Meet U.S. Department of State sponsored Gilman Scholarship recipient Chinazo Onwukaike. Chinazo is a current Gilman Global Experience Correspondent for the Fall 2013 semester in Seoul, South Korea. The Gilman Global Experience allows Gilman Scholarship recipients the opportunity to record videos around academic and cultural themes to share with other students interested in studying or interning abroad in the featured country. For more videos please visit the Gilman Scholarship’s Official YouTube page.
Below is a graph describing culture shock and reverse culture shock. Have you identified with any of these stages? Describe certain situations or stages of your study abroad experience and how they relate to the graph.
Diagram of Culture Shock
Have you discovered or relished in the natural beauty of your host country?
How environmentally conscious are the inhabitants of your host country? Does the level of consciousness have an effect on the surrounding environment?
Are there any habits that promote a healthy environment in your study abroad country that you would like to take back to the United States?
Have you been following politics in your host country? What is the system/form of government practiced in your study abroad country? (i.e. democracy, parliamentary monarchy, republic).
How does the political system or environment differ from the U.S.?
Have the trending political opinions of local citizens caused you to reflect on policies and political discourse in the U.S.? If so, how?
What kinds of pressing policy debates are occurring in your host country, and do you have an opinion on them?
Describe the level of political or engagement of local undergraduate students you have encountered.
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things ¡V air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky ¡V all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”
As a study abroad student living in a foreign host country, can you identify with this statement? Why or why not?
“The meaning of food is an exploration of culture through food. What we consume, how we acquire it, who prepares it, who’s at the table, and who eats first is a form of communication that is rich with meaning.” (PBS, The Meaning of Food, 2005)
Have you tried any food abroad that you never thought you would? What has been your favorite food in your host destination (a food that you normally do not eat back in the states). How does the host culture you live in approach meals and food? How is that different from American culture?
Bloggers can answer all or just one of the following questions:
• Did you feel anxious before leaving for your study abroad program? If so, what were you nervous about?
• What kinds of preparations did you make before leaving the United States?
• What were your immediate thoughts when you arrived in your host country, and have those initial judgments changed at all?
• Thus far, what is the biggest difference that you notice between your host country and the United States?
• Name one thing that you miss from the U.S. and why, along with one thing (activity, food, cultural norm) that you have discovered in your host country that you would like to incorporate in your life when you return to the states.