Thursday, November 13, 2014

Meet the Staff: Sarah Rosenthal

Name: Sarah D Rosenthal

Homestate: New Jersey, born & bred

Education: BA: Media & Communication, Muhlenberg College. Expected MA: Higher and Postsecondary Education, Teachers College Columbia University.

Title at Barnard: Graduate Assistant for the Office International and Intercultural Student Programs

How long have you been working at Barnard: Just over a year, I began in August 2013!

Abroad experience: Spring 2009 semester study abroad in South Africa at the University of Cape Town through CIEE: Arts & Sciences.

Favorite location visited thus far: That's a tough one. Each place is so different and unique. I don't think I can pick a favorite but the most unusual is probably Lesotho (pronounce li-SOO-too). It's a sovereign country but it is completely surrounded by another country (South Africa) which is known as an enclaved country. It is extremely mountainous and all the electricity comes from generators. At 9pm the generators are shut off for the night and because of the mountains, the moon is usually already hidden. This means that being in Lesotho is one of the best places to truly view the night sky without any light pollution and believe me, it's amazing. There's a reason Lesotho is known as the "Kingdom in the Sky".

Dream location to visit: Antarctica! I really can't explain why, it just fascinates me beyond reason. Realistically though, I really want to visit China. Both of my maternal grandparents were born in southeast China and I'd love to be able to go some day.

Favorite travel tip: Make sure you don’t pack all your clothes in one bag and then all your toiletries in the other bag. When I studied abroad I had two bags and one was lost by the airlines for a few days. My mom had made sure I combined all of my things while I packed and it was good thing I did because I had enough to get me through the first few days until the rest of my things arrived!

5 things you must travel with (excluding necessities like a passport):
1. Notebook. It doesn't matter what you write in it but there will be so many moments I've wanted to write something down to make sure I remember it and having a notebook in your bag is like having a time capsule. When you look back it'll tell your story even if it's just addresses, shopping lists, and translated words you think are interesting.
2. A good camera. I know cell phone cameras are getting better but I love having an actual camera that provides me with so many more opportunities to take advantage of new surroundings.
3. A game that you can play with people even if they don’t speak your language/know your culture. This can be tricky but if you'll be traveling anywhere that language may be a barrier, having this game is a great way to remember that even if we're from different places, we all have some things in common too.
4. Knowledge of how to say hello, thank you, and where’s the bathroom in the native language. Can't tell you how helpful this can be. Maybe add "do you speak English?" to that list. And on that note, I can't say this enough but please don't speak to them in broken English if they aren't fluent. It's not helping you or them and in my opinion it's really demeaning.
5. An open mind & sense of adventure. You will likely experience things you'd never have typically considered or you'll find yourself in situations where you may be uncomfortable. Remember that these emotions are all right and to not let assumptions or stereotypes hold you back. All within reason of course.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meet our Staff: Gretchen Young

Name: Gretchen Young

Homestate: Massachusetts

Education: Middlebury College for undergraduate & graduate degree. BA in International Politics and Economics and MA in French.

Title at Barnard: Dean for International and Intercultural Student Programs

How long have you been working at Barnard: This is my 7th year, I began working at Barnard in 2008!

Abroad experience: I studied abroad at Reid Hall in Paris (but through Middlebury not Barnard) and took classes at Sciences Po, Nanterre and Reid Hall. I also lived and worked in Africa for 8 years.

Favorite location visited thus far: Impossible to say.

Dream location to visit: Vietnam and Mongolia are currently on this list.

Favorite travel tip: Relax and go with the flow!

5 things you must travel with (excluding necessities like a passport): I'm a minimalist - I like to travel with as little as possible. However, I usually like to have:
1. large multipurpose scarf (to cuddle up in if the plane is cold, to lay on on the beach, to dress up an outfit...)
2. My trusty swiss army knife (which now unfortunately forces me to always check my bags)
3. A small purse that I can wear across my body (especially good when going out dancing)
4. A mini padlock to lock up valuables (when sleeping on the train or staying at a hostel)
5. My water bottle (I refuse to buy outlandishly priced airport water but need to stay hydrated especially when flying)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SNAP 2014

Did you miss out on seeing the photographs from this year's SNAP (See New Abroad Photos) Competition? Or maybe you're abroad and couldn't make it.

Now you can view all of the pictures in the slideshow below! Congratulations to all of our winning pictures and we look forward to seeing the creative and beautiful images our students are taking this year during SNAP 2015!

Created with flickr slideshow.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Meet our Staff: Rachel Romesburg

Name: Rachel Romesburg

Homestate: West Virginia

Education: Undergrad: Barnard College, European Studies with a concentration in Psychology. Grad: MA from NYU Steinhardt in Educational Psychology.

Title at Barnard: Program Director for International and Intercultural Student Programs

How long have you been working at Barnard: since August 2010

Abroad experience: 1 year in France - AUCP in Aix-en-Provence, BU in Grenoble

Favorite location visited thus far: France is my favorite country (although I may be a bit biased), but in terms of adventure my favorite place has been India - I only saw a very small part and hope to return some day!

Dream location to visit: Morocco! It has been on my list for almost 10 years, and I had even planned a trip there in college that I ended up having to cancel.

Favorite travel tip: Whenever you are going to a new country for any length of time, take a new scent with you, or buy one as soon as you arrive (be it perfume, lotion, shampoo, whatever). Only use that scent while you are there, every day. When you return home, use that scent only occasionally, and it will transport you back to your time abroad. Scent memories are some of the strongest, most evocative ones we have, and pairing a scent with a travel experience will bring back memories so vivid, you can relive your trip again and again. The longer the trip, the stronger the association, and thus the stronger the memory. I discovered this by accident with my pumpkin spice lotion in Aix-en-Provence, and now I do it on purpose whenever I travel.

5 things you must travel with (excluding necessities like a passport): 
1. Addresses of your friends and family, pre-printed on labels. Makes postcard sending a snap!
2. A journal, to record your adventures and thoughts.
3. An empty water bottle - get it through security and then fill it up! Hydration is very important.
4. Layers - you never know what the weather might be like, and how much it might fluctuate during the day. Layers also allow you to mix and match so you can take fewer clothes without feeling like you're wearing the same outfit every day.
5. Humility. Go with an open mind, and prepare for your assumptions to be challenged. (But your mind should be at least reasonably informed about where you're going!)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Spring Study Abroad Students

During the spring semester there are close to 150 students from Barnard College studying abroad. We've created a new map where you can see all the different places our students are spending the next 4 months! And make sure to check out some of our student blogs listed to the left.