130 influential travel bloggers, media outlets, and senior policymakers. With the primary goal of increasing study abroad enrollment of U.S. students, speakers discussed current figures, trends, and ideas to encourage participation in programs abroad. During the summit, the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced the creation of a new U.S. Study Abroad Office. What does this all mean? In short, there has never been a better time for U.S. students to participate in a program abroad. The creation of this office, along with a nationwide initiative to increase study abroad enrollment (Generation Study Abroad), has meant an increase in scholarships, as well as more emphasis being placed on the importance of study abroad as a whole.

Aside from the many government-sponsored scholarships, there’s also a wide range of other privately-funded scholarships, crowdfunding sites, and fundraising resources available to students, both from the U.S. and around the world. So, as you’re choosing a program and adding some money to your “travel” fund, consider these tips to get you on the path to studying, interning, or volunteering abroad:

Tip 1: Start Crowdfunding
Similar to sites like Kickstarter, study abroad crowdfunding sites have been growing in popularity over time. Crowdfunding provides a great opportunity for your friends and relatives to help you fund your experience abroad. Depending on the site, users may set up a profile page, set a funding goal, and post updates along the way. New to crowdfunding? Not to worry. Sites like Project Travel or FundMyTravel are very user-friendly, and also provide resources on setting up your profile and sharing your campaign with others.

Tip 2: Search for Government-Sponsored Scholarships and Grants
As previously stated, there are many government-sponsored scholarships and grants available to U.S. students wishing to study abroad. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, providing grants to U.S. undergraduate students, is a great example of such opportunities. Applying for federal financial aid is also recommended to those looking for additional funding.

Tip 3: Search for Privately-funded Scholarships
World Endeavors offers a variety of partial scholarships and discounts for our programs. There are also a number of organizations and associations that offer yearly scholarships to students. Rotary International provides some great scholarships for study abroad. There are also many destination or subject-specific scholarships out there. Our advice? Search often. There are new scholarships popping up all the time. All you have to do is look. You may even want to bookmark scholarship search engines, such as StudyAbroad.com and Fastweb.com, for quick and easy searching.

Tip 4: Keep an Eye Out for Contests and Sweepstakes
Many organizations run special scholarship contests or sweepstakes throughout the year. Some may ask you to show off your creative talents via a video or photo, while others will ask you to write an essay. Whatever it may be, it’s worth it! Some organizations even offer prizes in the form of full scholarships to the program of your choice.

The takeaway? There are many people rooting for you to make your dream a reality. Whether you’ve decided to volunteer in Costa Rica or study in England, there are many funding opportunities available. If you have questions about where to start, we suggest speaking with someone at your study abroad office or getting in touch with us. Our advisors are always happy to help!

The Search for the Perfect Program

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Choosing a program abroad can be one daunting task. Sure, you’re excited at the thought of travelling. Who isn’t? Just the thought of scaling the Eiffel Tower, touring Buckingham Palace, or visiting the Taj Mahal gives you a rush of excitement. You imagine your friends at home – jealous of your far-away adventures. But, before all this can happen, you need to make a choice. Do you want to study in Seville or volunteer in Pokhara, intern in Ireland or study in Sydney? Some of you may know immediately where you’d like to go, when you’d like to go, and what you’d like to do. But, for many, finding the right program can be like a frustrating game of pin the tail on the donkey. Well, that’s where we come in! Below is a not-so-short how-to guide to help you in your search for the perfect program.

 

Step One: Research the Options

First off, let me say that it is never too early to start researching. With so many options, the best first step you can take is to see what’s out there. You’d be surprised at the types of opportunities available, and the earlier you start looking, the more opportunities you may have. Want to help with sea turtle conservation efforts? Take classes towards your engineering degree? Intern at a law firm? You can do all of these things abroad! Take some time and do some browsing to see what types of programs pique your interest.

 

Step Two: Meet with Your Advisor

An increase in study abroad programs over the years has meant more opportunities for more people. Whether you’re majoring in global studies or marine biology, there’s a program out there for you. However, there may be better times to go abroad than others. Your academic advisor can help you narrow down when might be the best time for you to go and what types of classes or programs you should focus on (ex. credit-bearing, intern, study, short-term, etc.)

