April 30, 2010

Today's Students: Do you agree?

An article in the May/June 2010 International Educator publication presents an interview with John Zogby suggesting that the students of today - and more specifically, those born between 1979 and 1991 - are First Globals. Below are some excerpts from the article.

IE: What is a First Global? (p.23)
Zogby: I use the name interchangeably with 18-30-year-olds not because everyone in this age group fits the description but because those with passports, global social networks, and a planetary sensibility dominate the whole cohort...I define them by their sense that the world is their playing field...It was the first time I ever used the phrase that suggested that this group is not defined by facts they know but by their awareness: "They may not be able to immediately find Darfur on the map, but what sets them apart among earlier cohorts of twenty-somethings is that they know there is a Darfur on the map..."

IE: You have defined today's young people as "First Globals." What traits do First Globals have that other generations did not? (p.22)
Zogby: It is the name I give to those Americans born between 1979 and 1999. Over half have traveled abroad, are the age cohort most likely of any to consider themselves "citizens of the planet Earth," are least likely to feel that American culture is inherently superior to the cultures of other peoples, tell us that America will most likely "look like Barak Obama 20 years from now because he looks like us," are most likely to favor the United States cooperating with international agencies and protocols in responding to crises, and are most open-minded to immigration and immigrants. They have been introduced to open borders throughout their lives via MTV, fashion, the Internet, and social networking. Thus, the whole world is their playing field..."

IE: What does it mean for this generation of students to be "global citizens"? (p. 23)
Zogby: They literally have a world full of choices. They are not limited by space or geography. Sometimes the choices can be overwhelming and stifling but being a First Global means redefining who they will respond to their world...Employers will have to get accustomed to new definitions of tenure and longevity. First Globals want to move. Today's twentysomethings will have had four jobs by the age of 30 and ten by the age of 40. So now our focus as employers is not to ensure their loyalty for long-term employment but instead keep them loyal because we need to ensure that they will leave happy. Blogging and tweeting about a bad experience travels now at the speed of light..."

IE: In recent years, education abroad has become more popular among college students. Do you think the outlook that First Globals have about the world has increased interest in studying abroad? Do you think First Globals do or will have more interest in studying abroad differently than students in generations past? (pp. 24-26)
Zogby: One thing that is notable already about First Globals is how much they are changing philanthropy. Crises are less remote to this group and their ability to act by spreading the word (and pictures) virally is as impressive as their contributions to texting..."

For the full article, including more information on Zogby, click here.

Do you agree?

Here are some other thoughts along a similar line of inquiry attempting to understand today's students:

Is this accurate?

How would you describe today's student - today's UNC Charlotte student?

April 29, 2010

Flash Mobs & Dancing & Around the World

A post to share a few entertaining videos of the creatively-inspired around the globe - and perhaps to inspire International 'Niner creativity for the upcoming week of exams! Good luck!

At an Australian University:

14 months and 42 countries:

Sound of Music in the Train Station:

April 20, 2010

Crossing Borders by Heather Johnson

Guest Post by Heather Johnson
Graduate Student
Submitted as part of the 2010 Crossing Borders Writing Competition

How My International Experience Has Changed My World View

As our bus pulled into Guanajuato, Mexico for the Healthcare Comparative program with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with the immediate visual sensation of culture. The narrow cobblestone streets, the multitude of colors displayed by the homes on the mountainside and in the vallye, the decorative churches, the fountains, the plazas, the costumes of the mariachi bands, and the masses of the people bustling to their destinations. I could not scan the streets without consuming a piece of the heritage and culture of this city.

Although I could not understand the language well, through observation I could sense that family was a central value to this culture. Entire families traveled together to run their daily errands. Numerous children played in the plaza gazebos while parents and grandparents looked on from the benches. The interaction and connectedness of these families could be felt.

