Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Living in Moments of History

Tuesday, July 12th, 2022

College is a time for a person to grow and reflect. I suppose that is why they call it “higher education,” since in four years, the goal is for you to leave school as a better version of yourself, and ideally, a better human being. You’re not just concerned about landing a career (sorry mom and dad), but you are trying to learn about the world around you and your place within it. It’s a turbulent time in a young person’s life, and when you mix that with a global pandemic that ushers in a time of increased isolation and awareness of current events, it prompts more learning, thinking, and reflecting than ever before.

During one of my Zoom classes in the Spring 2020 semester, my professor declared that we were all “living in history” as we were all exiting the meeting. It took me by surprise, for despite being such a short sentence, the truth of it resonated deeply with me. We were, seemingly, entering a new era of human life. Students read about things like the Black Death or the flu outbreak and thought “this could never happen to us,” yet there we were, dinosaurs with no warning of the impending asteroid. It seemed like, similar to some of our favorite apocalyptic stories, a worldwide catastrophe would connect all of us. Like the cast of High School Musical might say, we would be all in this together.

Spoiler alert! We were not. What was supposed to unite us—a common enemy in the form of a viral disease—was a topic of contention, especially as alt-right groups were fear-mongering to spread misinformation about the vaccine and calling COVID-19 a hoax.

Image credit:

But this was only the beginning, and the pandemic was not the only moment of history that we were living through. COVID-19, as many before me have pointed out, brought with it a social reckoning, one that opened many eyes—namely white Americans who did not understand the reality of the privilege they possess—to how corrupt our country truly is. The pandemic has been described as removing distractions from our lives, and it became a time to be engaged and plugged in, critiquing our society and the institutional systems of oppression that were always present but greatly exacerbated by COVID-19.

So much has happened over the last couple of years that it doesn’t do it justice in just one short piece of writing. Beginning with the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, systemic racism and police brutality were once again brought to the forefront of the minds of all Americans. We saw how unfair policing practices like no knock warrants took the lives of Breonna Taylor and Amir Locke. We lived through a dangerously heated presidential election—the first I ever voted in—and though the election of Joe Biden seemed to bring about a shift in the tide, the insurrection on January 6th demonstrated just how fundamentally divided and disappointing our country is. Guns have more rights than any person in this country, as there are always more mass shootings in the United States than there are days in the year (330 at the beginning of the day, 332 when I refreshed the data before posting). LGBTQ+ individuals are being targeted with dangerous legislation like the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida, which open the doors to the erasure and silencing of those who identify with the community. Most recently, those in this country who can get pregnant were stripped of their reproductive rights as Roe v. Wade was overturned—a decision made by only five people, but jeopardizes the lives of all Americans seeking abortions and disproportionately affects marginalized communities. More than that, Justice Clarence Thomas is looking to overturn other important cases such as Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v. Texas, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which targets legislation that, respectively, guarantees the right to contraceptives, same-sex sexual relationships, and same-sex marriage. It feels like we are not only living in moments of history, but we are being sent back to the past and making the same mistakes over again.

If there is anything that I have learned from all of this, it is the importance of paying attention and having conversations driven by human empathy. The pandemic in general showed us that we need to be kind to one another and help each other out when we can, but it also highlighted the inequity our nation operates on and exploits. In a conversation with Dr. Mary Mullen, an English professor at Villanova last year, she astutely pointed out that college campuses like to think they operate in a bubble, one that merely spectates the history of the world around it; but they do not. They are shaping and being shaped by outside forces, and at such a critical moment in our lives when we are trying to figure out who we want to be and come to terms with our own identity, we need to be willing to learn and to listen, especially with all that is going on in our world right now. It’s important to take classes that you are interested in and push you to grow and reflect on yourself—what you think about the world and why. To look at perspectives that reach beyond your own, to remember that humanity can only be at its best when we accept and learn from one another. To include everyone who is left out of the conversation and to remember the stories that are conveniently left out of the K-12 school system.

