Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Vocation, Vocation, Vocation

      Aside from just joining clubs on campus at Al-Akhawayn and participating in community services, I believe that networking with my professors during my study abroad will contribute the most to accomplishing my vocational goals. The reason I am focusing on professors, is because they are able to bring a little more insight to the table than most. As I was doing research on my host country and institution, I came across many segments where they described their professors as intelligent individuals form different walks of life.

      During my study abroad I will be finishing up my second part of thesis, so talking to my professors about their thoughts and advice on my topic would be a great way to generate a dialogue. Soon after, I would inquire them about internships and other business opportunities that would help me transition into the work force while I am there. Networking closely with the professors of AUI would definitely help in finding my vocation.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Living Like a Local: My home away from home

To be honest my plan to blend in with the locales of my host country is pretty simple and straight forward. Be a sponge, and soak up everything. Sure there will be times where I experience some forms of culture shock but its all apart of the experience in my opinion. Plus it'll help prepare me for future travel experiences.

I have already made plans to get involved in community services in my host country as a way to immerse myself with those who don't just attend the University. This would also give me the opportunity to practice on speaking and understanding the language there.

As far as food goes its all the foods. This is probably the main reason as to why I am studying abroad (after finding my vocation and gaining an increased global perspective of course).

I also intend on joining a few clubs during the semester and become familiar with the campus as soon as possible. With that being said, I am not trying to stretch myself too thin and do everything that is available or become annoying to others. The way I see it is that if I want to live like a local, I should be open-minded to different things and not be prone to say no if I am asked to join in on something.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Academics in Al-Akhawayn

As I researched my host institution of Al-Akhawayn, much of the academics and curriculum are the same especially the flow of the semester. However, the faculty and student relationships are different compared to Maryville College. At MC walking into a professor outside of class and conversing about topics other than class is a common occurrence. At Al-Akhawayn although you converse with professors outside of class, the topics of discussion may be limited. This goes for the classroom as well.

The workload is one thing I will have to learn quickly with. Al-Akhawayn does not have midterms or finals in class. It is a few assignments that are cumulative throughout the semester. So no room to procrastinate!

Credits are counted exactly the same as in the Maryville College curriculum. So 3 credit hours at Al-Akhawayn are equal to 3 credits at Maryville College. In fact, some courses are weighted in halves, mostly electives. This includes the letter grades as well. 

Unfortunately Al-Akhawayn, does not not have a version of the Career Center or the famous Noah Bowmen.  
They do however have Tech support and tutoring in the library.

How many credits do you have to enroll in to be considered full time at both your home and host institution? The amount of credits I need for both institutions are 12 to be considered a full time student, this translates to about 4 courses. 

An American Abroad

Naturally, I am the epitome of an introvert if I am being honest. Even though I played sports all my life I would only talk to others if I really had to. Now I was not trying to distance myself or couldn't socialize when i was younger, I just didn't talk much. High school and college was when I really started to come out of my shell and be more outgoing and it turns out that I'm pretty good at it.

The only thing about being outgoing is that instead of a small liberal arts college in Tennessee, I will be abroad in Morocco. This is one challenge I think I will face the most of, being able to network and meet new people, who may or may not be accustomed to the way I would initiate that processes. I cant help but think that I would take it to far to where I'm overwhelming and annoying, or revert back to just keeping to myself to where I'm invisible. My solution to this is to find a happy medium between the two and take things as they come. So, I am really hoping to have a smooth transition and not be annoying to the locales. Luckily for me, as I look back to my self audit, I have a few strategies to help in that aspect like my interpersonal skills.  As far as being an American and educating others while I'm their, I feel I  will have much to offer because of who I am and where I come from. I'm really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Objectifs Professionnels: Vocational Goals

Studying abroad will help me determine whether or not I would like to return to France after obtaining my Bachelor's Degree to teach English in the elementary-level classes. Becoming fluent in the French language, understanding the school system in France, and having an awareness of the expectations for an elementary teacher are a few of the steps I would like to take to determine this. 
UniCaen does not offer volunteer positions to students only studying one semester, but I hope to make connections with international students fulfilling volunteer roles in the local elementary schools to better understand the system.
The classes I will take will allow me to build a working knowledge of the French language and become familiar with literature that increases this learning. I also hope to visit a local elementary school, sit in on a class session, and speak to current teachers. This will help me understand what skills they think are best to be successful in their field. 
If I choose not to be an English teacher in France, gaining the perspective of another culture will help me in my professional and personal career regardless. It will allow be to consider the differences in opinions, values, and attitudes and react accordingly. I want to be a writer as well, and this experience will give me insight that will better my writing as well as exposure to new and different kinds of writing.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Preparing for the Job

For those of you who don't know, I plan to become a cultural anthropologists. In other words, I want to study cultures. I have a particular interests in Asian cultures and sub-cultures. 

How will studying abroad help me with my future vocation?

Well, it'll help with everything, basically.

See, one of the main parts of cultural anthropology is that you live and dwell among the culture you wish to study. This helps you have an insider's look on their way of life. Studying abroad will be my first step into this process. It'll be a great opportunity to see how I adjust to new cultures, how I observe new cultures, and how I learn new languages. It'll also help me see if I even want to explore cultural anthropology as a career.

Another way studying aboard helps me with my future job is with the classes I'm taking. Aside from my Japanese classes, I will be taking a selection of classes from either history, sociology, religion, and anthropology. There's one class in particular that I really hope to be in that focuses on sub-cultures. This class will definitely help me form a better understanding on the that specific culture, and whether or not I wish it to continue down that field. The other classes will give me a better understanding on the Japanese culture as a whole. To study this classes in the actual culture is an opportunity I don't want to miss! 

All together, this experience will show me whether or not I'm going down the right path in my life. I love cultures, hence wanting to be an anthropologist, but there are other vocations that use cultures. This will just allow me to see where I am down that path.


I knew I wanted to teach at an International school at age 13. My uncle, aunt, and two cousins had moved to Venezuela for my uncle's job. They came back to Tennessee every summer to visit and with each visit I heard more amazing stories about the school my cousins were attending. As a 13 year old who had lived in one state her whole life, I was so intrigued. The stories they told about their friends from all around the world and the things they were learning impressed me so much. 

Teaching at a school in another country has remained my main goal for my future career. My student teaching experience in Germany is the first step in reaching this goal. This opportunity will give me a better idea of whether or not I can survive living outside of the United States. I will get to compare German school to American school and use what I learn in this experience to make me a more diverse teacher. 

While in Germany, I have plans to take trips to Switzerland and Belgium to visit some International schools. I am planning on meeting with my Uncle's friend who is the director of a school in Zurich. He will be able to show me the school and give me tips for finding a job at an International school.