Global Student Ambassador Program
The Global Student Ambassador Program in the Office of Global Programs aims to provide even further support from our students to other students interested in studying abroad, as well as create increased support for our incoming international exchange students. The goals of this program are to increase awareness on campus of the study abroad opportunities available to them and increase the level of support for new students coming from abroad to integrate into life at UMass Boston. The program will provide a space for outgoing study abroad students active in the application process to come and ask questions, advice, and work on applications with peers who have navigated the process in the past. It will also create a "buddy" program for those coming to our university from abroad partner universities. The students selected for this role in our office will be planning and organizing events on and off-campus for exchange students to learn about Boston, meet UMass Boston students, and will work to give our exchange students the best experience they can while visiting our city.
The UMB Fall 2021 Podcasts aims to inform students about the opportunities of study abroad programs. We answer questions such as: why should I go? What will I do? And can I afford to do something as big as this? Most often the answer won't be what you expected, and reassurance is abundant in each episode we discuss. Come to find friends, answers, questions, programs and so much more this semester with Hao Tran and Allen Valentine, Global Ambassadors and your new hosts!
Global Ambassadors for Fall 2023 will be announced soon!
Spring 2023 Global Ambassadors:
Hello everyone! My name is Jasmine Yiu and I am a Global Ambassador at the Global Programs Office this semester. I’m currently a junior here at UMass Boston and majoring in Biology. I speak fluent English and Cantonese. I chose to join the Study Abroad team because I have always been interested in learning about new cultures. In the spring semester of 2022, I studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea. It was the best decision I've ever made. Along with learning about another culture, I got to know myself better and figured out what I like and who I am. I've become more mature and independent, and I've developed new perspectives in things. I want to help students in finding these better versions of themselves, just like I did. I think everyone should try new things and go to new places rather than spend their entire lives in one place. Don't be afraid to try new things in life. It altered my perspective of the world, and I hope it will do the same for all of you. I would love to meet everyone and participate in all the exciting activities we have planned for this semester, so please feel free to stop by the office and introduce yourself!
Hello, my name is Isaac and I am a psychology major in my senior here at UMB. A year ago in the spring 2022 semester I studied abroad in Limerick, Ireland. It was one of the best experiences of my life this far. I met incredible people that joined me on a 5 month journey that changed my entire mindset and perspective. This semester, I have joined the staff in the Global Study Abroad department as one of the Student Global ambassadors with the goal of brining you the same incredible experiences. I will be in the office at some point in the day, most days of the week so come say hi and find out about your next study abroad adventure!
Hello Beacons! My name is Ryan Beane and I’m a senior here at UMB. I’m a history major, with a deep fascination in US foreign policy and international affairs. I love coffee, books, and learning new things. Born and raised right here in Massachusetts, Boston has always been close and has a special place in my heart with its charming streets, rich history, and great foods. Although I love Boston, this past semester I decided to study abroad and Seoul, South Korea, and it was the BEST experience of my college career. I had the privilege of meeting so many great friends, both international and Korean, and made incredible experiences while exploring the country. As a coffee lover, Seoul is practically paradise with cafes, and I was a patron at plenty! I also saw PSY perform Gangnam Style live, went to the gorgeous island of Jeju and ate famous local oranges, and dined on delicious Korean BBQ and kimchi. Considering I still had the travel bug after my trip, I traveled to Western Europe for three weeks and also had a wonderful time. Given my incredible experiences, I decided to become the global student ambassador to encourage all my fellow classmates to study abroad if they have the opportunity. It changed my perspective on the world, and I hope it can for you too. Take advantage while you can!
Hello everyone! My name is Malaika Kakonge, and I’m a Global Student Ambassador for UMB this semester. I’m orginially from Uganda and I'm currently in my senior year studying International Relations. I recently came back from studying abroad in Amsterdam, Netherlands this past summer, my experience was so incredible that working for the Office of Global Programs to help other exchange students and potential study abroad students have a great experience! Please feel free to walk in and say hello! I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and to all the incredible activities we will get up to this semester.
Global Ambassadors for Spring 2022:
Have you ever wanted to study abroad, but had no idea where to begin? Allow me to make it simple for you. My name is Shayaan Jawaid, and I work as the Global Ambassador at the Global Programs Office. As an international student, I understand the value of global exposure. As a business management major, I am constantly looking for opportunities to meet and interact with new people. Because of the ongoing global pandemic, the years 2020 and 2021 have been extremely difficult for the entire world. It taught me a few things, the first of which was to be patient and never give up hope. Second, I got to spend time with myself and think about what I want to do with my life. Coming to UMass Boston gave me the opportunity to further explore myself, and with the increasing number of Covid vaccinations, we see a brighter future ahead of us. As a result, global exchange programs are now more accessible. I'd like to help you navigate the process of applying for study abroad programs. You might be surprised at how much studying in a different country—or continent—can improve your life. Sometimes the most difficult step is simply signing up; after that, things get a lot easier.