In America we value individualism, advancement and technology. We tear down the old and replace it with the new. Families are often isolated from public view and are even isolated from each other in their homes. Our world turns on building new and bigger buildings, on making and buying faster cars, on acquiring wealth to purchase the grand home, on innovation and the latest technology, adn on how to achieve our goals the quickest way possible. We seem to beleive that preserving old ways of life, old buildings, old cars, old homes or even preserving time with each other is not advantageoius to our individual or country's advancement. My international experience in Guanajuato opened my eyes to a void I have never felt; the void of a missing cultural piece in my own life and in my country. To me there is a peace in this busy city. The peace in knowing that this city and these people have withstood the test of time, advancement and pressure by outside worlds, such as the U.S., and have preserved not only the ancient buildings but their traditions and way of life. This preservation of culture is peaceful to me and has inspired me to continue travelling abroad.

As I watched other students and overheard comments of their experience I could not help but recognize that there were two differing lines of thinking about the impact of our international experience. One line of thinking was akin to cultural absolutism; where a student will approach an international experience from a judgmental point of view. Where they can not grasp the culture and long for the Starbucks every morning, the 24-hour gym, their personal car, their favorite hamburger and their internet. They can not understand how a population is able to achieve their goals in these old buildings, how they can fit all their activities in when they are forced to walk everywhere, how they have the time to sit with their families and enjoy the sunshine. These types of students are frustrated that they do not have the ability to update their Facebook status to let the world know what they are doing. Instead of seeing the beauty around them and in just being in this beautiful city, they are confined by their pessimism and criticism of this amazing culture. They can't see that the American way is not always better. The other line of thinking understands and appreciates that this culture, this city, these people have survived and will survive as they continue to embrace and preserve their old buildings, their cobblestone streets, and their 2-hour afternoon siestas. This line of thinking is based on openness.

These students, of which I am one, have opened their eyes, their minds and their hearts to the richness of the city, its ways of life and its heritage. I have seen a world so vastly different than my own and I truly appreciate the difference. The memories I have created in this short week and the numerous pictures I have taken will forever be ingrained in my thinking. This international experience has changed my world view in that it has opened my mind and my heart to embrace and support different cultures.

I will return to the United States and miss being "forced" to sit and enjoy my coffee because there is no "to-go" cups at the small cafe or McDonalds on every street corner. My waistline will miss being "forced" to walk to my destination instead of taking ga car. My mind will miss being "forced" to enjoy the company I am in face-to-face because the internet does not work in the old building where I am staying. My lungs will miss the 24-hours of fresh air as there is not central heating or air conditioning in this beautiful city. My eyes will miss the colors of the homes piled on top of each other on the beautiful mountainside. My nose will miss the smells from the street vendors' local foods and fresh flowers. My heart will miss seeing the ornate churches with their painted murals and hanging chandeliers. My soul will miss observing families and children interacting in the public streets. This international experience has positively changed my perspective of my own world and opened my eyes to a beautiful and rich culture.

April 19, 2010

Crossing Borders by Toma Kusakawa

Guest Post by Toma Kusakawa
ELTI Student
Submitted as part of the 2010 Crossing Borders Writing Competition

Evolution from My Immaturity

Eleven months have passed since I came to the United States of America from Japan. During this seemingly short period, I have learned so much about myself and also noticed a great deal of difference among nations. In addition, I discovered the pleasure of studying languages and interacting with people who have different backgrounds from mine. I never expected that my life in this nation would be as splendid as it has been so far. I never expected that I would gain such a sense of maturity.

Before I came to America, I was far from being a good student in school. I hated studying, I did not do my school work seriously, and I just graduated from my university without any accomplishment. I had never had a dream. Moreover, at my university I did not even look for a job, which almost all the Japanese college students do at their universities. This was because my parents had encourage me to study abroad in order to earn a master’s degree in the United States after graduation. I had already decided to do that because I thought it would be pleasant, since I was interested only in English and I could also escape from working.

