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Dec 13

Thank you, Fall Bloggers!

We had such a good time following the experiences of our 2016 Fall OCSE bloggers. As the semester is coming to a close, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite of their photos and posts.


Student blogger Renato Dornelas spent his semester studying in Auckland, New Zealand at the University of Auckland. One of our favorite of Renato’s posts is about his outing to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, and finding a sense of family in a country new to him. Watch his video from the trip and read more about his experience in the link below.



Sydney Tennant blogged from Alicante, Spain, while studying at the CIEE Language & Culture program to increase her fluency in Spanish. We really enjoyed seeing her adjust and become immersed in Spanish culture. In the post below she documents her experience taking a cooking class and learning to make tapas and watching the pros make paella.



Blogger Evian Pan studied with the Skidmore in Paris program. We chose to highlight her post about her film photography class at a Parisian photography studio learning from French photographer Phillippe Vermès. Check out her post as she breaks down what a day in the studio is like.


Pasquale Tosto studied psychology while abroad in Stockholm, Sweden. Here he writes about visiting Birka, (an ancient viking settlement) for his Scandinavian Crime Fiction class, as well as attending a Crayfish Party, a traditional Swedish event that does indeed involve eating crayfish. Read in more about his experiences below!

Nov 23

NEW OCSE Stipend for all fall 2017 programs!

For the first time, OCSE is offering a $1,600 stipend to all students that participate on an off-campus study program next fall. This stipend could be used to help off-set the cost of a flight, visa fees, and other personal expenses.

We will start accepting applications for fall 2017 on December 1st. You can see a list of our approved programs here.

Also, check out this blog post by Sydney, our OCSE blogger in Spain: “Why I chose to study abroad fall semester“.

Nov 15

Photo Contest Winners & Gallery Show

This year, we received over 200 submissions for our annual Photo Contest! Judging the photos to pick winners was difficult, as we had so many wonderful submissions! We finally narrowed it down, and below are our choices for the winning photographs. As part of International Education Week, we are holding a week-long gallery show in Case Gallery from November 14th – 19th, where we are highlighting the winners and honorable mentions from the contest. Be sure to check it out!


2016 Photo Contest Winners:

Best in Show – “Brown Cows in Liechtenstein Do Not Make Chocolate Milk”. Manuela Tauscher, Class of 2017. Liechtenstein.

Manuela Tausher



My City Category Winner – “Andiamo”. Chloe Silversmith, Class of 2017. Italy.

Chloe Silversmith



My Host Culture Winner – “Learning to Weave”. Lisa Moran, Class of 2017. Bolivia.

Learning to Weave



My Self(ie) Winner – “Meeting the Locals”. Brian Temple, Class of 2017. Italy.




My Studies Winner – “Sea Grass Capstone”. Damaris Chenoweth, Class of 2017. South Africa.



Be sure to see the photos in person this week at Case Gallery!

Nov 15

International Education Week

Come participate in our events for International Education Week!

Monday, Nov 14th

  • Film Screening featuring “Ang Lee’s Wedding Banquet” with Professor Mao Chen: Language Resource Center, 6:15-9:30pm. There will be a reception before the movie with Chinese dumplings and light refreshments.

Tuesday, Nov 15th

  • Passport Day: In front of the Skidmore Shop, 11:00am-2:00pm. Email Charlene Freiberger to reserve your appointment to apply for your passport.
  • Aman Ali – I’m Muslim, Ask Me Anything!: Gannett 7:00pm, reception to follow with food in Gannett lobby.

    OCSE will be hosting Aman Ali on November 15th as part of International Education Week.  Aman will be giving a talk called: “Ask Me Anything – I’m Muslim!” where he will give a “crash course in Islam 101” and field questions from the Skidmore community. So if people wonder who Muslims worship, what it is like to fast at Ramadan (even from a young age), what happens at the mosque, how dating works, why some Muslims don’t touch alcohol and some do, why Muslims come from many different ethnic backgrounds, how praying in a language he doesn’t speak fluently is important, and why Mecca is a goal for Muslims, THIS presentation (which is largely discussion) is for them! The event will be at 7:00 pm with a reception to follow. During the same week, the library will showcase materials related to the themes Aman will present.

    Aman Ali is an award winning storyteller, a comedian, and one of the most engaging social media personalities in the Muslim community today. He’s made appearances on dozens of media outlets such as the New York Times, CNN, NBC News, HBO, BBC, and NPR.  Aman was raised in Ohio and as he describes, he “was the only brown kid” in his school.  As a result, he has spent his lifetime explaining his Muslim faith to others and has learned to do so with sensitivity, humor, and an open heart.

