And They’re Off!

While we eagerly await your return to campus, many of your fellow classmates have already arrived to their study abroad destination for the semester or academic year!! Want to keep up with what some of them are up to?! Here are the new bloggers for OCSE:

Also fun to read:

Are you still trying to decide where you’d like to spend your semester or year abroad? Come see us! We start our walk-in advising next week: M-F, 1-4pm.

Did you just return from your time abroad?! Come see us!! We missed you:)

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Still Accepting Applications for Next Fall!

Welcome back from spring break! Did you know that it’s not too late to apply for your fall semester abroad?!

We’ve extended the deadlines for the following Skidmore programs:

Students applying to a non-Skidmore approved program must still submit the OCSE application to our office at least two weeks before their program’s deadline. You can find the program’s application deadline listed on their website.

Still not sure what steps to take next? Come see us! We have walk-in advising from 1-4pm every week day. Starbuck 202.

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Show & Tell – a contest for students that studied abroad

Remember when you were a little kid and your teacher asked you to bring in your most prized possession to share with the class? You’d bring in your favorite stuffed animal or video game or best pair of socks and show your peers what mattered most to you. You were the star of the class that day. It was all about you.

This contest is literally no different. Well, yes – there are a few differences:

  1. This is a chance to showcase your study abroad experience to a panel of judges
  2. You have to submit a proposal by March 25th letting us know how you would do this (among other questions)
  3. The top 8 proposals go onto the final round which will be held on April 10th from 12-1:30pm
  4. If you win the Show & Tell contest, you win a $500 travel voucher to go abroad again

show and tell flyer

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Britney Smart ’16, receives Public Health Award while studying in Denmark!

Congratulations to Britney Smart for receiving the Fall 2014 Public Health Academic Award from the Danish Institute for Study Abroad! Below is write up from DIS on Britney’s outstanding achievement:

Academic Excellence Award
Each semester, DIS recognizes one outstanding student from the Public Health program with an Award of Academic Excellence. It is reserved for a student who has distinguished her- or himself through diligence, commitment, academic performance, and ideally a student who contributes to a good, collaborative learning environment in class. Britney Smart (public health, anthropology major) was recognized for her academic achievement during her semester at DIS. Britney conducted a semester research project for her core course Health Delivery and Prioritization in Northern Europe where she interviewed and wrote a paper and presentated with two classmates on the Danish Healthy Cities Network (part of the WHO Healthy Cities Network). Britney indicated that she was interested in social justice issues and learning how culture affects opinions and behaviors regarding health – she had the opportunity to examine these areas in Denmark as well on her course-integrated study tour to Helsinki and Riga.  

The award was presented at the Public Health program concluding dinner attended by faculty, program staff and students. Susie Bondorf, the Public Health core course faculty member presented the certificate and award check of $300 to Britney to enhance/invest in her studies and said: “Britney is a bright and attentive student, who has shown great academic and social leadership throughout the semester. She is very quick-witted and understands where the faculty is heading with a question.  She has a reflective mind and is not afraid to speak it, and is often the first to raise her hand in class. Socially, Britney showed great enthusiasm and initiative on study tours as well as in class. She ran, and was elected, for class representative.”

Britney also excelled in the following courses: Epidemiology: Danish Case Studies, Public Health Implications of Modern Lifestyles, Public Health Ethics.


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New Student Bloggers!!

The start of a new semester means NEW STUDENT BLOGGERS!

Jonni Lynn ’16 (Skidmore in Paris) and Olivia Gramprie’16 (SIT: Tanzania/Zanzibar) are our newest student bloggers!

Are you blogging abroad?! Let us know and we can share your blog too!


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Music, Culture, and Performance in Bali, Indonesia

Over the winter break 17 Skidmore students, along with Music Professor Elizabeth Macy, traveled to Bali, Indonesia to learn first-hand the music and performance styles of the area. In addition to dance and music lessons, the group also studied the impact of colonization, globalization, and tourism on Balinese culture and arts.

The program culminated with a final  performance in full traditional dress, which was highlighted in the Bali Travel News, a bi-lingual publication for tourists.

Below are a few photos from their experience!

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You can learn more about travel seminars on our website!

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Creative Thought Travels to Denmark with Shuhua Chen ’16!

Congratulations to Shuhua Chen, class of 2016, and her fellow teammates, for winning the “Pitch Battle” in the Business Entrepreneurship Project while studying abroad with DIS!

DIS Abroad offers this project as one of it’s core courses within International Business. In the final weeks of the program, the students must pitch their final product to local professionals at the Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship (CSE). DIS students are not only competing against other students in their program but also with students enrolled in the accelerator program at CSE.