It feels like the closest this nation has been to unity was in 2019 when we all promised not to post any spoilers for Avengers Endgame. How nice it would be for us to care about each other in the same way again.   

Tough transition, but if you are ever in need of some escapism and fun, be sure to use this coupon for Balance Patch and play some video games!

By: Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a senior at Villanova University studying English and Communication. She is in utter disbelief that she just admitted to being a senior. She loves to read, but has made barely a dent in the increasingly large pile of books on her bookshelf that she told herself she would read this summer. She hopes to enter a career in the editing and publishing industry.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services. At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Unlearning Perfectionism

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

Of all the things that people tend to find out about me, one fact stands out in particular: I am a perfectionist. It’s written in my star sign (Virgo) and in practically every personality test I’ve taken, from the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to Buzzfeed quizzes. Even if you don’t believe in personality typing or astrology or superstitions, it’s written all over my daily actions.

There are times when it’s helpful to be a perfectionist. My teachers, for example, have praised my diligence since elementary school, so I’ve earned a lot of gold stars for my efforts over the years. But more often than not, I’ve found my perfectionism to be a burden, an obstacle in my daily routines. Yes, perfectionism has led me to score well in school, but I often find myself wondering whether the time I spent triple-checking my papers could have been invested into something more worthwhile, or at the very least more enjoyable.

The thing about perfectionism is that it isn’t a choice. I don’t choose to pick at even the most subtle details and comb through my papers for typos until my deadlines loom before me or I start spiraling into stress and self-deprecation. Perfectionism is a compulsion, a habit, a state of mind that pushes me to predict mistakes in every  situation, that convinces me that something isn’t right until I’ve made sure (multiple times!) that I’ve done everything correctly, that whispers in my mind that something must be wrong if things go too smoothly. Perfectionism is toxic, and most of all, perfectionism is demoralizing. 

A table at a charity book sale that I color-coded because I couldn’t stand the disarray.

I’ve found that unlike what people tend to assume, being a perfectionist doesn’t always mean investing 200% into my work, or writing and re-writing assignments until they reach that impossible golden standard. It doesn’t mean that I ace all of my classes, or that I don’t get tired of trying to do everything without mistakes. A lot of the time, perfectionism is losing the motivation to even get started on a project out of a fear of falling short. Perfectionism is lying in bed all day, thinking it would be better not to try than to prove myself incapable or inferior to the impossible standards I’ve imposed upon myself. Perfectionism is finding myself too afraid to even apply for opportunities that I desperately want, and pretending in the aftermath of missing out that I didn’t particularly want those things anyway. Perfectionism is lying to my friends and family about my goals and ambitions, because confiding in any of them means that I have just another person to disappoint. Perfectionism is choosing inaction.

I used to think that the worst case, in any situation, was failure. Whether that was embarrassing myself in a group activity, or performing poorly on exams, I was overcome with anxiety when it came time for any kind of evaluation. I cornered myself with a projected ideal of myself, an unrealistic version of a “successful” being, and lived under the stress of never being able to measure up. As I grew older and more cognizant of the ways in which perfectionism limits my actions, however, it has become apparent to me that my biggest loss has been the experiences that I backed out of before I could even get started. There are projects, internships, classes, and even relationships that I hid from because I believed that they would spiral rapidly out of control and somehow become a “stain” on my life’s record, proving once and for all that I really am as incapable as I feared. 

I’ve been actively trying to move away from this mental state, convincing myself that things aren’t nearly as disastrous as they may seem. I’ve started with actions of little consequence: checking my papers just twice instead of three times, going on outings in the city without planning every single step, allowing myself to get lost, and assuring myself that I am capable of working things out if they ever do go wrong, though they do so much less commonly than I tend to expect. I allow myself the space to panic or to feel nervous and afraid, but I also try to be stricter about relaxing, as contradictory as that may sound. I remind myself that the world is embroiled in unpredictability, and to hope for control in the midst of it all is a fruitless endeavor. Instead, I ask myself to surrender control, to remain flexible and adaptable to the ways of the world, and to renew my understanding of order within it all. 

