Abroad101 Student of the Week #0026 – Stella Chung

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The winner of this week’s Abroad 101 winner is a Stella Chung, a junior from University of South Carolina. Stella is a communication and political science major with a degree path that will have her earning her masters degree in public administration when she graduates. She is the design head for the non-profit organization – South Asian Rural Student Aid. On top of all of this, Stella volunteers at a school tutoring third graders.

Stella wants to make an impact on the world in a very positive way, either through music or film. This past spring she volunteered with Alternative Spring Break in Guatemala. The experience was life changing for her and she’s been accepted to return again this spring! Check out Stella’s fundraising Mission here and let’s help her get back to Guatemala!

The Abroad101 Student of the Week initiative awards a student who created a Mission for a study abroad program on GoEnnounce with a donation to their fundraiser. Learn more about this partnership from Abroad101 CEO Mark Shay and GoEnnounce co-founder Melissa Davis here.

Stay tuned for our next Abroad101 Student of the Week!

Happy e-nnouncing!

The GoEnnounce Team

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What Kids Really Think About Saving And Paying For College

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At GoEnnounce, we help students plan for and track their college experience –  from grades and social activities to finding mentors and financing.  Fall (and college application time) is here, which means it’s a crucial time for high school seniors to consider how they are going to cover the tuition cost of the schools they are applying to. We know planning is important, but wanted to hear what our students really thought about saving and paying for college! We decided to poll our users, and over 2600 hundred students ages 13- 22 responded to our national self selecting survey.

Overwhelmingly –  98% of students (not just parents!) believe it is important so save for college!  Even more, 60% of all students surveyed had already started thinking about saving for college by at least early high school, and 50% of students said they have jobs in high school to pay for college.

By far, most of the advice was simple: save. Put aside everything from birthday money to spare change.

And a majority advised their peers to consider purchases that aren’t necessary and save instead. Starbucks was mentioned 39 times.

These results astonished us because so many students are thinking about saving for college earlier than we assumed. Not only that, but students are being proactive and taking on high tuition costs themselves by working and saving. Check out the results below.

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To help students get ahead, we award high school and college students a scholarship each month (sponsored by Upromise). Students can be considered to win as early as 9th grade in high school! Apply here.  

The GoEnnounce Team

 

#SamAbroad – Taking a Weekend Trip to Italy

By: Samantha Auerbach

Hi! My name is Sam, and I am a junior at Emory University studying Economics and Mathematics. Currently, I am abroad in Prague, Czech Republic on a CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) program. Throughout the semester I will be sharing my personal experiences with academics in a new setting, the amazing sights Prague offers, cultural differences between Americans and Europeans, and my travels to other countries throughout Europe.  Feel free to follow along with my posts on Twitter using the hashtag #SamAbroad.

Since my last post, I have traveled to Rome, as well as a few other cities within the Czech Republic. When getting ready to leave for Italy, I made sure to pack lightly. Bringing just the right amount of clothing, and nothing extra, is crucial, because many of the cheaper European airlines only allow for one carry-on item. I actually had to stuff my backpack into my other tote bag to be allowed me to board the plane! Also, always leave early for the airport, allowing extra time for traffic. I asked my professor Thursday morning if I could leave a few minutes before class was over, and he was very understanding. Another travel tip is to make sure your phone works internationally; I rarely use my Czech phone, but it is important it has service at all times in case of an emergency.

Once arriving in Rome, I met up with friends from Emory that are currently studying abroad in Italy. The long weekend was filled with a lot of exploring; I saw several churches, the Pantheon, the Coliseum, the Vatican, the Trevi fountain and other famous areas. When touring, I would definitely recommend going on guided tours; this is a great way to cut the insanely long lines and learn more about the sights. Also, you can usually get a student and group discount. While I was constantly on the move, I worked up an appetite for amazing pasta and pizza meals, and some of the best gelato for dessert.

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The Vatican

The Coliseum

The Coliseum

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Gelato in Italy

 

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Pizza in Italy

When I arrived back in Prague on Monday morning, I was left with just a little time to unpack before heading back to class. Fortunately, my workload abroad has been pretty light; that being said, it is still important to keep up with work. Since I don’t want to be stuck in my dorm writing papers while I am in a beautiful city, I try to find cute cafes where I can study with friends.

While I am lucky that I haven’t been assigned to do too much work this semester, I am also glad that my classes go on field trips! Instead of only having lectures, my teachers have also been teaching outside of the classroom; I visited historical chateaus and castles with my Art and Architecture class and a car and a beer factory with my Economics class.

Now that midterms are just around the corner, I better get back to studying! I can’t wait to update you soon!