Shuhua’s team was awarded first place for their pitch of ‘Infinity,’ a website and pop-up shops that would ‘create a better shopping atmosphere for people belonging to LGBTQ community as well as selling clothes that would be catered for the community’.

Congratulations and welcome back!!

Pitch Battle winners incl. faculty and panelist

DIS Pitch Battle winners!


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London Freshmen: What’s it Like Coming Back to Skid?

Coming back to campus from the FYE London program was really exciting! I loved London so much (and frequently wished I were back there during the semester) but it was so refreshing to have the crazy amount of clubs and people around that weren’t really so accessible to us while we were abroad. It was nice to come back earlier than everyone else so that we could move our stuff in and get reacquainted with the campus without being overwhelmed by all the new faces and the stress of classes. A lot of other students had worried me about coming back to campus and having trouble breaking into friend groups, but it was really comforting to already have my “London freshman” family. Coming to campus with 32 really good friends significantly boosted my confidence and allowed me to branch out easily. It was also really easy to get involved on campus. I joined the Peer Health Educators, while other London Freshman joined music ensembles and sports clubs like Ultimate Frisbee and Quidditch. Other freshmen were also really interested in getting to know us! My first couple weeks on campus, people from my floor were knocking on my door to welcome me and introduce themselves. It was a really weird experience, but reminded me how friendly Skidmore is. Our orientation leaders also had a huge part in helping us transition back. They’d invite us to eat with them, tell us about events happening on the weekend, and really just took us under their wing. If there would be any piece of advice I’d give you about coming back to Skidmore, it’d be to have no reservations about reaching out to your orientation leaders! They were so nice to us and knew exactly what we were going through. I hope you all had a wonderful time abroad, but I hope you have an even better time back at Skid!

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Returning home and the inevitable ‘Now What?’

Picture yourself sitting on a plane about to fly across the world to live and study for four months. There are no guarantees that everything will be the same upon your return. Are you ready to leave your friends and family for four months? Are you ready to live independently in a foreign country? These are the questions we all ask ourselves before we decide to study abroad. We take that initial risk to get on that plane and begin our journeys to a foreign land. But very rarely in our decision-making process do we think about the plane ride back and returning home.

I was fortunate enough to study in Beijing, China during the Fall of 2013. Like you, I was asking all of these questions before I made my decision. As I sat on the plane I wondered what would change while I was away, if anything. Little did I know that most of the change I would eventually experience would stem from myself rather than others. I didn’t realize this fact until the summer after my spring semester at Skidmore.

Upon my initial return home everything fell back into place in almost no time at all. I got into a routine and the initial high of seeing and catching up with everyone wore off relatively quick. Some friendships had shifted a bit due to my time away but for the most part nothing felt very different with my close friends. It was thrilling to tell everyone about my experience in China and share pictures upon pictures but I became well aware that it would soon become old news. I needed an outlet for my stories and one thing that helped me was using my creativity. I made collages, and videos among other things to help me reflect on my experience. I got more involved with OCSE programs and kept my eye out for specific programs that would relate to me. Being able to talk to others who were abroad helped me feel less isolated. It is easy to fall into a mundane routine where nothing is new or exciting as it was when you were abroad. Getting the opportunity to talk to others who had similar experiences flooded my mind with memories and brought back the excitement of when I was in China.

Experiencing reverse culture shock is not a familiar feeling and even with my research on the subject beforehand, I didn’t expect it to happen to me. One significant piece of advice I can give is to not sell your experience short. You will feel as if your time abroad was amazing and in reality it was amazing. You should be proud of your journey and the risk you took. Keep in mind that others will want to hear about your story when you get back but not so much a couple months later when you’re cramming for finals week. My advice is to keep in touch with friends you made abroad, write/draw/create things that will help you reflect and remember, and utilize the OCSE office and the programs they offer. No one said readjustment would be easy, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think.

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International Education Week! Nov. 17th – 21st

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. According to the Department of Sate’s website, this is a week to celebrate and highlight programs and initiatives that “prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States”. Well, Skidmore College certainly has a lot to celebrate!

  • Nearly 60% of each graduating class studies off campus
  • Skidmore was ranked 2nd in the U.S. in the list of Top 40 Baccalaureate Institutions by Mid-Length Duration of Study Abroad (students spending a semester abroad) in the most recent Institute of International Education’s (IIE) annual Open Doors Report
  • Each year we welcome students from all over the world to pursue their undergraduate degree at Skidmore. In fact, 10% of this year’s incoming class are international students!

The faculty and staff and Skidmore also add to the Global landscape here. Each semester we have faculty researching, writing, teaching and gaining international experience  abroad that they then bring back to the campus.

Here are a list of events we’ll be having throughout the week to recognize International Education Week:

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