I set a goal of studying Teaching English as a Second Language in graduate school in the U.S. because it was a program in which my father earned his master’s degree and in which I was interested. In addition, I expected that improving my English and obtaining a degree in the program would be easy. However, after I spent some time in the U.S., my views of the world evolved. Everything was different from Japanese culture, for example, what people usually ate, how they behaved themselves, and especially how they managed their time. By observing people working on their school work, I discovered that graduating from college in America is extremely difficult, unlike graduating from my college in Japan. Furthermore, I realized how naïve and immature I was, and how weak my English actually was, especially my speaking and listening abilities, even though I had been learning English for more than 10 years in my mother country. I seriously regretted that I had not studied diligently in school; therefore, I resolved to begin studying English in earnest to attain something in my life for myself.

After making this resolution, I entered the English Language Training Institute at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in order to better prepare myself for graduate school. It was actually a big challenge for me after discovering my immaturity. At the beginning, I was really stressed and frustrated about studying and living in a different country every day, because of my naïveté and the weaknesses in my English. However, I managed to overcome the situation and my English gradually improved due to my determination and the help of my teachers and ELTI staff. When I had trouble with my English, my teachers talked with my any time and gave me marvelous advice and encouragement. Likewise, the ELTI staff helped me with the necessities of daily life outside of school, such as obtaining a driver’s license or leasing an apartment. This assistance reduced my stress and frustration. My life became comfortable with their help. I learned that human beings cannot live alone.

More importantly, through the school, I could meet a lot of international people and make a lot of precious friends from a variety of countries: Saudi Arabia and Turkey for instance, which I had never known about. It undoubtedly enlightened me about other countries and cultures. I discovered how interesting learning other cultures is and became much more interested in international people or other countries than I was before. At the same time, I came to realize that I enjoyed studying and living in the U.S. I became assured that coming to the U.S. had been a wonderful decision.

As the number of my American friends as well as international friends increased, my life became more pleasant. My English language has improved greatly thanks to their help and I also learned more about diverse cultures, such as sharing an apartment with friends, which is unusual in my country. Most importantly, although I had never considered being a teacher in my life, while I was studying with international people at ELTI and observing the teachers teaching us English as a second language, I began thinking that I seriously wanted to be a teacher like them in my country, and teach children practical English. I finally acquired a reason to aim to study in graduate school. This experience allowed me to have a dream to chase for the first time in my life.

Thus far with my life in the U.S., I have had many valuable experiences that I would never have had in Japan. Everything I see or hear is fresh and pleasant for me. If I had not come to this country, I would never have had a dream nor would I have known about America or other foreign countries, people, and cultures. This experience has changed my point of view in a remarkable way; I am taking away with me my dream and evolving maturity. Even if I am not accepted to graduate school in the future and have to go back to my country, I will never think that I wasted time or money. I have had a priceless and fruitful experience that will be very useful in my future endeavors. I would like to thank my father, mother, my family and all of the people who have taken care of me and helped me improve my English language. I am truly looking forward to experiencing new facets throughout the rest of my life in America.

April 16, 2010

Crossing Borders by Marion Scotti

Guest Post by Marion Scotti
ELTI Student
Submitted as part of the 2010 Crossing Borders Writing Competition

Nowadays, having an international experience is primordial. For us international students, it starts with the learning of English at elementary school. Indeed, English is the universal language and makes the connection between countries. Consequently, if people know how to speak English, it is easier to communicate with the ones who come from other nations. Most of the time, in addition to English, students start learning another language in middle-school. However, this is not the only way to have an international experience. For example, traveling or working in other countries can be other ways to have a contact with the rest of the world. In my case, after having traveled a lot, I desired to study in the United States.

I am from France, a European country. The culture is based on the traditions of Christianity, even though people are not as practicing as they used to be. Traveling a lot since I was a child has helped me to open my mind and develop my vision of the world. The simple fact of going out of my own country helped me to discover that the world doesn’t end at its boundaries. I started to travel in Europe, in the Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Spain and Croatia. It was really interesting for me to discover other languages, architectures and cultures. Every time I came back, I had learned a few words from each language. Then, I began to travel on other continents, such as Africa. I really discovered other cultures than mine and it was at this moment that I found that religion has a huge role in that difference. Indeed, the way people dress, the way they organize the plan of the cities, the way they live is different, according to religion. Therefore, customs and traditions are also dissimilar. The food and the way people consume it differ from European countries. For example, Muslim countries’ inhabitants can neither eat pork nor drink alcohol because of their religion. Even though traveling is a good way to discover another culture, another way is to live in total immersion in a different country.

