Culture, Self, and Community

Kelsey Dovico Fulbright U.S. Student Program: Teaching Assistant Madrid, Spain, 2018-2019 Body Talk Given my less-than-sparkling Spanish, I am sometimes left to fit a missing puzzle piece (or two) together by reading hand gestures, body language, and facial expressions. I’ve become more sensitive to reading micro-expressions, noticing in greater detail the way faces participate in…

Japanese College Courses: A Primer

Elizabeth Riegler Major: Psychology and Japanese Doshisha University, AY 18-19 As an exchange student, learning is the focus of my trip. As a result, I’m acutely aware of the differences between my classes in America and my classes in Japan. Thanks to my teachers at Western and some online digging of my own, I knew…

The Roller Coaster called Culture Shock

Lauren LaLonde Major: Political Science and Spanish CIEE: Cuban Studies-University of Havana, Fall 2018. Let’s get real about culture shock. It’s inevitable, it happens on every trip, and to everyone. For some reason though, I think it’s easy for me and many others to adopt the mindset of “oh, I’ve traveled a lot so I’ll be…

Day in, Day Out

Kelsey Dovico Fulbright U.S. Student Program: Teaching Assistant Madrid, Spain, 2018-2019 Morning: Greeting the day with dance The primary reason I applied to Fulbright is because I work in the field of intercultural education and lacked the experience of living, working, and learning in another society. But I had already experienced some of the world…

Realizing That Where I Am Is Much Like Being Back Home

Taylor Pace Major: Journalism University College Dublin, Fall 2018. Being in a foreign country, it is quite a given that there are going to be a lot of differences between that particular country and the country where you are from. Now as stated in previous blog posts, being here in Ireland is a lot…, I don’t…

“I Trust Myself to Handle What Comes”

Grace Gettig Major: Global and International Studies & Japanese Daito Bunka University, AY 18-19 That’s what I have to tell myself everyday. When you have any kind of mental illness, it may be daunting to study abroad to a different country, especially for a whole year. It definitely was for me. I was afraid of…

Surprises, Flexibility and More Adventures

Elizabeth Riegler Major: Psychology and Japanese Doshisha University, AY 18-19 The fact of the matter is: no amount of research a prospective traveler does can fully prepare them for a foreign country. For example, I spent hours poring over travel blogs and planning my route from the airport to my dorm. Imagine my shock and…

Communication in Cuba

Lauren LaLonde Major: Political Science and Spanish CIEE: Cuban Studies-University of Havana, Fall 2018. As some of you may recall, in my first blog post I talked about how I was a little worried about the lack of internet here in Cuba, and how I would communicate with everyone. Well, this post it to explain…

Language in Europe

Nick Talamantez Major: Film, Video and Media Studies Non-WMU: Sol Education, Granada, Spain, Fall 2018 The past couple weeks traveling through Germany, France, and Spain have taught me a lot. I particularly wanted to talk about language. I always hear about how English is the second most spoken language in the world. What I did…

Living with the Locals

Michael Mikolajczak Major: Spanish, Finance Universidad de Burgos, Spain, Fall 2018 I have been in Burgos for almost two months now and have loved every second of the trip. Adjusting to the culture has not been a problem for me at all, but I know that is not the same for everyone in my group….

Soaking In My New Culture

Taylor Pace Major: Journalism University College Dublin, Fall 2018. The locals in Ireland are quite like the locals back home in the states. They eat eggs for breakfast, with some fruit, hash browns, cereal if they want, some brown bread, which that piece we do not have in America, but it is so good. They…

Quit with the English Already

Nick Talamantez Major: Film, Video and Media Studies Non-WMU: Sol Education, Granada, Spain, Fall 2018 When you go abroad to learn a language, it would probably be a good idea to practice that language as much as possible… just an idea. I had often heard from professors, mentors, and the study abroad office about how…