Educating for the Global World
Welcome to your journey.
To thrive in today’s rapidly changing global age, you need to be ready to engage meaningfully with today’s world of unprecedented diversity. Colby’s commitment to providing students with quality off-campus academic opportunities has been a longstanding part of its educational philosophy. You will be given the chance to wade or dive into another culture and experience a wealth of knowledge and self-awareness, enriching your undergraduate experience.
Off-Campus Study Process in a Nutshell
Meet our 2017/18 Global Ambassadors
Global Ambassadors are Colby off-campus returnees who have volunteered to share their experiences and advice with students planning their off-campus experience. Feel free to contact our Global Ambassadors with your questions related to studying abroad.
I decided to do something a bit different for my abroad program, something that would test me physically, academically, and socially. So, I chose to do a S.E.A. Semester. They were students from all walks of life with an assortment of majors and interests. After enduring a blizzard,
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I flew from Boston to the balmy city of Auckland, NZ where I would encounter my beautiful boat for the first time and where I would live for the remaining six weeks of my program. Her name is the Robert C. Seamans, since all boats are girls, and she is a 134-foot brigantine research and education vessel, equipped with two masts and 11 sails. I had to learn how to live on this ship at the helm, at the compass, at the lookout, in the galley, in my bunk, which I slept in along with everything that belonged with me. And I loved everything about it. I was able to develop and conduct my own research project. I learned how to be Jack Sparrow and sail a ship. I constantly had soggy socks and wrote extensively about them in sarcastic blog posts. I fell in love with the sunsets and sunrises because they were different every day. I fell in love with the people of New Zealand, the Māori especially, with their deeply rooted and inspiring culture. I fell in love with the sea. I have such pride in the people I met and lived with and persevered with and learned from and trusted. This program molded me into the best person I could be.
I spent my entire junior year abroad, traveling to Brazil, India, and Uganda with the SIT-IHP Social Innovation program in the fall semester and to Dunedin, New Zealand at the University of Otago with IFSA Butler in the spring semester. On the SIT program, I traveled with a group of 8 other students and studied Social Entrepreneurship
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with both local and traveling faculty for about a month in each country; I also lived in homestay families and completed independent research on environmentally focused social enterprises. In New Zealand, I enrolled in a large university and took four classes of my choosing in a number of different subjects; I also lived in a university house with three other exchange students. I will always cherish my time abroad for the people and places it exposed me to and will certainly hold the memories forever. Some highlights include: visiting Google Campus in California with SIT, going to the para-olympics in Rio De Janeiro, seeing the Indian Himalayas, learning about beekeeping in Uganda, surfing 10 minutes from campus in New Zealand, ice climbing on Fox Glacier on the West Coast of NZ, and watching the sun set from the top of a mountain in Fiordland National Park in NZ. Study abroad is an absolutely incredible opportunity and I encourage anyone who has questions to reach out to me!
I spent the spring of my junior year studying abroad in Jerusalem, Israel. I did a joint program through IFSA-Butler that enabled me to take classes at 3 institutions: Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Hebrew University and the Rothberg International School. As a studio art and anthropology double major, I loved the opportunity to take classes in both my majors, and to have the chance to study at a fine arts school while abroad! I also traveled extensively in the Middle East
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I also traveled extensively in the Middle East and Europe after my semester was over, and I’m excited to help other students explore the possibilities available to them abroad! If you have specific questions about studying abroad in Israel, as an art major or anthropology major, or how to make study abroad work with a double major, let me know!
I spent my spring semester abroad in Córdoba, Spain through PRESHCO. The best part of my experience was living with an amazing host family in the beautiful neighborhood of San Basilio, which is famous for its festival of los patios in May. While I was abroad, I was able to travel throughout Spain as well as Europe which really added to my experience! If you have any questions about Spain, feel free to reach out to me!
Last semester I embarked on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean and entered the lands of the maritime Dutch. Upon arrival, I dealt with a list of grievances including, sleep deprivation, back pain, and nostalgia for wifi (who knew 15 hours Offline would be so hard?). While the first few weeks included a taste of culture shock,
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I soon realized the majority of the IES American students faced similar anxieties and fears. Instead of suppressing our feelings, we quickly engaged in raw, open, questionable conversation. In retrospect, my abroad experience encompassed some of the best, and at times worst, moments of my life. The periods where you end up getting stranded on your first solo trip at the Budapest airport or have your bike stolen, lose your credit card and chip your tooth all within 12 hours can appear to be the pitfall of existence. But this is life. I promise, I also had some incredibly unbelievable experiences. I trekked across Europe, joined SPONS (the Dutch swim team), embarked on spontaneous trips across the Netherlands with my international friends, and fell in love…. Abroad taught me a lot of life lessons. Learning to live and act like a normal human being in a different country, where the culture, language, and customs significantly contrast from your own is quite hard. The last piece of advice I will leave you with is: if you are thinking about going abroad, do it. You will not regret it.
Ɛte sɛn [“what’s up”]! Unlike the majority of Colby students, I chose to study abroad in Legon, Ghana during my junior year. I attended the University of Ghana (UG), an institution with over 40,000 students, through CIEE’s Arts and Sciences program. One my favorite courses was a beginner’s twi language course. Twi is the second most common language, so this course helped me immerse myself into Ghanaian culture.
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Twi is the second most common language, so this course helped me immerse myself into Ghanaian culture
. By mid-semester, I found myself bargaining for goods and taxi fares in twi! Additionally, studying abroad challenged me to learn and practice healthy cross cultural communication
. I enjoyed many socio-cultural conversations about religion, social class, gender
, food, politics, youth culture, and more. These conversations not only helped me learn about the diversity and richness of Ghanaian culture but also about myself
. For example, I thought about and still think about how social class translates while abroad
. I found it interesting how my “American-ness” overshadowed my working class background due to perceptions of the U.S. and wealth
. Most importantly, I made long-lasting relationships with my CIEE peers and local Ghanaians. Without them, my study abroad experience would not have been the same. Some highlights of my abroad journey include: paragliding off the Kwahu mountains, touring the slave castles in Cape Coast
, visiting Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, feeding monkeys bananas
at a monkey sanctuary in the Volta region, and visiting Lomé, Togo (Ghana’s neighboring country). Studying abroad in Ghana was a transformative experience
. If you have any questions about studying abroad or the Gilman scholarship, reach out to me!
My time abroad, quite literally, changed my life. I had never felt so connected to a space before, as I had never lived in a city and Copenhagen was the perfect city for me. The pace of life was slower than I expected for a city but, it was because people took the time to genuinely enjoy each other’s company,
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the beautiful landscapes around them and the history embedded
in the city. I also loved the culture, as people are curious about each other’s lives but also lived more for pleasure. My life, prior to abroad, felt as though I lived only for obligations and I loved being able to slow down
and just enjoy a cup of coffee and breath. 🙂