Wednesday, Nov 16th

  • Study Abroad Fair: Case Center, 11:00-2:00pm. Come learn about study abroad opportunities available at Skidmore.

Thursday, Nov 17th

  • Translate your International Experience Into a Job: Case Cultural Center, 12:00pm-2:00pm. This is a lunch workshop with Rachel Rice from IES Abroad. Studying abroad was great, but did you know it can also help you land a job after college… and beyond? Join IES Abroad’s Rachel Rice for this interactive session, where you will learn how to leverage your international experiences in the job market! From resumes to interviews to networking, you’ll leave this session with some concrete tools to help you translate your time abroad to the working world. Bring a copy of your current resume, if possible.
  • Film Screening featuring of “The True Cost” with Professor Andrew Schneller (Environmental Studies & Sciences) and Jennifer Natyzak (Sustainability Office): 6:30-9:30pm, Emerson Auditorium. This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.

Friday, Nov 18th

  • “I Am Global Skidmore” Open Photo Shoot: Dhall Atrium, 12:00pm-3:00pm. Come tell us your story about how you are a part of “Global Skidmore,” write your story on a white board, and have your photo taken by our photographer to add to our online gallery.
  • Internationally Themed Dinner at the Dhall

Saturday, Nov 19th

  • Case Community Takeover: A Fundraiser for Haiti: Case Center, 5:00-8:00pm. The Committee on Inclusion and Outreach is hosting the Case Community Takeover: a festival-like event taking place in Case Campus Center in order to fund raise for Haiti. Utilizing both floors of the building, the event will consist of interactive tables that offer different foods and activities, fundraising tables seeking donations for “Volontariat pour le Developpement d’Haiti,” a series of performances by our student performance groups, and gift cards and student work to raffle off. In the midst of raising funds for a great cause, we hope that this event will enhance the sense of community on campus.

Week Long Events

  • Photo Contest Gallery Show: OCSE is holding a gallery show all week at Case Gallery highlighting the winners and honorable mentions from the 2016 Photo Contest.
  • “I Am Global Skidmore” sticker pick-up around campus.



Oct 06

Annual OCSE Photo Contest!

Calling all students who studied off-campus in 2015-2016: submit your photos from your off-campus experience for the annual OCSE Photo Contest! This year we have four categories. Each category will have a $100 prize winner, and there will be a $200 PRIZE for the Best in Show category.

Students may submit up to five (5) photos across all categories.

My Self(ie)
Submit photos of yourself or other students on your program during your off-campus study. Special consideration given to photos highlighting students interacting with the local culture, with their homestay family, or for creative selfies.

My City
Capture the atmosphere of your program location or the place(s) you visited during your off-campus study. Photos can include landmarks, landscapes, scenes from daily life (such as bustling local markets or commuting crowds), local residents, etc. Special consideration given to photos taken in the city or town you lived in.

My Host Culture
Submit photos that best exhibit your city’s cultural celebrations or traditions, such as national holidays, performances, regional cuisine, routine family gatherings, or ceremonies.

My Studies
Show us what the “study” part of studying off-campus looks like! Photos could feature (but are not limited to) your school, action shots of fieldwork, long-term projects you completed, and you or other students volunteering or working in the local culture.

Best in Show
The best photograph, regardless of category, as determined by the judging committee.

DEADLINE: October 14, 2016

To submit, fill out and send an entry form and your photos to Visit our website to find the form and for more information:

Follow our Instagram (@globalskidmore) to view the submissions as they come in!

Photo submitted by Julia Berstein from her time abroad in Morocco,

Photo submitted by Julia Berstein from her time abroad in Morocco

Submitted by Lukas Raynaud while he was abroad in London

Submitted by Lukas Raynaud while he was abroad in London

Sep 20

New Semester, New Bloggers

This fall we have four student bloggers overseas: Check out their blogs for great content, photographs, and videos about their experiences abroad!

Renato Dornelas. Class of 2018. Studying at the University of  Auckland, New Zealand.

Sydney Tennant. Class of 2018. Studying at the CIEE Language & Culture program in Alicante, Spain

Pasquale Tosto. Class of 2018. Studying at the DIS Stockholm program in Sweden.

Evian Pan. Class of 2017. Studying with the Skidmore in Paris program in France.