Shayna Morales Soto
Hola! Hello! My name is Shayna Morales Soto and I am a Senior at UMass Boston. I will be graduating in May with a bachelor's Degree in International Relations. As a student that comes from Puerto Rico, I have always been interested in different cultures which is why I decided to join the Study abroad team at UMB. I like learning different ways of being and enjoy getting out of my comfort zone because that is where you grow. In my free time, I like to travel, sing, dance, and learn new languages. I speak fluent Spanish and English, intermediate-level French, and I even know some Korean! In the fall semester of 2021, I studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea. Korea was AMAZING, I met many people from around the world, got to wear a Korean traditional dress (Hanbok), and I even traveled to well known cities in the film industry such as Busan. Korea opened up many new doors for me and showed me what I am capable of. I see a different person in the mirror these days and I cannot wait to discover new versions of myself in other countries in the future. I hope to help students like myself also discover these better versions of themselves around the world.
When You Return
Continue Your Language Studies
Consider adding a language minor/major to your degree! Adding language proficiency to your resume can help you stand out to employers after graduation. Watch this video presented by the Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department on how language study has impacted UMass Boston students and alumni: https://players.brightcove.net/1050888036001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6186414917001
To learn more about the different majors and minors in languages available at UMass Boston, follow these links:
- Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Vietnamese: https://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/modlang#ugModern Languages
- Spanish and Portuguese: https://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/latam_iberian#ug
- Classical Languages and Studies (Greek and Latin): https://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/classics#ug
- East Asian Languages and Asian Studies: https://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/asian#ug
- International Relations major or minor (use your language study from abroad toward the degree!): https://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/polisci/undergraduate_programs/international_relations_major
Study Abroad Blog
Want to share your story? Contribute to the UMass Boston Study Abroad Blog. Submit a post here!
Use UMass Boston's Career Services to update your resume based on your new study abroad experience. Highlighting what you gained from your experience is vital to future employer's/ applications.
Few people anticipate culture shock when they return home, but many students actually find that it is just as challenging to get used to being at home again as it was to get used to living abroad. Some students find that they have changed and grown a great deal while abroad, but that home, family and friends have not, and this gap makes it challenging to slip back into settings, routines, and relationships that were once familiar and comfortable. You should expect a certain amount of this if you have had a full and enriching time overseas. It is important not to ignore the experience of reentry as a facet of study abroad: readjusting to life at home is difficult and what you're feeling is entirely legitimate.
Common Reentry ("Reverse Culture Shock") Experiences:
- Impression that you can't fully explain your experience or its importance
- Realization that others do not want to hear very much about your adventures
- Sensation of being "out of place" despite being home
- Boredom with being home
- Experiencing homesickness for the place where you studied abroad
- Seeing that relationships with family and friends have changed
- Feeling that others misunderstand your growth, or see the "wrong" changes in you
- Assessing your home in a way that is judgmental or overly critical
- Feeling that your experience abroad is lost or cut off from the rest of your life
If You Find Yourself Experiencing Difficulty After Coming Home:
Try to use the same cultural adaptation skills that you developed while you were getting used to being abroad (e.g. keep active, maintain a sense of humor, find a support group, expect differences, allow yourself to make mistakes, stay flexible) to make the transition to being home.
Be reflective. Give some thought to your return, to the types of intellectual and emotional changes that you have undergone as a result of your time abroad.
Expect some negative feelings about your "home" culture. Try not to be too critical of shortcomings that you did not see before. Remember that at there are positive and negative aspects of all cultures.
Accentuate the positive. Try to identify what you like about both cultures and try to incorporate the best aspects of these into your life.
Be patient with your friends and family who are trying to understand your recent experiences. Listen to them, too, about the changes they underwent during the time you were away.
Maintain connections with "the international life" through the many opportunities available at UMass Boston. Help spread the word about study abroad to your friends and classmates, participate in symposia, share your pictures with the campus community, and/or assist the study abroad advisor with outreach to new outgoing students.
Set goals for your development. Realize once again that change can be stimulating and this could be your chance to develop in new directions. Set some long-term goals, which may involve finding ways to return abroad.
"We shall not cease from exploration.
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."
Reentry Resource List:
Bruce, A. "Culture Shock at Home: Understanding Your Own Change - The Experience of Return". Transitions Abroad. January/February, 1997, p. 79-80.
Howell, Leah. "Coming Home: Sustaining the Experiences of Studying Abroad". The Vermont Connection. 1999. (http://www.uvm.edu/~vtconn/?Page=v20/howell.html)
Kohls, L. Robert. "Survival Kit for Overseas Living". Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press, 1996.
Woody, Stacey. Programming for Reentry: Issues and Solutions for Study Abroad Returnees. Transitions Abroad. Mar/Apr 1998, p. 107-108.