Category Archives: News

Updated: Shoreline Ties for Most Gilman Recipients in U.S.

For the second year in a row, Shoreline Community College tied for most Gilman Scholarship recipients of any two-year institution in the country.

Two Shoreline students were selected to receive a combined total of $5,000 to spend fall quarter studying in Japan. Another two Shoreline students were selected as alternates, which means that should other students decline their awards, they will receive funding from the Gilman Scholarship program. These two students also plan to study in Japan. (*Update: Each of the students selected as alternates were awarded $2,000.)

A total of five Shoreline students applied for the scholarship, which means that 40% of Shoreline’s applicants were immediately selected to receive scholarships, and another 40% were selected as alternates.

From the press release on the Gilman Scholarship program website:

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs.  The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go.  Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply.  Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies — making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates.  Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience.  It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

If you would like to learn more about how you can use this scholarship to study abroad, contact the Shoreline Community College Study Abroad Office at studyabroad@shoreline.edu.

New Year’s Traditions Around the World

Fireworks shooting from and around the Space Needle

By Shannon Kringen from Seattle (seattle new years eve 2011 Uploaded by X-Weinzar) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

In Seattle, we welcome the new year with a bang. Actually, with a lot of bangs (and booms and oohs and aahs). Every year, the fireworks display at the Space Needle brightens the dark winter night and gives us Seattleites a brilliant finish to the old year and welcome to the new.

People around the world have many different traditions and rituals to bring good fortune in the new year. When I lived in China, I was always reminded to wear some new clothes on the first day of the new year (of course, that was the Chinese lunar calendar, not the Gregorian calendar). Because I often forgot about this, I usually bought something at the last minute, and it was usually socks.

To learn more about the many ways the new year is welcomed, have a look at this article from Discovery.com and this one from Business Insider. I particularly like the Columbian tradition on the Discovery list: Run around the block with some empty suitcases if you want your new year to be filled with travel! Come the stroke of midnight on January 1st, you might find me tearing down the streets with some Samsonite!

U.S. Women’s National Team Soccer Player Found Her Stride Studying Abroad

Alex Morgan, a forward for the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Team, says that studying abroad in Madrid during her junior year in college immersed her not only in Spanish language and culture, but also in soccer. In an article in Sports Illustrated, she says, “My time in Spain was my introduction to the world of football.

What can’t study abroad do?

Why Study Abroad: 7 Things Employers Want

“NanjingLu” by original uploader AndrewHorne at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Kafuffle using CommonsHelper. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

While traveling the world and getting a good education are certainly worthwhile activities in their own rights, most people pursue degrees in order to achieve bigger goals in life. Like getting a job, for example. So some students approach the idea of study abroad with this question in mind: Will making this often significant investment help improve my chances in the job market?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is also yes. Here’s why.

The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU) commissioned a large survey that questioned employers and recent college graduates about what skills and abilities were most valued in the workplace. Out of the top ten list they came up with, seven are things you learn to do while studying, interning, or living abroad.

8. The ability to apply knowledge and skills in new settings

This really shouldn’t need a lot of explanation, as pretty much everything you do on an everyday basis while in another country falls into this category. Just getting somewhere on public transportation (particularly in a country where English is not the dominant language) challenges students to dust off those map-reading and orienteering skills while also playing memory games with unfamiliar street and place names. Or how about negotiating prices at the market, possibly in a foreign language?

7. The ability to be creative and innovative in solving problems

Time Magazine published a story on this one. It’s really true, though, that experiencing another culture causes you to rethink your most basic assumptions about how things should be done. In any given situation, there are myriad approaches; by seeing people quite different than yourself tackle problems, you can develop a greater sense of the possibilities when faced with a dilemma of your own.

6. An understanding of the global context in which work is now done

Living in China and meeting Chinese factory workers and middlemen, as well as American, Swedish, Turkish, and Brazilian businessmen who source products or materials from them for companies around the world gave me an up-close look at how the global economy works. Seeing how each of these stakeholders was affected by, and dealt with, shifting exchange rates and commodity prices afforded me the opportunity to watch macro- and micro-economic case studies unfold before my eyes.

5. The ability to analyze a problem to develop workable solutions

Here’s the scenario: You’re experiencing persistent stomach discomfort and other intestinal distress. It’s been going on for days, and you begin to suspect it might be something worse than food poisoning. Walk into a hospital where nobody speaks English. You don’t speak the local language. Go.

