1. Where did you study abroad?
I studied abroad at the University of Hull in Kingston Upon Hull in the United Kingdom
2. Why did you want to study abroad?
I wanted to study abroad because just staying in one place your whole life doesn’t give you as much experience as going abroad and you get see life from different viewpoints and perspectives.
3. How was the culture of your abroad country different and the same as American culture?
So the biggest difference for me was like the restaurants and going to the restaurants so it wasn’t take out like they have here, they have these weird little shops that you took out from instead of a restaurant that you could also sit in and then no matter what you always had to ask for the check instead of waiting for it to come to you. Also remembering that you are not supposed to tip was sort of hard. It was the same in the fact that the food wasn’t that different from here, I mean it was better quality because they have better health laws.
4. What is one meaningful or funny experience while you were abroad?
I joined drama society there, they had two plays that semester and one of my friends got in one play and I got in the other. So, we made a ton of friends together and we got to be in a play!
5. How has being abroad changed your view of WAC and/or America?
So, it made me really want better transportation. Here at Washington College we don’t have buses and stuff, which is great because you get to bond with the people close to you, but you cant go exploring. When you go abroad you really want to explore so being able to go somewhere that has busses all the time was really cool. And the fact that I could just take a train to London, or Manchester or York was really awesome as well.
6. How has being abroad made you more global?
I got to meet a lot of new people and I learned little things about accents as in how the UK has a bajillion different accents compared to the US who only has a few. I got to learn new phrases and games and dance moves that I would not have learned here. It makes me want to travel more so I can make new friends different from me.
7. How has Washington College made you more global?
So I am a theatre major and the theatre SCE is doing a play of your choice and we have had so many different plays from all over the world put on here by students which is something that you don’t get to see in a lot of places. Like a lot of places just specifically do American work or Shakespeare work, but here we had one that was Japanese shirt stories “a man who was turned into a stick” and we have had some Shakespeare and some American work and Italian comedies. That experience and being able to see how the world uses theatre makes this place pretty global.
International Student Guide
1. What do you do as an international student guide?
We welcome the new international students and transfer students, we help them adjust to campus, we try to be pretty honest with the campus and not just tell them the good things. We try to tell them things they may run into trouble with so they know what to do in those situations. We also try to keep them super busy during that week in order to help them adjust to the time change.
2. Do you maintain those relationships with the international students?
Yes, well I try to anyway. It’s impossible to maintain a relationship with 60 plus students but I try to maintain relationships with my individual students which I have done both semesters now. I also try to maintain at least saying hi and ask how they are doing maybe not seeing them all the time, but when I do see them I make a conscious effort to ask how they are doing.
3. Can you share one funny or meaningful experience you had with an international student while being an ISG?
Taking the international students to the trampoline park was one of the greatest things I have ever done because a lot of them had never been to or even seen a trampoline park. But also because we had just been doing so much intense lecture based activities, like here are classes here is how signing up for them works etc., so taking them to do something that was really fun and didn’t really involve any learning from it. The games night as well which wasn’t any intercultural games or anything like that, it was just a games night with kid’s games. It was super funny to see everyone interact, everyone got on so well and it was just really fun.
4. What have you learned about the world and/or yourself through your time as an ISG?
So I did international student orientation in high school for my boarding school and when I came here to Washington College I kind of fell out of touch with the international students since I wasn’t a ISG and I didn’t have many international students in my classes so I kind of I didn’t really realize I missed it but I knew I wasn’t quite content with my time at Washington College. I knew a lot of people and I met a lot of people but there was just something missing. I became an ISG and literally had the best experience that I have had at Washington College thus far. It really made me realize how much I love meeting and being surrounded by international students and how important it is to have international friends and have connections all over the world because I think you can learn a lot from different cultures. It helps me stay grounded and open-minded when I hear about how others grew up and about their lives and culture, it puts my life in perspective.
5. Would you say that being an ISG has made you more global? If yes, then how?
Yes, I think it has really taught me about education systems from around the world. Like I realize that different countries have different educational systems but it’s really interesting to see what countries have similar systems and which don’t. Then, it has also helped me because we have such a wide variety of different cultures coming in for international orientation, that has made me more global because in high school when I did similar things we had 90% of students coming in from China and while that was amazing and I got to learn so much about the Chinese culture ands both my roommates were from China, I didn’t get to learn about multiple different cultures. Being here we have students coming from everywhere because of our exchange programs so that has really helped me learn more about places like Europe, even places like Australia where you would not think there are different cultures but there are.
6. How has WAC expanded your international education?
Being able to be an ISG has really helped me because it has made me a lot more aware of international students at Washington college, because before I was not aware. Now I have classes with them and I get to see them around campus that has really helped. I also have noticed that a lot of professors put in a lot of effort with international students and a majority of professors understand and are interested. I know a class we just took our professor was really interested in the cultural differences between Italy, where Beatrice was from, and England, where I was from, which was cool and interesting, It was definitely fun to hear Beatrice’s views and how she was raised compared to how the rest of us were raised. I also think being an ISG has helped us become more involved in the international students lives on campus so I know that a lot of times the international students will celebrate different celebrations or the GEO will do things like the Lunar New Year party where there were so many people and the food was so good. People from all over campus came to that and that has really helped. Being able to study aboard too, even though I have not studied abroad yet but having that opportunity will, I’m sure, help me become more of a global citizen.