Apr 27

Student Blogger Feature: Will Kaplan

Yet I’ve noticed a certain a casualness in the Spaniards. The way Antonio tosses the napkins and utensils onto the dinner table, as opposed to setting them down. Many commuters lean against the metro door with a single bent knee. Sunglasses are acceptable indoor accessories. A waiter will show me to my table with a flick of the hand. A bartender says “dime,” (dee-may; “tell me”).  It’s hard to exactly articulate this cool casual air, but many of my American peers recognize it.

–Will Kaplan

"Impresiones Primeros," copper plate engraving by Will

“Impresiones Primeros,” copper plate engraving by Will

As an artist and a writer, Will invites us to see the world from his perspective–it is not an opportunity to be missed. His blog, Marking Madrid, sketches (ha) a dynamic and vivid picture of daily life in Madrid, incorporating his artwork as well as his observations of everyday particulars and pleasures. He is studying on our Skidmore in Spain program and cataloguing his cultural immersion, notably in terms of his language progress: through a series of short posts entitled “Palabras Unicas” (“Unique Words”), he offers insight into the challenges and thrills of delving deeper into a language and, in effect, a culture. Here’s what Will had to say about his experience thus far:

What class year are you? What is your major/minor?

I’m a member of the class of 2017 majoring in English and minoring in studio art.

Is your program related to your focus of study? If so, in what ways? How is it shaping the way you interact with your studies? If it is unrelated, what inspired you to go on this program?

An English major studying in Madrid confuses people, myself included. All the same living in another language has taught me so much; learning Spanish has informed my thinking as much as my speaking. This second language opens my perspective beyond the patterns of my native English.

I chose Spain because it seemed like a culture distinct from my own. Indeed it has been. From my listenings to Miles Davis’ “Sketches of Spain,” Spanish culture seemed old and traditional. Yet Spain has proven dynamic, flexible, open, which is maybe how it’s survived so long.

Have you encountered language barriers? If so, how have you maneuvered through those situations? (Any funny lost-in-translation moments?) If you live in a city where English is not the first language, have you attempted to learn the native language?

I haven’t (yet)  made a huge fool of myself trying to speak Spanish. Still, the circumlocution used to find the right word can be amusing. My host family chuckled when I used “piscinita” (modifying piscina: pool to create “little pool”) instead of puddle (“charco,” they corrected).

One must be inventive with a limited vocabulary. Taking the long way to articulate my thoughts in Spanish translates to a more creative mastery of English.

What is the living situation on your program? (Homestay, apartment, dorm-style, etc.) How has that impacted your semester and your interactions with the host culture?

Living in a homestay has helped me immerse in the culture. Nightly dinners with host parents Antonio and Luisa give me such a rich taste of daily life. The conversations, the rituals, and the simple details of living in a home are so omnipresent and subtle that they’re difficult to describe.

How is blogging for the Skidmore OCSE office going so far? Does it play a role in how you interact with the city at all?

Those small but illustrative details I can articulate, have been flushed out in full through blog-posting. The obligation to present and reflect on my experience has been a positive force, pushing my observation and participation. When I can think of a few words to describe, sitting down to write it opens the thought wider. Writing is a process of discovery. The responsibility to write has made me explore my experience on a deep level.

How is studying abroad supplementing your education here at Skidmore? In what ways do you think your experiences abroad will enhance and fuel what you learn on campus?

Amidst all my ruminating on the my present experience in Madrid, it’s hard to imagine the future at Skidmore. Undoubtedly the initial on-the-ledge feeling of exploring a second-language city has made me more confident. When I returned from my spring break in Holland, I felt a new ease and appreciation for  Madrid as my home. I expect a similar feeling returning to my real stomping ground on campus.

I of course feel an intense need to soak in my time in Spain. Accordingly, I’m trying to stay present in all moments. The ability to open my senses to my surroundings, and to put aside clocks, phones, and tight schedules will carry over at home, I’m sure.

While challenging, often times draining, studying abroad has been invaluable. The privilege to participate in another culture has been an ineffably incredible experience, one that will continue growing the more I reflect on it.

Thank you!

Read more about Will’s experiences and explorations here!

"Madrid Moderno," by Will

“Madrid Moderno,” by Will

Apr 08

Annual Show & Tell Contest

show and tell

Mondays: the older we get, the more we resent them. But this wasn’t always the case–think back to elementary school mornings, to the restless excitement of seeing your friends again after a weekend apart. The Monday highlight was always, always Show & Tell. You would stuff whatever toy or trinket (Tamagotchis, anyone?) had kept you company over the weekend into your L.L. Bean or Hello Kitty backpack, and for a few glorious minutes, everyone was forced to at least feign interest in your story.