Four years ago, at the age of 14, I decided to go to America after graduating from High School in order to improve my English. My goal was to spend one entire year to discover the United States and its culture. I have always been attracted to this country, in part because of the movies I saw on TV or in the movie theaters. Everything seemed better than in my country: life seemed funnier, and people appeared to be nicer and friendlier. Consequently, last year, before graduating from High School, I started to research about the place and the school where I wanted to go in the United States. In August 2009, I arrived in Charlotte. I started to take my English courses in the ELTI (English Language Training Institute) at UNC Charlotte. At the same time, I started meeting a lot of people from all over the world. I could discover different cultures from Japan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Since we could not communicate in our native languages, we had to speak English all the time. At first, it was really hard because French words could not stop coming out instead of English. In the end, I could speak fluently in English very quickly. However, it is not always easy to live with other cultures. Everyone has to remain respectful and tolerant towards others, even though his/her culture is different.

Having an international experience is very important and rewarding. It really helps me to be more open-minded, more tolerant towards others and to develop one’s culture. Having an international experience can teach people many life lessons. In my case, I developed my knowledge concerning the different cultures and opened my mind. However, living with people coming from other countries is not always easy. Tolerance and respect are very important notions everyone should keep in mind. My international experience has not only helped me discover other countries and cultures, but also to learn how to live in another society than mine, and to accept the fact that the world doesn’t stop at my country.

April 15, 2010

Crossing Borders by Erica Bleicher

Guest Post by Erica Bleicher
Undergraduate Student
Submitted as part of the 2010 Crossing Borders Writing Competition

My International Experience

It was a beautiful morning, with an abundance of sun and a wistful breeze. Patients were wrapped around the makeshift church clinic waiting to be treated. With only one doctor and enough student volunteers for two clinic groups, the line seemed stagnant. As morning turned to afternoon we were nearing the end of our work day - only a few patients left to be treated. Of the remaining patients, one an older woman. When her name was called she stood up with help from those sitting next to her and wobbled in clear pain to where my group members and I were set up. When she finally joined us and sat down, we went through the initial dialog when seeing a patient. When asking if she was taking any current medications, she replied "no"...because the National Costa Rican health care system does not cover many illnesses, and she couldn't afford the private insurance that would provide her with proper coverage. We then began taking her vital signs, weight, and height so the doctor would have more information for a diagnosis.

When we finally asked the main purpose of her visit, the woman sighed and replied in Spanish, "I have a swollen ankle and knee that has disabled me from walking, diabetes, declining vision in both eyes, plus I have been sick to stomach, and I have terrible cough." We had heard these symptoms separately from patients throughout in the day, but no one with the amount of complaints as this woman. There was a moment of shock before anyone said anything. Then my group member Matt blurted, "Well how are you doing?" In response, the woman looked up to us with a smile on her face, shrugged her shoulder and replied, "Pura Vida."

Pura vida is a Costa Rican saying that translates to "pure life", but the meaning is closer to "full of life." It is also commonly used as "this is living," "going great," and "cool." It is often used as a greeting, during goodbyes, to express satisfaction, or to politely express indifference when describing something. However, Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, resilience in overcoming difficulties with good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune of magnitudes small and large alike. It was inspirational to hear this woman respond to our question of her degenerating current physical condition with Pura Vida. This woman, as well as many other Costa Ricans, look at life in such a unique way. Pura Vida is truly a lifestyle that should be shared and experienced. It was motivating to see that without proper health care and a life of borderline poverty this woman was still able to hold her head high and be happy. Enjoying life with good spirits even in bad conditions is a trait that Costa Rica is known for, and without spending time in the country I would never have gotten a chance to learn such an exceptional view of life from such amazing people.