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Abroad 101 Student of the Week #0025 – Alexandra Van Cleef

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Our abroad 101 winner this week is Alexandra Van Cleef, a junior at Texas Christian University. Alexandra is currently double majoring in strategic communications and Spanish, with a minor in business. She stays very active at TCU, being an event planner for her schools student government, highly involved in the community service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and as a resident assistant! Her future goals include a career in International Affairs, starting off in Washington D.C. in the State Department, and then eventually moving abroad to work on policy between America and other countries.

Alexandra has recently been accepted to study abroad this spring at UPO in Seville, Spain. This trip will not only enhance her Spanish speaking skills but also will give her the opportunity to travel Europe and explore various cultures. While in Seville she will also be matched with a local Spaniard who wants to learn English, this way they can both improve their language skills. We think this educational trip is a great opportunity for Alexandra and can’t wait to see her adventures! You can check out Alexandra’s fundraising Mission here.

The Abroad101 Student of the Week initiative awards a student who created a Mission for a study abroad program on GoEnnounce with a donation to their fundraiser. Learn more about this partnership from Abroad101 CEO Mark Shay and GoEnnounce co-founder Melissa Davis here.

Stay tuned for our next Abroad101 Student of the Week!

Happy e-nnouncing!

The GoEnnounce Team

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The 5 Stages Of The College Application Process

You thought your senior year of high school was going to a breeze. Then you started the emotional roller coaster AKA – The College Application Process! Just remember you’re not alone as you experience these feelings.

1. Excitement – Determination to find the right school for you!

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This is a fun time of going to college fairs and visiting schools.

2. Concern – Realizing all the work you have to do for applications!

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You may even come across some super bizarre questions like this one from University of Chicago – “Have you ever walked through the aisles of a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club and wondered who would buy a jar of mustard a foot and a half tall? We’ve bought it, but it didn’t stop us from wondering about other things, like absurd eating contests, impulse buys, excess, unimagined uses for mustard, storage, preservatives, notions of bigness…and dozens of other ideas both silly and serious. Write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge mustard.” (University of Chicago)

Or this one from NYU – “In the year 2050, a movie is being made of your life. Please tell us the name of your movie and briefly summarize the story line.” (New York University)

3. Relief – Finishing all the work and sending the apps in!

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The all-nighters are over! Now you wait…

4. Anxiety – Checking the mail EVERY DAY!anigif_enhanced-buzz-16918-1413847822-10

 Take a deep breath! Pretty soon you’ll be the one posting your acceptance dance on social media too.

5. Triumph – Your dream school acceptance!

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Finally you come home from school and see that letter with your name on it. You open it and then you see – ACCEPTANCE!

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#HowladerAbroad – Interning & Volunteering in Jordan

By: Howlader Nashara

I’m Howlader, a third year Arabic Studies major studying at the American University in Washington D.C, and I am spending my fall semester taking classes and interning in the beautiful country of Jordan. Through GoEnnounce, I will be sharing stories, insights, and advice about my time here. Feel free to follow along with my posts on Twitter using the hashtag #HowladerAbroad.

If you have been following along with my previous blog posts, then you will recall that I’m interning for a non-profit named WeekdayRx Consulting. This is a business consulting company co-founded by Dr. Nadia Al-Alawi and it is based in Seattle, Washington, with an additional humanitarian office in Amman. For this semester, myself and one other intern are running two Girl Scout troops for Syrian, Iraqi, and Palestinian refugee girls aged 9-13 in collaboration with another non-profit named Collateral Repair Project.

So far, my experience this semester has been hectic, to say the least. Although being a professional Troop Leader sounds like a blast, it’s actually a decent amount of work. Along with planning, obtaining supplies, and learning how to deal with traumatized children, there is the additional language barrier. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love working with the Girl Scouts and feel that we are making a difference because we’re working directly with the girls, but it’s hard to feel like four months is enough time to impact these girls’ lives. I had heard that non-profit work often does this to you and then suddenly, you can never leave. It is not a bad thing to get invested in this project, but I definitely wish I had more time.

In an effort to expand our efforts, my coworker and I are pursuing two projects. First, there is a grant given by my coworker’s host institution that is strictly for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) related social projects. My coworker is trying to get this funding in order to have our girls work on Raspberry Pi’s! They are small computer systems that can be programmed to complete basic computer functions. The second project is expanding the Girl Scout program to Za’atari Refugee Camp. WeekdayRx used to hold the program there, but there were issues with sustainability, security, and cultural perceptions of women’s empowerment. Before we leave Jordan, we will try to create a program that can be implemented in the long-term at Za’atari and hopefully future interns will be able to replicate it in order to keep Girl Scouts alive at Za’atari.