There is too much to lose from feeling afraid of falling short. When I expect things to be perfect, I miss out on the world, but the world isn’t going to miss me. It might take a lot of time, effort, and patience, but perfectionism is just a habit. Habits can always be unlearned. 

Use this Student Discount to find a perfect fragrance, tailored just for you!

By: Fiona Lin

Fiona Lin is a rising senior at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Campus pursuing a double major in Literature and Creative Writing and Art and Art History. She enjoys traveling, drinking tea, and learning new languages. In her free time, you can find her reading web novels or playing video games.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.



Something to Know About Me Is…

Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

I always strolled through the back alleys of school since I was in 6th grade, taking paths that were not hidden, but also were not sought after by other students. The only reason I knew about them is because I was always close to my teachers and developed friendly relationships with my classmates. This allowed me to hear first hand what was going on in my school. 

The high school that I attended was Gramercy Arts, a small school occupying one floor of the Washington Irving Building in the lower east side of Manhattan. I entered this school because I did not get into any other high schools in the city. This was not because I did not have good grades. This is because the selection process for high school in New York is like a lottery. Everything is unnecessarily competitive as soon as you leave elementary school. 

I have heard of blessings in disguise, but this one was more of a blessing buried under the concrete of a 100 year old, 14 story building. Adorned with carved wood and 20th century paintings in the lobby, this is where I learned how to dig. Most students thought it was a terrible school, and on the surface it may have seemed that way, with the metal detectors and the 6 high schools combined in the one building. I tried my best not to think about this and look at this experience for what it was… school. 

Somehow my discomfort with social settings landed me in the library every day for lunch. I was not friends with the librarians though because they would always catch me sitting in the midst of the bookshelves either doing homework, reading, or on my phone. Some days I would find myself in the room designated for the YMCA on my campus, and this is where the digging began. It was small room that allowed for more intimate connections with students and gave me the space to talk about a range of topics and break out of my invisible shell. 

All of this does not mean that you need to be like me and hangout in corners by yourself. This is just my experience to share with others. It is always important to know about the journey to understand the lessons. With that being said, let’s get into making connections that will be the foundations for your schooling experiences. 

In my experience, I formed connections between people who I slowly began to relate to. The kids in the library told me about the YMCA room, which was open on select days. Track where your opportunities come from, how they come to you, who is the messenger, and which you choose to act on. We all have unique experiences, but the one thing that we can all relate to is the constant that occurs in all of our lives. It is like if you always end up stubbing the same toe throughout your life, or if people come to you and say the same things about how they perceive you based on a first impression. These are constants, and they will also apply to areas of your life that seem miraculous. Tracking your opportunities will allow you to find out more about yourself and the types of opportunities you and your unique existence attract.

By Miashe Barnes

My name is Miashe, and I go to Parsons School of Design, as a communications design major. I never thought art school would be my path, but alas here I am and loving it so far. I want to share some of my experience with others with faith that I can help some who may be a bit confused or hesitant on where to go. I am not going to show you the way, but I will just provide a helping hand to let you know that the trials of life do not need to be faced alone. Cosas de la vida mis amigos. With that being said, please tune in for some tips and tricks for assistance in using the tools you are given in school to explore. 

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Plugging in with Good Intentions — Chapter 3: Passion Perusal

Monday, July 26th, 2021

As you scroll through social media apps and the Internet, you may come across a wide range of activities and ideas that can spark your interest. Whether or not it’s your intention, you may pick up a new passion. 

You may have heard of this app called Pinterest

Pinterest is a great place to start if you like visuals and looking to discover new information. From exploring recipes to saving money through its product catalogs, this app can easily put you on the right path to find a new passion, or discovering a place to visit and save money. While you’re at it, check out Campus Clipper on Pinterest

Take, for example, my new passion for the art of crochet. According to Britannica, crochet is a “craft that developed in the 19th century out of a form of chain-stitch embroidery done with a hook instead of a needle.”

