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Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 in Culture, Feature, International Education, Interviews, Scholarships, Study Abroad, Travel, Travel Profiles, Volunteer Abroad |

Rotary Scholars on Travel, International Exchange, and Service

Rotary Scholars on Travel, International Exchange, and Service

Rotary is an international service organization that has been sponsoring international exchanges since the 1940’s. The video above and the responses below are from Rotary scholars who are alumni of the Rotary High School Exchange (Shivaun and Ines), Ambassadorial Scholarship (Heather and Samantha), and Peace Fellowship (Chris). To learn more about Rotary and Rotary international exchanges, visit www.rotary.org. Why were you interested in studying in another country? Shivaun: Initially, when I signed up to be a youth ambassador with Rotary International, I didn’t know much about the rest of the World, but I knew I wanted to (part of me also didn’t want to be contained to my small Midwestern hometown anymore).  After being placed in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, for a year as a youth ambassador, I knew being interested in other cultures would always be an essential aspect of my life. Chris: It had been almost 10 years since my first experiences studying abroad as an undergraduate.  I was interested in having a graduate experience overseas, I...

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Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Blog, Change, Culture, International Education, Relocation, Study Abroad, Teach Abroad, Travel, Volunteer Abroad, Work Abroad |

The Art of Asking: Travel with Questions Not Answers

The Art of Asking: Travel with Questions Not Answers

He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. — Chinese Proverb Questions are essential tools for the traveler. A good question opens doors, conversations, and hearts if the response falls on the ears of an attentive listener. A question may also be the origin of a new friendship, companionship, or opportunity. A question can divert aggression, misunderstanding, and bring clarity to an uncomfortable moment because it requires the suspension of judgement to find out more. Asking a good question begins with keen observation of self and extends to the other. What is a good question? A good question takes into account the person asking and the person it is directed at. What do I want or need to know? Why is this information or story important to me? Where does this person come from? What is important to her? How does he express what he values? What is being communicated through body language that is not...

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Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Blog, International Education, Interviews, Study Abroad, Teach Abroad, technology and travel, Travel, Volunteer Abroad, Work Abroad |

Interview with Travel720 (Now Project Travel)

Interview with Travel720 (Now Project Travel)

Jennifer Thomas, founder of Project Travel, (Formerly travel720), meets with The Traveling Advisor from Chicago, Illinois via Skype. She shares about the upcoming launch and how her website helps participants of international programs raise money to study, intern, volunteer, or teach English abroad and invite others to share in their journey. Since the original recording of this interview, travel720 changed their name to become Project Travel and I have officially joined the Project Travel team.  What is travel720? We are building an online fundraising community for program participants who want to study, volunteer, teach or go on service trips or people who want to engage in an educational travel experience. We felt it was really important to design a site with a community in mind and making sure it was something you could enjoy sharing with your family and friends. The moment you say “I will travel” that’s the time that your journey starts. It takes away a little bit of the stress from raising money but also makes...

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Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Book Review, Guest Post, Travel, Volunteer Abroad |

Little Princes: A Book Review

Little Princes: A Book Review

This book review by Kelli Mutchler originally appeared on her blog, Too Mutch for Words. Too many travel narratives are written about the highly improbable, crazy or suicidal, vain-glorious antics someone participates in simply to publish.  Too few are written accidentally, by honest travelers. Conor Grennan is at least frank.  He confesses, within the first pages, that his round-the-world-trip plus volunteer-stint-in-Nepal was planned as a feel-good future pickup line. But then he meets the orphans at Little Princes.  And Grennan – a 20-something American with no prior experience in childcare or global development- discovers that he is more than just a foreign helper in an orphanage for trafficked children. As it turns out, wondering what you’re supposed to do in an orphanage is like wondering what you’re supposed to do at the running of the bulls in Spain- you work it out pretty quickly. Grennan’s initial experience turns into a three-year effort to reconnect children with their families.  Open and eager, Grennan never admits to anything but a surprising...

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Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in Culture, International Education, Most Popular, Travel, Volunteer Abroad |

5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad (And 5 Reasons Not To)

5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad (And 5 Reasons Not To)

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. ~Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s Today is International Volunteer Day (IVD). Every volunteer interaction means impact on  volunteers and communities and with “hundreds of millions” of people volunteering every year (United Nations), the potential impacts are significant. Volunteering can be a vehicle for good but also harm. For this reason, it is important to approach the time-honored practice of offering skills and services gratis with an open heart and a critical mind. Most volunteer organizations cite reasons to volunteer such as “make a difference”, “enhance your resume”, “learn about new cultures” and  so on and so forth. All of these may indeed be reasons to volunteer but what I would like to offer today is something quite different. It is an attempt at an  uncomfortably candid perspective on the issue of volunteering for those who have never volunteered but...

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Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in Study Abroad, Teach Abroad, Travel, Travel Planning, Volunteer Abroad, Work Abroad |

Free Guide to Creating a Budget for International Travel

Free Guide to Creating a Budget for International Travel

Creating an international budget can seem like a real headache. With foreign currencies, first-time costs, and a heap of unknowns to contend with, where to begin? This guide will walk you through step by step to help you plan ahead and do your homework to understand your fixed and estimated costs. Click here to download this guide. If you are planning to travel and have questions, please feel free to contact The Traveling Advisor!...

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