Study Abroad Alumni Share about Culture, Communication, and Careers

Study Abroad Alumni Share about Culture, Communication, and Careers

A report by the Institute of International Education found that 1 in 10 U.S. undergraduates studies abroad before graduating (as of academic year 2014/15).

Undergraduate Participation in US Study Abroad

Image shared with permission from the Institute of International Education

The number of US students studying abroad has increased four-fold since 1989/90.

Image shared with permission from the Institute of International Education

Image shared with permission from the Institute of International Education

Europe absorbs the majority of US students studying abroad as of academic year 2014/15.

Image shared with permission from the Institute of International Education

Image shared with permission from the Institute of International Education

As global experiences grow in importance to U.S. undergraduates, how can students take advantage of study abroad?  What are the benefits of study abroad?  What pitfalls must we avoid?

The Center for Global Engagement’s first Study Abroad 101 seminar brought together prospective students and alumni of the American-Bavarian Exchange (AMBEX) to discuss these questions.  Seminar participants discussed culture, communication and the challenges of re-adjusting from Germany to the U.S.

1. Plan early

Understanding one’s financial assets, options and limitations is key to making an informed choice about study abroad.

AMBEX alum Morgan Nims (Fall ’16) encouraged prospective students to start the AMBEX application process as soon as possible.  Visiting Financial Aid and talking with her academic adviser helped Nims prepare for the semester abroad.

The deadline for the AMBEX Scholarship Application is March 31, 2017.

2. Learn the language

How do we relate to people divided from us by culture and geography? Learning their language is often the first step.

Learning a foreign language is not required for Corban study abroad programs.

However, learning German before going to AMBEX helps students engage more effectively with German culture:

  • Relating to the local population and sharing the Gospel
  • Navigating public transport
  • Engaging with a Bible study or church

3. Prioritize study time

Prioritize study time during study abroad

Prioritize study time during study abroad

With AMBEX classes lasting two weeks at a time, it is important to prioritize tasks and maintain focus on essays and homework.

To avoid isolating yourself from your host country during study abroad, find a coffee shop or restaurant to focus on reading and writing tasks.

4. Seek cross-cultural experiences

Seek ways to build skills that are relevant to careers and ministry in a globalized world.

Lindisfarne (12)AMBEX alum Chico Guerra (Spring ’15) reflected that the skills in cross-cultural communication he acquired in AMBEX have equipped him for greater flexibility and understanding with overseas business clients.  Guerra graduates this Spring with a Corban University Business degree.


Corban students can choose from 13 semester-length study abroad programs and two Corban-sponsored study tours.

The next Study Abroad 101 seminar is offered February 16, 2017 in PV 102 at 4.00 PM.

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