Study Abroad

How international students integrate themselves at DU

Moritz Lerzer (left) skiing in the Colorado mountains with other international students.

Studying abroad is sure to be a life-changing experience for many. It is the optimal way to learn a new language, provides the opportunity to travel, allows you to get to know another culture first-hand, helps you expand your worldview while meeting people from all over the world and helps you to learn more about yourself.

However, the international student experience is affected by two main issues students have to deal with: culture shock and the lack of integration with domestic students and the university community.

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Through the eyes of study abroad students

Reverse culture shock

For the slideshow of my story, I took pictures that gave my article a visual aspect.  I did not take many pictures that added more information to my article, but I took photos that acted out what I said in my story.  The way I had my article organized was the same way I organized my photos.  I felt as if my article was able to tell a story about reverse culture shock well so I did the same for my slideshow.

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DU community encourages students to study abroad

My slideshow is about the study abroad experience many DU students have during their time in college. It combines a brief overview of the process in which students must follow in order to apply to study abroad with facts and stories from students who have been abroad. I thought the combination would be a great informational source for students thinking about going abroad next fall.

The photos shown in the slideshow are a combination of the International House at DU, where students will go throughout their applying process. Also, there are some of DU students who have gone abroad or are planning to. The pictures go along with the caption in order to help the viewer understand.

The opening photo is the sign at the International House at DU. I thought the sign was a good idea to include at the beginning because it has the address and the name of the place where students should go to start the application process. Others include students who are planning to study abroad and those who have already had the experience. The last photo is of a world globe, representing the world of possibilities that DU students have when they study abroad.

Since this was supposed to be an informational slideshow on the process of studying abroad, I took and included a lot of pictures of the International House. I didn’t end up using a lot of the ones of the inside of the building though because they didn’t pertain to the slideshow. I wish that I would have gotten a better picture of a Study Abroad 101 session. The one that I attended didn’t have many people.

My slideshow links with Issue Story 1 because my issue story was also meant to be informational. I thought that including about students’ past experiences along with the process of applying to study abroad in the issue story would really encourage them to take the step in doing this. Therefore, seeing photos and getting all the necessary information from the slideshow would only encourage them more.


DU students return from abroad

The International House at DU

Many University of Denver juniors are back on campus this quarter after returning home from their adventures of studying abroad in various countries around the world. Studying abroad in a foreign country offers many different opportunities for DU students.

Along with these opportunities come many ups and downs. For example, students have the chance to meet new people and return to their home university having made new friends. But, they may also experience homesickness and culture shock.

As students are working on the transition back to being at DU, they agree their study abroad experience was life changing and rewarding.

They are excited and eager to share their stories about their most important abroad experiences and what they thought was most valuable with the DU community and want encourage others to study abroad during their time at DU.
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The Effects of Coming Home

Elise Elder is a junior who studied abroad in Paris

Studying abroad provides students with the opportunity of cultural enrichment and exposure to a new country.  On the University of Denver’s study abroad site, they state “the best way to understand another culture is to experience it.”

Consequently, many study abroad students feel as if they have changed from their time away. So when they return home, it can be a bit strange for them.  Returnees must re-acclimate themselves to their home life and become accustomed to the norms.  However, along the way, these students may find certain aspects completely different from their life while abroad.

This is something that is called reverse culture shock.

Educational Differences

The moment Elise Elder’s, junior studied abroad in Paris, airplane landed in Charlotte, North Carolina, she went through culture shock.

On Elder’s flight, there were two girls who asked their flight attendant where she was from because of her accent.  The flight attendant replied that she was from Prague.

“But these girls were completely confused.  They had no idea where Prague was… they hadn’t even heard of it.  They just laughed.” Elder said.

She said she was embarrassed by the girls’ ignorance.  As a result, Elder said she pretended that she was Parisian for the rest of the flight.

Elder stated that in Europe, the “education system is better and people are more politically involved.”  She also said she thinks people in America don’t care as much about politics or school.

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