My new hobby all started on TikTok. My sister was the one who influenced me into exploring and learning more about crochet. She was scrolling through the app and found some users that were creating a wide variety of crafts such as plushies, clothing items, and accessories. After seeing numerous posts on crocheting, I soon began my quest on finding inspiration for my first project. 

In particular, @henripurnell on TikTok created a cardigan inspired by one worn by Harry Styles. He even made a YouTube video for a more in-depth tutorial that, of course, I had to watch. The cardigan is made up of a number of patches, as seen in this image that Henri includes in his tutorial video. 

With its presumed simplicity, I attempted to follow Henri’s tutorial and create my own chunky cardigan. 

The learning process certainly consisted of numerous trial-and-error attempts, as I was a mere beginner at the time. While the tutorial contained various stitch patterns, I decided to simply practice one stitch. Despite being bigger than I was intending it to be, it was worth all the hard work in the end. 

Along with a cardigan, I even made a headscarf inspired by a YouTube tutorial video from  Brunaticality. It’s a perfect accessory to tie an outfit together.  

Now, I know that crocheting isn’t for everyone. The key takeaway is that you can, too, find your passion or add a new one to your list. Inspiration is everywhere. From social media posts to advertisements, be open-minded on topics that may spark even the slightest bit of your interest. Who knows, maybe your new passion will lead to a possible career path! 

But here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Sports
  • Fitness
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Music
  • Video games
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Culinary (check out quick recipes in chapter 2 of Plugging in with Good Intentions)

Don’t fret over not finding something you love right away. Your new passions don’t have to be your career nor be about earning profits from it. Just remember to maintain good intentions when logging onto the Internet and be open-minded to new things.

If you’re thinking of getting into sports and fitness, check out a Reebok Fithub store for 10% off gear and classes!

By: Sydney Ly

Sydney Ly studies Communication with dual minors in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is currently working in retail and has experience as a tutor. Her passions include but are not limited to reading, listening to music, and watching The Office.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Academic Relationships

Thursday, July 13th, 2017


NYU Flag Outside of the Lipton Residential Hall

It's good to have friends to carry you through finals

It’s good to have friends to carry you through finals

            Beyond having a primary friend group, cultivating ancillary relationships is beneficial for one’s time in college and outside of it. Of large importance is the relationship one shares with peers and professors within shared academic contexts. From a networking standpoint, the connections made with professors and other students from one’s classes can hold professional significance in the future. From a more present-oriented perspective, those connections can be the difference between one doing poorly in their classes and one succeeding.

            Even though a student can be incredibly gifted academically, if they do not know how to be likeable in the eyes of their professors, then they may find that their classes are more difficult than they need to be and that their career prospects might be more restricted. The proverb, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” proves especially true regarding having healthy relationships with professors. I remember in my first semester at NYU having a professor whom I strongly disliked. The professor did not allow for open discussion, opting instead to filter every discussion through themselves and to disregard students with whom they disagreed. It seemed that they were also very openly critical in papers and class discussions about any student who questioned this system. Despite disliking that professor, I never made it readily apparent that I felt this way. By the end of the semester, the professor loved me because I showed them kindness and attentiveness, while other students had given up on the class.  This same professor told me that if I would ever need a letter of recommendation, I should not hesitate to ask. In this way, I made myself less of a target for harsh grading and allowed professor’s status to serve to my benefit. The same rule of kindness and attentiveness can apply to teachers one genuinely likes (most of my professors at NYU), the only difference being that the relationship in these cases is easier and more genuine. 

