My Surprising Experience With Reverse Culture Shock

I’d like to shed some light on something I didn’t quite understand when I read it in the ISEP handbook: reverse culture shock. This term could seem odd to you. Especially when the handbook describes it as culture shock, but in your home country. If you haven’t experienced a study abroad semester or year, you may be thinking, “How on earth can that happen?” I’m used to my home country and the culture it possesses. How can I feel disoriented in my familiar surroundings? Well, it’s definitely a possibility. … More My Surprising Experience With Reverse Culture Shock

How The Tragedy in Orlando Will Impact My Study Abroad

I will soon step onto a plane and fly more than 5,000 miles away from my permanent home in Wisconsin to my new temporary home in Valparaíso, Chile. There haven’t been many times in my life I’ve been as excited as I am right now, attempting to imagine how different my life will be in just a few days. But simultaneously, I feel sad, scared and helpless because I’m beginning my international adventure as my home nation aches over the shooting in Orlando, Florida. This tragedy has broken hearts all across the United States, and mine is no exception. At this moment, there’s a call to action in this country. A call to contributing more than just “thoughts and prayers” to the cause. A call to honor 49 victims with real change. … More How The Tragedy in Orlando Will Impact My Study Abroad

The Beginning of the End

At first, you might not even realize it’s coming. You’ve always known the date you’re set to return home from abroad, but it sneaks up on you. You just got used your new place. You made friends; some distant, some seemingly lifelong. You’ve been having fun, experiencing so many new things and meeting new types of people, both good and bad. You were so used to thinking you had more time to do everything on your list. But then it hits you: the beginning of the end. … More The Beginning of the End

Walking on the Diverse Side of Madrid

When I decided to study abroad in Europe, I had to take into consideration that I don’t fit the “typical” American image that the world has been accustomed to. While pondering thoughts of being discriminated against because of my ethnicity, I realized that my identity is not to be feared but to be glorified when faced with certain circumstances. Being a minority in Madrid helped me discover the true beauty of having a racially diverse community. Not only did I rediscover my own self worth and identity, but I stumbled across the cultural diffusion of a small neighborhood in Madrid, called Lavapies. … More Walking on the Diverse Side of Madrid