 

Step Three: Choose a Time and Duration

Once you’ve met with your advisor, you should have a better idea of what time frame you should aim for. While some may be fortunate enough to work in a full year abroad, this isn’t possible for everyone. Luckily, program providers and universities have found a way for most everyone to fit in some period of time abroad during their academic career. From week-long volunteer trips to four-month internships, there’s something for everybody. Once you’ve narrowed down a time frame, say a two-month summer program after your junior year, you can begin to get a better idea of what places and programs will work for you.

 

Step Four: Choose a Program Type

This can be one of the harder parts of choosing a program abroad. There are so many different types of programs, each with its own unique benefits and features. To help give you a better idea of the options, scroll down for a short description of each type.

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Step Five: Choose a Continent/Country/Region

Choosing a location can be one of the best parts of traveling abroad, but also one of the hardest. For many people it may be easy. Maybe they always saw themselves sitting along the shore in Valencia or sipping a cappuccino in Florence. But for some, it can be hard to choose between these two scenes and the many others that likely occupy your daydreams. Choosing a general area is really the best place to start. When choosing a region, take language, climate, and time zone into consideration. Keep in mind that, while these are things to be aware of, they shouldn’t necessarily be deciding factors when you get down to picking a program. Wherever you go and whatever you do, it’s all about finding a program that will allow you to have the best possible experience abroad.

 

Step Six: Choose a City

The (almost) final step! When choosing a city, you should factor in a few things:

  •  Geographic location:

Think about whether you’d like to be by the beach, the mountains, or the countryside. What type of location fits you best?

  • Activities available:

Do you enjoy hiking? Swimming? Biking? Look into what environment might be most conducive to the types of activities that you enjoy.

  • Cultural events:

Look into the events that are typically held in that city. Is there a yearly rock festival featuring a frequent lineup of your favorite bands? Do they host an autumn festival complete with traditional food and activities?

 

Step Seven: Choosing a Program!

You know what’s out there, when you’d like to go, what type of program you want to do, and where you’d like to go. Now the only thing left to do is pick a program. Once you know what you’re looking for, the process of finding a program can be a lot less scary and a whole lot quicker. If you’re still having trouble, simply ask for help. There are plenty of people out there that want to help you get abroad – academic advisors, professors, the study abroad office staff at your university, and us! Any one of the World Endeavors staff members is ready and willing to help you narrow down your options and plan your program.

 

Once you’ve figured out your program, there are many things you can do to get started on your adventure. My suggestion is to get in contact with the study abroad office at your university. Let them know what program you’re planning on doing and what program provider you’re working with. From here they can help you figure out funding (scholarships, crowd-funding, financial aid, etc.), the transfer of credits, and any other steps you might need to take.

 

Have questions? Contact a World Endeavors Advisor at info@worldendeavors.com or leave your comments below!

 

 

 

And the winners are…

As the leaves start changing colors and the days start getting a little chillier, it’s hard not to get excited for fall. Here at the World Endeavors office, we’re looking forward to sitting by the fire, digging back into some good books, and eating some yummy fall foods. But as summer comes to an end, so does our Annual Summer Photo Contest. There were so many great photos this year and we’re sad to see the contest come to an end! From riding elephants to conquering mountains, we loved catching a glimpse of the adventures our participants are having around the world. While we wish every photo could win, just three will take home the prize. After carefully tallying up the votes, we’ve found our winners! Congratulations to…

 

Category: Landscape – scenery, architecture, street life

Jessica, Criminal Justice Intern in Ireland

Van Keuren-1

 

Category: People – everyday life, cultural events, food/meals

Tehmur, Marketing Intern in Thailand

Mohammad - 1

 

Category: World Endeavors in Action – participants interning, volunteering, and studying abroad

Alyson, Veterinary Sciences Intern in Thailand

A. Jones - 2

 

Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you to all that participated! We can’t wait to see what next year’s contest holds. 

Five Tips to Overcome Culture Shock

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Culture shock is a fairly common phenomenon that occurs within intercultural transitions, usually a short-term feeling of disorientation that results from the unfamiliarity of surroundings in a new environment. Many experience this when either going abroad for the first time or when they first arrive in a new city. If you find yourself feeling discomfort or anxiety upon arriving in your destination, don’t panic–it is completely normal and to be expected! Below are some tips that are likely to help you overcome this short-term phase and move on to enjoying your time abroad.