            As for peers, it is not necessary to be friends with them much outside of the academic context to still reap the benefits of an academic relationship. Sure, forming studying groups can be especially helpful for reviewing material and covering gaps in knowledge before exams, but there are greater benefits to having friends in class. For core classes, many students are not as interested in the subject matter as much as they will be when they take more self-directed, specialized courses later in their academic career. Core classes provide a helpful platform for students to network with students from a broader range of interests than specialized courses do, since every student usually must complete certain core requirements to complete their major. It is then possible under such circumstances that a student may find themselves in a class with both science and humanities majors. By forming symbiotic in-class relationships with other students possessing diverse interests, one may find connections that could inevitably benefit them outside of college, when their career could benefit from the help of someone from a different discipline entirely. For instance, a computer science major could benefit from the help of someone in finance when calculating the costs for a tech startup down the road. Who knows, some of the friends one may find in such classes could also develop into relationships beyond the academic sphere.

            For more specialized courses, one may use such courses as grounds for honing their craft with other like-minded individuals. In my case, I have been taking workshop classes in creative writing to enhance my poetry. In this environment, I have used classroom discussions as grounds to both learn how to enhance my art and provide new insight on the work of others. In the future, some of the people with whom I shared such classes could help me in developing and editing my future work. What’s more, those same people could become partners in collaborative artistic projects. Yet, if I never made the effort to reach out to my peers, I would not have the same opportunities that I have now.  

By Matthew Evert

Matthew Evert is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is studying English and Philosophy as a sophomore at NYU. Passionate about poetry, people, and adventure, Matthew aspires to live an explorative and artistic life. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


College Savings and Saving Space in Your Suitcase: What to Pack When Studying Abroad

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

When I fantasize about traveling it’s always the same: one neatly packed backpack with just the essentials. Unfortunately, I am not a light packer and so this is never the case. When it comes to studying abroad you want to make sure you’re properly prepared for whatever you may encounter on your trip. It’s never a good idea to assume that a foreign country has exactly what you’re looking for. Try to find college discounts for certain items before your trip and you can save yourself a lot of trouble once you’re there. So what if you’re labeled the “mom” of your trip? Being prepared is never a bad thing—and chances are your new friends will thank you.

Before your trip it’s important to at least attempt to learn the language of the country, or at least learn some key phrases. Rosetta Stone is a great option, but for those of us on a budget there are free smartphone apps readily available. Mindsnacks is a really helpful app I found before my trip to China that allowed me to start learning the language through a series of fun interactive games. If you upgrade to the full version for $5, you’ll get access to 1000 words and phrases, 9 unique games, and 50 lessons to master. This app is available in many different languages and the upgrade is definitely worth the money!

Mindsnacks is a free app that can be used to learn new languages.

Mindsnacks is a free app that can be used to learn new languages.

Do some research about the weather you’ll experience during the months you’ll be there and pack your clothes accordingly. You don’t want to be the one wearing sweaters in the heat or shorts in the snow. Make sure you have a solid stock of any medicines or vitamins you may take every day. Regular toiletries are an essential and it’s always handy to buy Tide-To-Go, packets of Downy or any other fabric soap just in case you need to do a wash at a moment’s notice.


Sometimes laundry gets expensive in a foreign country.


Check to see what banks are available in the country you’re going to. Many countries often have branches that are linked with Bank of America so if you don’t have an account, open one up. It’s free and you won’t have to pay fees every time you grab some cash from the ATMs. The China Construction Bank, found all over China, doesn’t charge any fees as long as you have a BoA card. You can easily close your BoA account once returning to America.

Other important items are charger adapters for your specific country of origin. The outlets in America are not the same in every country and you do not want to be that person with the hair straightener exploding in your hair!

Also, to stay in touch with family and friends during your trip, set up a Gmail, Skype, Viber, and Whatsapp accounts. These are free ways to connect with your loved ones through email, phone calls, video and text messaging all through WiFi. You don’t want mom to get a $356 dollar phone bill because you accidentally used your data while roaming, do you?

My group connects to the WiFi in our hotel in Hong Kong and immediately engross themselves in social media.

My group connects to the WiFi in our hotel in Hong Kong and immediately engross themselves in social media.

Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram: slevitz

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Pushing Boundaries: How Traveling and Studying Abroad Have Changed My Life and Shaped My Career Path, and Why You Should Do It Too

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

At only 21 years old, I am no Confucius. I cannot give you sound and scientific advice that, if followed, will give you guaranteed success and happiness and all the things you’ve ever dreamed possible. I do not know everything; I don’t have all the answers. What I DO have is my own experience. One of my favorite lines from a book came from Arthur Japin’s In Lucia’s Eyes that reads, “The world is full of people who spend their entire lives seeking the miracle of love without ever seeing it. It’s actually very simple and self-evident, except to those who seek it. One need only have a different way of seeing things. That is not something you can teach people. All you can do is tell your story.”

Whether or not you’re looking for love, let that last sentence resonate with you. All you can do is tell your story. This is my story.


My mother was born and raised in Brazil and moved to the U.S. when she found her future husband who worked in San Francisco at the time. This man, my father, lived in the U.S. for several years already, but actually grew up in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Call them star-crossed lovers or whatever you wish, these two foreigners set out to make a new future in a new country for their new daughter, me!


Growing up, it was just my parents and me. No siblings, no relatives nearby, no pets other than the occasional goldfish won at a carnival with a lifespan average of two days.  I spent most of my breaks from school traveling, either to Costa Rica or Brazil, to see family and connect with cousins and friends my age, keeping up with both Portuguese and Spanish.

The language was never a barrier to me when I was in another country, but became an issue when I returned to the U.S. and had already started school. I would meet with friends and sometimes be unable to realize that I wasn’t speaking English with them because I was so used to being understood in another language.

In addition to traveling to see relatives, I was fortunate enough to have such hard-working parents who always wanted me to see the world, as was their goal for themselves.  We travelled to many places in Europe before I finished the 8th grade, even at which point it was very clear to me that studying abroad would be in my future, no question.

Before starting high school I KNEW I would be gone for sophomore year – I researched study abroad programs and took advantage of them.  Initially I wanted to go to countries like Italy or Spain, but I wound up finding a full-ride scholarship opportunity (sponsored by U.S. Congress and German Parliament) to study in Germany, so I applied. As I moved further through the selection process, it became surreal how competitive this was: out of 2500 applicants, only 50 would receive scholarships.

In April 2006, I learned I had received the scholarship. I turned 15 the next month and three months later was off to live in Germany for a year: no family, no friends, and didn’t  know a word of German. I was the youngest of all the recipients, and after 11 months I was fluent in German.

Before beginning my time at a University, it was clear to me I would study abroad again. I would have applied for the program right away if it weren’t for the window allowed for it by the study abroad office. I was the first to submit an application for that as well, and in the fall of 2010, I had one of the BEST semesters of my life in Bern, Switzerland. If I hadn’t graduated early, I would have studied abroad again.

I’ve now relocated from Arizona to New York and am pursuing a career here while considering my options for a Master’s abroad – perhaps Switzerland again.  I’ve even recently been asked to work with a European magazine for some press releases. My passion is traveling and connecting with people who have experienced this and exchanging cultures.  All the traveling and studying abroad I’ve done have brought me here and told me where I’m going.  You CAN and SHOULD do it too, and even if traveling isn’t something you want for your career, experiencing it now while you’re young is priceless and will teach you so much about yourself and the world.


Where to look for study abroad programs:

