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…

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…

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….

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…

Studying in the Japanese Countryside

Grace Gettig Major: Japanese and Global and International Studies Daito Bunka University, AY 2018-2019 はじめまして。グレースと申します。専攻は日本語と国際関係で、五年生です。今学期、日本の大東文化大学に留学しています。 Hello! My name is Grace. I am a 5thyear Japanese and Global & International Studies double major at Western Michigan University (WMU). Currently, I am spending one year studying abroad in Japan. The university I am studying at is Daito…

Spanish is Tough

Carly Baldwin Majors: Early Childhood Professional & Spanish Universidad de Cantrabria, Spain, Summer II Most people that know me have noticed that I love to talk… especially in class.  The reason for this is because I am usually making a joke that has a pun in it and on rare occasions, I add some of…

Glaciers, Waterfalls, and Basalts, Oh My!

Shelby Hurst Major: Geochemistry PhD Candidate WMU Geology Club in Iceland, Summer I, 2018 Day 1: Reykjavik and adjustment Visiting a new country is always challenging. Throw in 14 other people, wind and rain, strange addresses, and language barriers into the mix and it gets even harder. Thankfully, I had lots of support upon arrival…

A Home Away From Home

Oseas Benjamin Hudy-Velasco Senior (5th yr) / Aerospace Engineering Spring Semester 2017 (4 months) Aix-en-Provence, France – IAU College Area of Study: French Language On January 19th, one day before Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, I boarded a plane in Lansing, MI, the first of three which would…