Like number 8 up there, this ability is developed by the everyday challenges you face when confronted with a language barrier. Even in an English-speaking country, you will encounter a dizzying array of difficulties and decisions, especially when traveling. Example: You are spending a weekend in Edinburgh with three friends, all of whom want to see and do different things, but you only have about 36 hours. How do you make sure everybody is happy at the end of the trip?

4. The ability to think clearly about complex problems

Travel logistics play pretty well into this one, too. So do a lot of the things that have to be done in preparation for spending a significant amount of time abroad, like financial planning, figuring out what to do with your apartment and belongings, possibly dealing with loans and/or scholarships, navigating academic requirements and ensuring that credits will transfer if necessary. Not to mention trying to fit everything you want to bring into what suddenly seems like quite a tiny bit of luggage. There’s also one common piece of advice given to students heading abroad that’s always sounded somewhat difficult: Gather up all the clothes and things you think you’ll need, and then put half of it back. How do you choose which half?

3. The ability to write and speak well

On the AACU list, this is probably the ability that is closest to a natural skill; something that some people just have a talent for. Everyone can learn to do these things well, but some people become merely competent, while others become David Foster Wallace or Barack Obama.

The necessity of removing almost all slang from your speech (even if you are dealing with native English speakers in countries like Jamaica, Scotland or Australia, because they may not understand American slang) is one simple way you begin to improve your speaking abilities. You will also be called upon by your foreign friends and acquaintances to explain the American viewpoint (because you will become the spokesperson for the U.S. government and people, whether you think yourself qualified or not), which can be a pretty daunting task, but one whose demands will sharpen your verbal skills.

In all likelihood, whether it’s required for your classes or not, you will write quite a bit more than usual. You might be blogging, you’ll almost certainly be emailing friends and family quite frequently, and if you really want to capture and cherish your overseas experience, you’ll be making daily entries into a journal.

Writing is much like playing an instrument—the more you do it, the better you’ll get.

1. The ability to work well in teams—especially with people different from yourself

Never in your life will you be exposed to as many people from wildly different backgrounds than yourself as when you study abroad (unless you actually go work in an international city in another country, like London or Shanghai, in which case you’ll probably match it, at least—oh, and by the way, this is something you’ll be far more likely to be able to do if you have previous international experience, like for example studying abroad). The better you can relate to people with different backgrounds than yourself, the easier it is to understand their viewpoint and work with them.

#studyabroadbecause employers value the skills you learn when you study abroad.

Why Study Abroad: Weekend Reading

Okay, yes, I know it’s Wednesday, which by most people’s standards is not the weekend. But during the beautiful Seattle summer, when there are hours and hours of sunlight even after the workday ends, every day feels a little bit weekendish. So if you want to get an early start and spend some time during these sunny afternoons and evenings reading about some of the myriad benefits of studying abroad, nobody could fault you for it.

In “How Studying or Working Abroad Makes You Smarter,” Time quotes one researcher, William Maddux from INSEAD, who writes, “People who have international experience or identify with more than one nationality are better problem solvers and display more creativity, our research suggests. What’s more, we found that people with this international experience are more likely to create new businesses and products and to be promoted.”

Inside Higher Ed reports on a decade-long study of study abroad outcomes at the University System of Georgia (which includes everything from community colleges to research universities) called the GLOSSARI project. Among their many other findings, they report that students who study abroad have slightly higher GPAs and better graduation rates. This, even after controlling for differences in SAT scores and other factors, so if all else is equal, the study abroad students fare better in these areas.

Despite all of this, it is important to remember that to really reap the benefits of studying, interning, or working overseas, you need to immerse yourself in the culture. As with most things, what you get from the experience depends a lot on how much effort you put into it. You don’t want to end up like this: “6-Day Visit to Rural African Village Completely Changes Woman’s Facebook Profile Picture.

Northwest Folklife Festival

By Joe Mabel (Photo by Joe Mabel) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Joe Mabel (Photo by Joe Mabel) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Since 1972, the Northwest Folklife Festival has been celebrating beats, rhythms, melodies, movement, art, and food from around the world and bringing them all to Seattle Center. For all four days of Memorial Day weekend (that’s this weekend, May 22 – 25, and that includes Friday!), you can see music and dance from right here in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America. It’s like a mini study abroad program that happens right here in Seattle. We can’t always be trotting the globe, so sometimes we need to bring it all to us.

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