Prepare yourself for the transition

While there is really only so much preparation you can do beforehand without actually being present in the new environment, it can help ease the transition. Being aware of different cultural norms and practices, such as eating patterns or where to stand on the escalator, can help make day-to-day transitions easier. Read as much as you can beforehand and talk to people you know who have visited the culture to get a firsthand experience of what to expect.

Commit yourself to learning the language

If you are going to a country that speaks another language, learning that language or at least having a basic understanding of it can help exponentially. Once you are there, make an effort to learn daily phrases that will help you to get around and communicate. Being able to make your way around and communicate with locals will help smooth the transition.

Make new friends

Making friends is one of the best ways to overcome culture shock. Often times locals in your new city will be happy to show you around or give you advice. Make an effort to talk with your new classmates, coworkers, or fellow volunteers and explore the city together. Seeing a friendly face is always a relief and will likely be the quickest way to overcome any anxiety you may be experiencing.

Participate in cultural events

Taking an active part in the new culture will expose you to cultural norms and customs. This could be anything from eating at an authentic restaurant, going to a family event of your host family’s, or attending a cultural event in your city. The more you familiarize yourself with the environment surrounding you, the more you will grow comfortable within it.

Be patient

Lastly, patience is one of the best pieces advice available for someone experiencing culture shock. If you begin to feel frustrated with the transition, don’t be too hard on yourself–everyone experiences it to some point. Be patient and make the most of your time abroad, it is sure to be one of the most memorable experiences of your life!

Discover new places to travel when you volunteerintern or study with World Endeavors!

Top Five Things to Do In: Kingston, Jamaica

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Soak up the sun

Jamaica isn’t known as the island in the sun for nothing–while the rainy months include May to November, even this season gets plenty of sunshine nearly every day across the island. Kingston is known for having a comfortable temperature year-round. While in Kingston, take some time to enjoy the sunshine on your daily commute or spend an afternoon soaking up the sun walking through Emancipation Park.

Take advantage of the cuisine

Jamaica is home to some of the freshest and most authentic foods in the world. Choose from a variety of tropical fruits, such as guavas, papayas, and mangoes and from the mouth-watering authentic dishes, such as fresh fried fish or jerk chicken. Kingston has something for everyone–while there are abundant vegetarian options, the meat options, particularly with the signature Jamaican jerk marinade, are very popular as well. Also, be sure to check out the coffee while in Kingston–the Blue Mountains nearby produce some of the best shade grown coffee in the world. It can be a bit expensive, so treat yourself every once in a while to one of the best exotic cups of coffee in the world.

Explore the Blue Mountains

As the longest mountain range in Jamaica as well as the highest point, the Blue Mountains provide an escape from the urban environment of Kingston and offer some of the most beautiful tours or hikes you can take. To get there from Kingston, public transportation is available although a private car would be much more reliable. There are multiple hotels within the vicinity if you would like to make a weekend out of it, otherwise the Mountains are located in a close enough proximity to Kingston to make it a day trip as well.

Take in the local history

Jamaica, particularly Kingston, is full of history. Kingston is the center of commerce in Jamaica as well as the birthplace of one of the world’s most famous reggae music scenes. Some of the most prominent sites in Kingston include the Bob Marley Museum, the National Gallery, and Port Royal. Take a guided tour through the Bob Marley Museum, which is the singer’s former home and studio. A must-see if you are a big reggae fan. The National Gallery offers an interesting art collection, containing mostly pieces by Jamaican artists, although occasionally containing travelling art exhibits as well. Lastly, Port Royal was once the pirate capital of the Caribbean. While much of it was destroyed in an earthquake in 1692, you can still visit some of the ruins today in the historic city.

Visit the beach

Kingston is not necessarily known for its beaches but while in Jamaica, you have to make a visit to the beach and the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. Hellshire Beach, located southwest of Kingston, boasts white sand and spectacular scenery in addition to a plethora of beach-side huts selling every kind of food you could ever want. Spend a hot day at the beach, known for its nice swimming areas and popularity with the locals.

Learn more about our World Endeavors programs in Jamaica, and explore the city for yourself.