A lot of other people in my program are working in offices and having, by all definitions, a much more traditional internship experience. Even so, they’re learning so much about Jordan and getting an inside look into Jordanian society. Having abroad work experience looks excellent on resumes, is a huge talking point for cover letters and interviews, and is great for networking. I would definitely recommend interning or volunteering abroad because it’s a great way to get to know the country you’re living in. It is really easy to get caught up in how much fun study abroad is, but that is definitely a one-sided experience. By interning or volunteering, you get to work with a problem in the local community or learn about the day-to-day functions of a culture.

In order to get funding for the Za’atari Girl Scouts project, we have started a new fundraiser! Check it out here, share, and please donate if you can.

Stay tuned for my next post and follow #HowladerAbroad on GoEnnounce and Twitter! Until the next time!

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Abroad 101 Student of the Week #0024 – Kaitlin Morrison

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 2.31.09 PMThis weeks Abroad 101 Student of the Week winner goes to, Kaitlin Morrison. She is a junior at Castleton State College, majoring in global studies with a big interest in history. Kaitlin is a Dean’s List student and has dreams of working for the US Embassy one day! Since she has always lived in a small town, her recent acceptance to study abroad in Rome, through a program offered by International Studies Abroad (ISA), has left her ecstatic about the opportunity to get out in the world and expand her cultural knowledge! She will be spending five months in Rome this upcoming spring semester and is looking forward to enhancing her communication and leadership skills. With this trip being so expensive, Kaitlin has started a fundraising Mission (in addition to the loans she’s already taken out through VSAC) to help pay for some of her expenses. You can check out her Mission here!

The Abroad101 Student of the Week initiative awards a student who created a Mission for a study abroad program on GoEnnounce with a donation to their fundraiser. Learn more about this partnership from Abroad101 CEO Mark Shay and GoEnnounce co-founder Melissa Davis here.

Stay tuned for our next Abroad101 Student of the Week!

Happy e-nnouncing!

The GoEnnounce Team

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#RonAbroad – The Good & The Bad While Studying Abroad

Bonjour!!! My Name is Ronald Hobbs, and I am currently a senior at Purdue University Calumet where I study history. I am studying abroad in Paris, France for the fall semester at the Institut Catholique de Paris through ISA. While I am here in this amazing place I will be sharing with you my many adventures (taking the metro every day is a big adventure!!), some tips for being abroad, many of my personal experiences, and random musing from my day-to-day life while in Paris. I hope that you follow my journey and follow me with #RonAbroad! Au revoir!!

This post is about the good, the bad, and the ugly of being in a place that is literally foreign to you, whether it’s Paris or even a big city in the USA. I will also talk about several of the more touristy type activities I’ve experienced so far and my classes so far.10687063_10107213646207064_5015598905521362282_n

First, I will talk about the ugly. During my second week in Paris, I got pick pocketed not once, but TWICE! The first time they did not get anything of real importance since my gym membership card and student ID are both easily replaceable. The second time, though, the person got my debit card. The pickpockets in Europe and abroad are like wizards. In the span of just a few seconds they were able to tell from all of the cards in my pocket which one was my bank card. Here are a few tips on how to avoid this!

1. Secure your valuables. Do not keep stuff in your back pockets. Keep them either in your front pockets or in the inner most pocket of a messenger bag. You can also get one of those hidden pockets that loop around your belt and can be tucked into your pants. While you may want to be fashionable and wear a backpack, I would suggest investing in a messenger bag that zips and straps closed.

2. Be mindful on public transit and when you’re at popular sites. If someone stops you to sign a petition, there is a possibility that they are working with someone else that is going to steal your stuff, so avoid them or do as I do and completely ignore them.

3. Travel wallets are your friends. They take forever to open since they have Velcro and zip close but definitely worth the extra time!

4. Try and carry only the amount of cash that you will need for a specific outing when going out. While extra cash is good to have sometimes it is better to just budget yourself and stick to a certain amount for that day.

Now the slightly bad/annoying. My first week or so was a little weird since I did not know my way around Paris. There are a few things that still annoy me about the city. Streets are not labeled as clearly as they are back home, same with addresses. Also, none of the map have the cardinal directions! Not to mention, there is an extreme lack of public toilets, and also a lack of water fountains in this city. These are just minor annoyances but I seriously hate not knowing which way is north! The last bit of bad/annoying is about my courses. My French economics and politics class are really interesting, but four hours is such a long time for a class! And my French course is difficult for me, but as they say, nothing worth it comes easily!