My international experiences have affected my view of the world in such a momentous way. Volutneering for Banrock Wetlands Center in Australia was my first taste of traveling abroad. I met such fascinating people: those who dedicated their lives to preserving the land so that the whole country can continue to benefit from the natural ecosystem. Grasping that these were people battling for the environment, doing so much work for very little pay, was inspiring. Volunteering in Costa Rica and Nicaragua humbled me and made me know only thankful for how lukcy I was to grow up in the setting that I did, but also taught me how much more there is to life than what I have experienced in my 20 years. I met people who have lived happy lives under conditions thta were previously unimaginable to me. This amazed me! Seeing the strength of these people was life changing. In addition their intelligence and insight was a gift to be able to experience. Being around their lifestyle made me rethink the way I chose to look at situations. I hope to take with me the philosophy of Pura Vida and try to incorporate it into my life as much as possible.

I feel as though each person I have met has made me a better individual and has challenged me to question what I know. My experiences abroad have taught me more than just different cultures, they have taught independence, new values, and most importantly, I have learned about myself. Traveling has provided me with invaluable opportunities that will further my education and knowledge of the world. I believe it is each individual's responsibility, if possible, to travel abroad so that they too will be out of their element, and once this happens it is inevitable to begin to see things differently and absorb new cultures. My international experiences have made me realize how big this world is! There is so much more to life than I had ever imagined. Traveling to see what else is out there and the amount of variety available to experience is such an incredible opportunity that I hope to continue to take advantage of throughout my future.

April 14, 2010

Crossing Borders - by Trevor D'Silva

Guest post by Trevor D'Silva
Graduate INES Doctorate Student
Submitted as part of the Crossing Borders Writing Contest

How My International Experience has Affected My View of the World
Each person is taught to be proud of their culture, language and traditions and to be patriotic. The fear of being exposed to other cultures and corrupting our individuality, sets up barriers which causes the 'Frog in the Well' syndrome. This fosters stereotyping, prejudice and hatred which many people suffer from.

Being born and raised in a socially and culturally diverse country like India, I thought I possessed a world view during my younger days. My hometown was a microcosm of Indian culture. We had people of various religions, and other regions, living amongst us. Foreign programs and documentaries via cable television, and experiences of friends and relatives abroad led me to develop a mixture of views about people in other countries. I was contented with my life and views and did not want to live, but only possessed dreams of travelling abroad.

The opportunity came in 2001, when I went to Dubai and Europe. I was excited, but with some trepidation. Joining a tour group in Italy, I met poeple from other nations and we lived and travelled together. One thing stood out, that we were all foreigners in a land not our own, willing to overcome inhibitions and be Italians, for a week. This enabled us to live together like one big happy family. I realized what was portrayed in the media about people from other countries was untrue and returned home happy that, my first cross border experience enlightened me.

This satisfying experience, prompted me to pursue higher studies in the United States and I came to UNCC, with diversity as its hallmark. This experience was different because, I was here to study for a few years and was not staying with relatives. Here, I was staying with strangers from different parts of India. In fact, the culture shock came from my own poeple who had different values and ideas. I always thought that people from India had similar values, opinions and thoughts. However, this was not the case. Initially, these differences cause friction, but the beauty of living together as strangers in a foreign land makes one more adaptable and conforming. Opinions and ideas may differ, but when exchanged, we realize that we all pursue happiness. In the words of Anne Frank 'we all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.'

Many foreigners differ, to what level they would like to experience American culture. Due to my first good experience, I decided to give it a go, but was still hesitant. The first time I realized that the stereotype of Americans as uncaring wasn't true, was when I received a package from my brother. Being heavy, I was struggling to carry it and while waiting to cross HWY49, I was amazed when the traffic suddenly stopped to let me cross even though the light was green. The kindness of these strangers made me confident to explore.

