Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘differences’

Botswana

After being in Botswana for the last three months, there is definitely a lot to miss about the U.S. There is a huge difference in the pace of the two countries literally and metaphorically speaking. Lines are longer here and there isn’t the same kind of service as in the U.S. Also, the technology is definitely far behind that of the U.S. Many times, this week included, there is no internet where it is supposed to be on campus so I go to internet cafes or the few places with internet on campus.

But what stands out more than the things that are appreciated in the U.S. are the things that are appreciated in Botswana that I will miss when I go home. In the U.S. there is a heavy emphasis on the work that needs to be done. Here in Botswana, it is the people that matter more. For example, sometimes I will have professors show up ten minutes late to class because they stopped to talk with an old colleague along the way, and this is routine and normal. It can be inconveniencing at times, but it really is pleasant when you adjust to it. That mentality is something I wish I could bring back to the U.S. and I probably will on a personal level.

Read more
Advertisements

Learning While Living in Belfast

So I’ve been here in Belfast for about a month now and so far it’s been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have found certain aspects of it challenging, simply because there are a few major differences between here and the U.S. First and foremost, for two English-speaking countries, you wouldn’t think that language would be one of these said differences, but that has not been my experience here at all. I have had entire conversations with my classmates, or flatmates, or just people I’ve met around town, without knowing what exactly what was said. In the beginning, it was the most disconcerting part of being here because I would have no idea what was going on around me; when people would speak to me, I would simply smile and nod like I knew what they had just said to me without really having a clue. It’s getting easier, though. My older brother, who also studied in Europe, gave me a good piece of advice, “Listen to what people are saying, not their accent.” Read more

Know Before You Go

This is an oldy, but a goody!

For the students who are about to take off soon, here are 5 things to know before you go. For more advice also check out our YouTube page too!

1) Electricity – remember that many countries run on a different voltage than the US. If you’re bringing small appliances like hairdryers, etc, you may need to consider getting a voltage converter so that you don’t short out your appliance, or short-out a fuse in your accommodations. Alternatively, you could invest in a hair dryer once you arrive.

2) Jet lag – there are many theories for getting over the first few days of sluggishness upon arrival. A tried and true method is quite simple – change you watch/cell phone/computer clocks to local time as soon as you arrive so you’re not always thinking about what time you think it should be. During the day, stay awake, and get outside. The sun will actually help you get over jet lag. Drink plenty of water and avoid too much caffeine.

3) Foods – of course there will be new foods that you’ve never had at home, but what about those foods that you may miss? At interstudy, we all agreed that we missed peanut butter while abroad. If you’re an addict (like us!), think about throwing a jar in your suitcase, or adding it too a “care package” list from friends or family.

4) Same things, new names – Looking for a Diet Coke? Try looking for Coca-Cola Light instead. It’s the same thing, just a different name. What other products do you find with different names?

5) School supplies – for the most part, it may be hard to find your typical college-ruled, spiral bound notebook while abroad. Many countries just having notebooks with graphing paper instead.

Past students, what would you add to this list? Reply in the comments!

5 Things to Know Before You Go

I dug up some advice that we brainstormed earlier this year. For the students who are about to take off soon, here are 5 things to know before you go. For more advice also check out our YouTube page too!

1) Electricity – remember that many countries run on a different voltage than the US. If you’re bringing small appliances like hairdryers, etc, you may need to consider getting a voltage converter so that you don’t short out your appliance, or short-out a fuse in your accommodations. Alternatively, you could invest in a hair dryer once you arrive.
2) Jet lag – there are many theories for getting over the first few days of sluggishness upon arrival. A tried and true method is quite simple – change you watch/cell phone/computer clocks to local time as soon as you arrive so you’re not always thinking about what time you think it should be. During the day, stay awake, and get outside. The sun will actually help you get over jet lag. Drinks plenty of water and avoid too much caffeine.
3) Foods – of course there will be new foods that you’ve never had at home, but what about those foods that you may miss? At interstudy, we all agreed that we missed peanut butter while abroad. If you’re an addict (like us!), think about throwing a jar in your suitcase, or adding it too a “care package” list from friends or family.
4) Same things, new names – Looking for a Diet Coke? Try looking for Coca-Cola Light instead. It’s the same thing, just a different name. What other products do you find with different names?
5) School supplies – for the most part, it may be hard to find your typical college-ruled, spiral bound notebook while abroad. Many countries just having notebooks with graphing paper instead.

Past students, what would you add to this list? Reply in the comments!