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Goal Setting

Goal: Engaging with locals

Consider this....
One of the most rewarding parts of study abroad are the interactions you will have with local people. But you might also find it challenging to meet these individuals and interact with them in personal and meaningful ways. Many study abroad students expect that their integration into the host culture will be seamless but in reality, meeting people and getting past “hello” is more difficult than we anticipate, especially when we are abroad for just a few weeks or months.

TIPS

  • Volunteer in your community
  • Do what the locals do – find out about weekly events or activities
  • Play a pick-up game in the park or on the court
  • Establish a routine and talk to the baker, the barista, or the person on the bus you see everyday

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Goal: Professional Development

Consider this...
Study abroad is known to cultivate personal growth and enhance academic knowledge. But study abroad can also help you gain skills that will be attractive to employers.

TIPS

  • Choose a challenging program that will push you to develop skills like critical thinking, communication, and teamwork
  • Set up informal coffee meetings with professionals in your field
  • Look for learning opportunities that will turn into stories you will talk about in future interviews
  • Improve your language skills
  • Seek out volunteer and internship opportunities to gain practical experience

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Goal: Language Acquisition

Consider this...
Some students use study abroad as a way to enhance their language skills. While some languages have direct professional benefits, like Chinese or Spanish, learning any language demonstrates that you are being respectful of your host country and culture. Note: You do not have to already possess foreign language skills to study abroad.

TIPS

  • Stay with a host family
  • Take a language class
  • Find a speaking partner
  • Interact with locals
  • Advanced language learners can enroll in academic courses taught in the local language

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Goal: Developing Independence

Consider this...
You’ve already taken a step toward becoming more independent by coming to college. After college, you’ll get a job and live on your own in a new city; studying abroad is a great way to prove to yourself you’re ready to successfully take on that challenge.

TIPS

  • Get out of your comfort zone
  • Take the initiative to plan a weekend trip
  • Get out of the “bubble” of your friend group
  • Experience new food, a new language, new technology, and new forms of transportation

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>> Ask the right questions
 


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Study Abroad Office: 214 MacMillan Hall, 501E Spring Street, Oxford, OH 45056, studyabroad@MiamiOH.edu
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