When I came out of my cocoon, I realized that America, though rich was no different than any country. Americans are a mixture of rich, poor, open-minded and also apprehensive about other cultures. America has its fair share of crime and violence and though not utopian, yet it is a normal society. As I travelled across the US, I realized that Americans differend in ideas, politics and beliefs, but the goals of working hard and pursuing happiness were the same. Even though, there are ethnic, social and religious diversities, all come under one flag, as 'Americans' Jimmy Carter puts it best by saying 'We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.'

Transitioning to a new culture was not easy. I learned many things the hard way. When talking to my American friend, he said 'I hear you.' I thought he was being rude and telling me to keep quiet. I confronted him and he laughed saying, it means that, he empathizes with me and meant well. This way, I learnt how Americans conversed.

To experience other cultures, I made friends from all over the world and try to learn their language. I discovered that in Korean they say, 'Appa and Amma', for mother and father, just like in some parts of India. Also, some words, in Konkani language of the Catholic community in my hometown, mean the same in Spanish. How wonderful that languages can be similar. If you apply that analogy, people are also similar.

For everyone, the grass appears greener on the other side. People appreciate, but are still hesitant to try different cultures. Instead of building bariers, if poeple could take good values from all cultures, blend and live by them, the world would be a better place. Instead of fighting over whose God is greater, we must realize that God is one. Following the religion of commonsense can lead us to peace and salvation. Basing one's perceptions on somebody else's experiences is wrong and it is good to be analytical, fair and open-minded. Being open-minded has helped me appreciate diversity. This experience enriched my values without destroying my individuality and made me a better person.

People may not treat you well because they stereotype you. This experience can teach us to find the 'saving grace' in them and help foster friendship and break unnecessary stereotypes. Such instances teach us to make life better not only for ourselves but also for others.

Currently, I am pursuing my PhD in environmental engineering. This international experience complements my learning because I realize that, the world is my family and the earth is our home. When using my talents to help the environment, I believe that, I am saving our home and helping my global family. I recommend that everyone crosses borders. This experience though not easy will be a defining moment in one's life. Just as gold purified by fire, so will our hearts and minds be purified by this wonderful experience and enrich us personally.

April 13, 2010

Students Share Changed Views

Each year the Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Delta and the UNC Charlotte International Club host a writing contest, "Crossing Borders", open to ELTI students*, undergraduate and graduate students. The theme this year was "How My International Experience Changed My View of the World" and students compiled essays highlighting how their interaction with the world, sometimes beyond the borders of UNC Charlotte and sometimes within, had changed their understanding of the world over time.

In the next several days, we'll showcase some of these essays on 'Niner International so check back in the next week or so for different stories.

*ELTI students are with the English Language Training Institute at UNC Charlotte - part of the Office of International Programs - and are students from around the world who come to ELTI to improve their English skills for career advancement or for university matriculation.

Our first story is from Jingjing Zhao, an international student with ELTI, who compares life to a musical composition that encompasses a variety of genres.

How My International Experience Has Affected My View of the World

To be an international student, I am very proud of myself. I still remember clearly the first day I decided to study abroad on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I carried my dream and aspirationto the United States. Since being here for one year and three months, I experienced the American high school and college, and travled through several states. At the same time, I also got a secret collection which is about how my international experience has affected my worldview. Today, I am going to open this secret cabinet. If life is like a complete piece of music notes, I have enjoyed the rock chapter, jazz genre, and classical section.

Like rock music has simple accompaniment but strong rhythm, my international experience can be elegant but inspiring. The first time I walked into the Myers Park High School, I could feel the energy which is truly unique and fresh. After two semesters, it insipired me to be creative. I felt many Mustangs [Myers Park HS mascot] are filled with energy to create. Especially by the time they turned in their projects, I was shocked. I also learned many strategies from them, and finally I came out my very unique anthology. At that moment, I figured out high school is not only about paper and homework, but also attractive and inspiring.

If you ask me what type of music I would use to define America, I would say jazz, because jazz is very hard to define, and it has many distinctive styles; just like America which is a very diverse country. Since I attended the ELTI program at UNC Charlotte, I have met many awesome friends. They are from all around the world; most of them could speak four or five languages. They make me truly understand on eo fhte well-known saying from Confucius who is a famous philosopher, educator and musician in China. He expressed, "There is always someone to learn from." My classmates always have many enjoyable thoughts I can learn from.