  1. Consult with your school’s study abroad offices: I realize these offices are becoming smaller and smaller in the U.S., but these guys know what they’re talking about. Ask which kinds of programs are available to you – some may have year standing or GPA requirements. Maybe there’s a specific kind of program you’re searching for – my school offered programs in which you travel with a group of students from the University while learning abroad. My school also offered a program where you didn’t pay a study abroad fee, just the same tuition you were paying while attending the school, which is how I was able to study abroad. Many study abroad offices even have information on scholarships. There are plenty of options; inform yourself!
  2. Check other programs: This gets tricky and is where fees come into play, sky-rocketing the price of your study abroad experience. My scholarship study abroad program was limited to high school students, but there are other groups out there! Check out: or
  3. Maybe you’re interested in the experience of it but don’t want to be studying: Check out things like where you can be a live-in nanny, earn some money, have a host family that could help teach you more about the culture, and be immersed in your new surroundings. You could take a semester off to do it, do it in the summer, or make time for it after you graduate. Another post-graduate option could be The Peace Corps.
  4. Degrees and Internships Abroad: These are other ways you can be productive in a new place. You can research schools in the areas you’re most interested in and see their guidelines for international students. My advice for those looking to study in Europe would be to check out OR where you can define your search based on degree subject, country, or tuition and GET THIS: tuition prices elsewhere could be as little as 4% what you’re paying now. What about textbook fees? That’s all an American scam so you can say “bye-bye” to that! As for internships, try or ask at your school’s study abroad office.  HEADS UP: this internship opportunity in China was just tweeted via @InternQueen that may be worthwhile:

5. If all else fails and you just want to travel abroad but want to do it sooner rather than later (excellent choice), check out for good deals on flights and hotel information – those prices keep going up these days so it’s good to know of a place that’s dedicated to finding competitive rates. I’d also recommend, which is where I found an affordable flight to NYC.


Even if traveling doesn’t give you insatiable wanderlust as it has to me, at the very least you’ll         broaden your horizons, learn something new and take these experiences with you in your next job interview, which could make all the difference. I encourage you to try something new, to not be afraid, and to learn a new language – there’s no better way than immersion! At the risk of sounding cliché, the world is truly your oyster so go out and open it!






Posted by Lauren A Ramires. Follow her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (username: laurenaramires) for more lifestyle and inspiration posts.

If you’re interested in learning more of the experiences of a Peace Corps Volunteer, check out this blog for stories on the daily happenings of a PCV and things you could expect.



Tips for Choosing Your Classes

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

With the freedom and independence that come along with the college experience, it’s easy to forget that we are here primarily to study and learn. Classes are an important part of college life and, thus, it is important to give a lot of thought into what you want to study each semester. That being said, here are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing your classes:

First, I would advise you to familiarize yourself with the requirements of your school’s core curriculum. The core curriculum is a set of mandatory courses that are specifically designed to provide students with a well-rounded education. Thus, universities and colleges mandate that their students take classes in a broad range of academic disciplines, such as mathematics, biological and physical sciences, the humanities, social sciences, and foreign languages. Depending on your school and your major, the core can take up to two years to complete – gasp! – so it’s best to know ahead of time what you have to take.

Second, use the core curriculum to your advantage! Most colleges and universities offer a number of different courses that can be taken to fulfill a requirement in the core curriculum. Thus, if you already know what you want to major in, look to see if there are any classes that can also count for your major. By doing so, you can: (1) Get a head start in completing your major, (2) Free up some time in your junior and senior years for fun classes or internships, or (3) Graduate a semester early. In addition, if you have not yet declared a major, the core curriculum is the perfect opportunity for you to experiment so that you can find out what fields of study interest you and which do not. You never know what you like until you try so do not be afraid to go out on a limb – that’s part of what college is all about!

Third, do a little background check on the professors who are supposed to be teaching the classes you are interested in. The website Rate My Professors is an excellent source for figuring out how a specific professor operates and what you can expect from taking his or her class. It is important to remember, however, that the reviews on this website are are the opinions of former students, and should be taken with a grain of salt. But, in my own personal experience, the ratings have been extremely accurate in depicting a given professor.

And finally, take the times of the classes into consideration. Although everyone has different preferences, I would advise you to schedule your classes when you are the most functional and active. In addition, I would recommend designating either a specific time frame in each day (i.e. 11:30-3:30, 8:30-11:30, etc.) or specific days of the week for your classes. I have found that it is a lot easier to do other things, such as sports, jobs, internships, and volunteer work, when your classes are arranged in a blocs of times or days.

-Christina Brower

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