In the spirit of reviving tradition, the Off-Campus Study & Exchanges Office instituted the annual Show & Tell contest in 2014. We recognized that same restless excitement in study abroad returnees, who come back to campus eager to share their stories and experiences with friends after months and months apart. And while Mondays have gotten worse, Show & Tell has gotten better–instead of feigned interest, the best story now earns a $500 travel voucher to help go abroad again!

This year, our four contestants represented a variety of cities and programs–from Copenhagen to Jaipur, homestays to internships. Their projects and presentations reflected how formative their abroad experiences were: on their global perspectives, their career goals, their stomachs, their Skidmore experiences, and their identities. Listening to them sparked a fierce and immediate desire to travel about.

The criteria for the competition was as follows:

  • Highlighting the following topics: academics, living abroad, coming home
  • Visual appeal/use of table space
  • Creativity (CTM, right?)

The competitors used photos, journal entries, videos, food, and music to showcase their study abroad experience (one even brought in a 3D printer!). It was truly a joy to listen them, and deciding on the top two presenters was a difficult task.

1st place was awarded to Eliza Dumais, ‘16, who studied abroad her junior spring with SIT in Jaipur, India.

2nd place was awarded to Benjamin Wetherbee, ‘16, who studied abroad his junior year at University College Cork, in Cork, Ireland.


Benjamin's presentation

Benjamin’s presentation

Bennett Beutel, '16, with his presentation on interning in the Netherlands!

Bennett Beutel, ’16, with his presentation on interning in the Netherlands!

Eliza's presentation

Eliza’s presentation

Benjamin poised to fiddle away for the audience!

Benjamin poised to fiddle away for the audience!

Eliza presenting to the judges

Eliza presenting to the judges

Bennett presenting to his peers

Bennett presenting to his peers

Anna Lowenstein presenting on her semester abroad with DIS in Copenhagen!

Anna Lowenstein presenting on her semester abroad with DIS in Copenhagen!


Thank you to all the contestants for their hard work and inspiring presentations, and thank you to the judges and everyone who else came by for Show & Tell! See you next year!

Apr 01

Shaping an Identity: A Cuban in Cuba

I am truly afraid of what Cuba will become with Americanization. Despite its flaws, the country is absolutely beautiful and rich in its culture. There is something about walking down the streets of Havana that feels different than anywhere else I have ever been. I am certain that, unless Cuba puts protocol in place to stop it, the US will completely eradicate the Cuba we saw. Cuba will go from paladares and small shop owners, to fast food chains and big name businesses.



(Juliana’s photo)

Over Winter break, Senior Juliana Boucher traveled to Cuba with Skidmore’s travel seminar, Cuba: History Through Travel. As a second generation Cuban American, her experience was particularly unique and posed a complex set of challenges to her. For her culminating project at the end of the seminar, she created a blog that vividly catalogues her experiences in Havana and in the western valley of Viñales through photos and reflections. Her explorations into a dynamic culture and a heritage that she has long felt connected to are well-articulated and craft a moving, informative story of one young woman’s relationship to a country that is presently re-shaping its modern identity, and how she began to do the same amid the chaos.

(Juliana's photo)

(Juliana’s photo)


I have definitely changed as a result of this trip. I think more about inequalities, about racial and ethnic differences primarily when it comes to mental health, and about what it means to be Cuban. I am more comfortable speaking Spanish in front of my peers. I listen to Spanish music more. I am happier being me, and I want to thank the island for all it gave me.


Check it out here!

Mar 10

Student Blogger Feature


“Going, Going, (but not quite) Gone” is the title of student Manuela Tauscher’s recent blog post on her pre-departure experience, which was featured on IES Abroad’s Editor’s Choice Student Blogs. Tauscher is studying abroad with the Environmental Studies & Sustainability program in Freiburg, Germany, and her post offers candid insight into the emotional limbo that most students float through preceding departure. Studying abroad is, at its core, unsettling–beyond literally packing up our lives, it shakes us out of the comforts and habits we have come to rely on and asks us to learn who we are independent of them. To succeed in this, self-awareness is indispensable. Tauscher’s post is fueled by her awareness of what she does and does not know, and navigates the excitement and anxiety that come along with that:

I’m thinking about things such as who’s going to be on my program, how and if I’ll find friends, and not only learning German but also transcending my self-consciousness and actually using it. I know these are the kinds of things that eventually work themselves out, but it’s hard not to worry about what you can’t quite control (at least for right now).


OCSE congratulates you on being featured, Manuela! Read more about her experience here.

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