In the similar way, every time I visit other states, I would always get a lot of unexpected knowledge. Take last summer holiday as an example; we went to Los Angeles. When we were on the airplane, the lady next to me taught me four words: gratitude, forgive, love and donate. She explained to me gratitude decides your attitude. Every night before you go to sleep, recite aloud at least ten things for which you are grateful. Forgiveness makes your life much easier. Let go of the past. Forgive those who have hurt or angered you. Stop carrying this poison around wiht you every day. Love connects human even if they are far away from you. Be sure to tell those people in your life who mean so much to you that you love them and appreciate them. And the last one is donation which makes people feel thankful. Go through your closets, and anything you haven't worn or used in the past year, box it or bag it and take it to a place where those who are less fortunate will benefit from your donation. Now, no matter where I go, what I do, I always keep these four words in my mind, because it influenced me quite a bit, it changes my life attitude, and improves my life standard.

Last but not least, my favorite music genre is classical music which requires advanced musical skills - for example, learning the ragas and the ability to coordinate with other musicians. Similarly, the relationship between the United States and China has been coordinated. Last November, I was honored to take part in the Confucius Institute Grand Opening. I truly felt regardless of gender, religion, race, and social status, people are treated equally in education. What is more, education also connects the relationship between the two super powers.

Life is like a complete piece of music notes; it has much different kind of rhythm, lyrics, and melody. No matter what type of genres you do like, eventually you will understand music can touch the core of the heart; you will find out what is the truth of human life. Now, having these international experiences, I am ready to get on another journal.

~Jingjing Zhao, ELTI student

April 8, 2010

Pics & Links: Fox News Rising & Study Abroad

Just so you have proof that there were, in fact, people awake at 5 AM at UNC Charlotte yesterday, here are some pics from our Fox News Rising adventure before the Study Abroad Fair.

We were told that snippets of the show would be available online at some point so check back regularly to Wilson's World to see a bit of the excitement and possibly some student interviews!

The early morning crowd!

The debut of the NINER interNATIONal t-shirt
modeled by leaders of the Education Abroad Association
The blur is meant to demonstrate how the world looks behind
the haze of "waking up" before the sun....
...or it's just camera-user-error.
Still, great support from the students - thanks for coming out!
Interview with Rebecca Hallatschek
Your illustrious Education Abroad staff - kudos on a job well done!

More photos are available on our Facebook page - "UNC Charlotte - International Programs"

April 5, 2010

Study Abroad 24/7 on 4/27 - TV, Fair, RFC, web site, general advising....

You have no reason not to check out study abroad at UNC Charlotte after Wednesday, April 7. It doesn't always work out in our office to have a unit doing a full day of programming - from 5 AM to 3:30 PM. On Wednesday, we'll have over 10 hours of opportunity for promoting, supporting, talking about and being involved with study abroad.

Check out Fox News Rising between 5-8 AM to see International 'Niners talking about their study abroad experiences. Then, as you walk to the Student Union, check out the Study Abroad Fair in the plaza between the College of Education and the College of Health and Human Services. You can pick up information about various study opportunities overseas, talk to advisors, set up a time to get an overview of the process and financial aid opportunities.

As if that's not enough, if you've not checked in to Radio Free Charlotte (you need to do that anyway), check out the show at 3 PM for a half hour of chatting about study abroad and international UNC Charlotte. Hosted by DJ, and former guest blogger, Jonathan Beltz and Lead Advisor in the Office of Education Abroad, Melissa Watkins.

If you can't figure out after all that how to study abroad and who to talk to, the Education Abroad web site is full of study options, pictures, scholarship information and contact information (and it's 24/7).

Think you know about it and want to check it out more, general advising is open for students just like you - sign up in the Office of Education Abroad, 2nd floor of the College of Health and Human Services (room 256).

What's your excuse?