Now onto – The Good! I have gone to several fun places this past month. Some were with ISA and others I ventured out and saw by myself. So far I have gone to Notre Dame, the Louvre, Fontainebleau, Loire Valley, the catacombs, and a few other places. So far my favorite place has been The Louvre. It is by far the best musuem I have ever been to. There are so many things to see there and you could literally spend at least three days exploring the whole thing! I spent 5 hours there when I went, and I still have a little more than half of the museum to see! One of my favorite parts about visiting the Louvre was finally being able to see my favorite sculpture ever – The Winged Victory of Samothrace. It is a breath taxingly beautiful sculpture and I got misty eyed just seeing it in person.10350341_10107229099254034_7730327641850002516_n

A similar thing happened when I saw Notre Dame. It is seriously such an amazing sight that it will move you even if you’re like me and not religious. 10644441_10107268366646864_5291417265496941461_n

Finally, I have also gone on a few trips with ISA. One was to Fontainebleau, a French chateau where royalty lived, and Loire Valley, where I spent an entire weekend. On these trips I had a blast and we got to see some beautiful chateaus, one of which is said to have inspired the castle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and taste some amazing cheese and wine! So far I am really having the time of my life!      1391499_10107320540100844_7207362769246482754_n

 

I look forward to telling you about more of my adventures to come! Stay tuned for my next post and follow #RonAbroad on GoEnnounce and Twitter!

 

E-nnouncing Our September Scholarship Winner!

Our “GoEnnounce Yourself” Scholarship, sponsored by Upromise, awards one student $500 each month! This award goes to a student who’s doing a great job showcasing who he/she is by sharing school related e-nnouncement updates with Followers on their GoEnnounce Student Page. We’re thrilled to e-nnounce September’s winner…the talented Kristiana Dixon!

Kristiana Scholarship

Kristiana (left) being presented the award at Andrew Jackson High School by the Assistant Principal, Ms. Matthews (right) and her her U.S Military History teacher, Mr. Fortenberry (center)

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A junior at Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville, Florida, Kristiana is a varsity cheerleader and the secretary of her school’s HOSA-Future Health Professionals student organization.  One of Kristiana’s major passions is helping people, especially when it gets her involved in the community.  In September alone she participated in four different volunteer activities: a blood drive, an Upward Bound gardening project, Brides with Breast Cancer, and volunteered at her local wildlife sanctuary – The Catty Shack Ranch.  In the midst of all of this community service and fall football cheerleading, Kristiana is maintaining near perfect grades and taking college classes at Jacksonville University (on Saturdays!) as a high school student.  Wow, that’s dedication!

Kristiana has big plans for her future. She already has a field of interest, midwifery, and with her executive position in HOSA, she is practically primed for college! She has been taking collegiate level credits in biology at Jacksonville University, since this summer, to get a jump on her career as a health professional.

On top of all that, this month, Kristiana was accepted into a People to People Ambassador Program in Japan for the summer of 2015.  While she’s there, she’ll get to earn even more college credits! She’s also just started a fundraising Mission to help her make this educational experience a reality. You can find out more about why Kristiana deserves September’s scholarship award at her Student Page.

Want a chance to “GoEnnounce Yourself” and win a scholarship too?  Learn more and enter here!

To all of our previous applicants – don’t worry if you didn’t win this month you still have a chance to be selected next month! Just keep e-nouncing and inviting all of your relatives and friends to follow your education. We choose one student on the 10th of every month.

Good luck.

The GoEnnounce Team

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Abroad101 Student of the Week #0023 – Nicholas Bradley

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This week’s Abroad101 Student of the Week Honor is given to Nicholas Bradley, a junior majoring in health science and minoring in Spanish at Castleton State College! Nicholas is planning on traveling abroad to Spain next semester, where he hopes to gain new insights into his chosen field by examining how different cultures approach the delivery of healthcare services. Nicholas, who is the treasurer of his school’s Spanish club in addition to his Spanish minor, will also be strengthening his language skills by immersing himself in the culture of Spain. To make the most of his time abroad he also plans on volunteering at a local healthcare organization, such as a orphanage or a healthcare center, to get hands-on experience that will further his future career. Check out Nicholas’ Mission to learn more!

The Abroad101 Student of the Week initiative awards a student who created a Mission for a study abroad program on GoEnnounce with a donation to their fundraiser. Learn more about this partnership from Abroad101 CEO Mark Shay and GoEnnounce co-founder Melissa Davis here.

Stay tuned for our next Abroad101 Student of the Week!

Happy e-nnouncing!

The GoEnnounce Team

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