This past Tuesday, December 9th, I was invited to the White House to attend the White House Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship.
Why? Well I believe President Barack Obama said it best:
How exciting is it to see the U.S. Government starting to really push this issue/opportunity on young people?! Clearly they see the value studying abroad can have in shaping mind sets and goals of the young American workforce.
Heck, they even just created a new Study Abroad Office dedicated to it!
When people like Denis McDonough, Chief of Staff, and Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, care about this issue, you know it’s an important one. Clearly they all know the importance of it first hand, cause almost every senior level official had done a semester abroad. (I am actually very impressed by this.)
Employers realize the value in hiring individuals with cross cultural knowledge, and the experience and understanding that comes from living in a foreign country. The knowledge and appreciation that comes from learning and experiencing how another cultures live their day to day lives can have a very profound impact on a young person’s life.
Travel opens your eyes to the world around you and lets you see things through a more tolerant and more knowledgable lens. Not to mention, it’s a heck of a lot of fun. Studying abroad allows you to continue your studies WHILE getting the opportunity to travel. How great is that?
Don’t be like me.
“One of the biggest regrets I’ve ever had was not to use my University’s Study Abroad Program. I was one of the 50% of students going into University thinking I would, but never did.”
I did however do the next best thing, a Working Holiday Overseas, literally right after I graduated.
Where was one of the first stops on my travels? To visit my best friend Kristy, who was in Singapore on a semester abroad. There I witnessed first hand how easy it was to make friends, as they were all living in dorms together in a building off campus. Every weekend she would tell me of all the short trips they would take to Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand. (All these countries are a very cheap, short plane ride away from Singapore.)
If you are in University, seriously take advantage of this incredible opportunity. If you want to travel, don’t think you have to wait till school is over. Make it part of your studies NOW!
I know there are many of you reading this right now, wishing, dreaming to travel. This is your moment, today is the day to start planning. Whether you are in High School or University, go talk to your school’s councillor and ask them about what programs they offer. As well as, below are some links and resources to help you on your way.
Links + Resources
- Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Exchange Programs – For U.S. and NON- U.S. Citizens.
- Peace Corps
- International Education Programs Services
- Fulbright-Hays Program
- USAID- United States Agency for International Development
Department of Health and Human Services Programs for U.S. Students to Study and Train Abroad
- National Institutes of Health
- The Fogarty Global Health Fellows and Scholars Program
- The International Research Development Scientist Development Award
- The CDC-Hubert Global Health Fellowship
- The ASPPH/CDC Allan Rosenfield Global Health Fellowship Program
- The ASPPH/CDC Allan Rosenfield Global HIV Surveillance Fellowship
Watch the summit below!
Let’s get this trending!
Join the conversation. Tweet with the hastag #StudyAbroadBecause and become part of the mosaic!