Abroad101 Student of the Week # 9 – Marina Foster

Abroad101.com Student of the WeekOur Abroad101 Student of the Week honor goes to rising high school junior Marina Foster from Texas. At the end of July, Marina will be traveling to Costa Rica to volunteer at Proyecto Asis, an animal rescue center, in the county of San Carlos. For two weeks, Marina will live with a host family and volunteer eight hours a day at the rescue center cleaning and building cages, feeding animals, and taking part in animal surgery, all the while strengthening her Spanish speaking skills. Marina plans to attend college and pursue a career in design and lead an adventerous life of travel. You can learn more about Marina’s Mission here.

The Abroad101 Student of the Week initiative awards a student who created a Mission for a study abroad program on GoEnnounce with a  to their fundraiser. Learn more about this partnership from Abroad101 CEO Mark Shay and GoEnnounce co-founder Melissa Davis here.

We’re making weekly donations to #studyabroad fundraisers! We hope you can help us assist these students in reaching their goals to make their travel dreams a reality. Visit here to help with this mission.

Stay tuned for our next Abroad101 Student of the Week!

– See more at: http://blog.goennounce.com/abroad101-student-of-the-week-0009-marina-foster/#sthash.mQxwxqqF.dpuf

Living with a Host Family

DSCN2281Kellie is an Abroad101 Global Ambassador, who spent the spring of 2013 studying abroad in Paris, France with AIFS.  In this post she tells us why you should consider living with a host family when you study abroad!

“When I chose to live with a host family I knew I would gain cultural and language experience, but I honestly had no idea what I was signing myself up for. Let me start by telling you about my first night in Paris where I started to question whether it was too late to just fly back to Texas. Continue reading

4 Cheap Places to Stay for Traveling Students


 You’re a cash-strapped study abroad student but want to travel and explore nearby countries and more remote cities. In expensive countries, like those in Western Europe, you might want to consider utilizing a hostel instead of a hotel. This is a less expensive option and it makes your money go much further. However, if you are nervous about staying in a hostel, you can always rent a remarkably inexpensive hotel if you’re staying in Asia. There are plenty of hotels in Kuala Lumpur, for example that are both cheap and safe. You owe it to yourself to go online and investigate what hotels and hostels are available in every area if you plan on traveling the globe

What’s a student with wanderlust to do?

Choose from one of these budget accommodation options to stay cheaply (or even for free) anywhere in the world.

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Groundbreaking Initiative Announces First Study Abroad Program in Space

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After decades of anticipation, the Center Of Space Management’s Intergalactic College (COSMIC) has announced today that, beginning in 2016, college students will be able to choose between destinations like Cape Town, Shanghai, and… Mars. Continue reading

Wellness Wednesday: Can a Semester Abroad Change your Career Path?

Rome SunThis Wellness Wednesday post comes from our expert on expat emotional health, Melissa Doman, M.A., LGPC, NCC.  In this post Melissa questions how a study abroad experience can change your career path.

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5 Ways to Explore Your Spirit of Adventure

Abroad101 Global Ambassador Katie O’Brien blogs from Perugia, Italy.  In between studying for midterms, Katie finds time to share with us the five ways to explore your sprit of adventure. DSC_0496 (1)

1. Find your place—a place that allows your mind to become completely in tune to the present moment. Wherever that place is, do me a favor and close your eyes—just listen to your senses. What does the city feel like? I discovered a priceless view of Perugia one afternoon by chance, and I love how peaceful I feel every time I visit. The way the wind tousles my hair as I stand in awe of the beauty of the city, the light chattering in Italian I hear off in the distance—it’s my time to feel smitten by Perugia.

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2. Always remind yourself that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. I think about the times I spent daydreaming in my Linguistics class about traveling; to finally have the chance to be curious, and to learn from the people and culture surrounding me feels refreshing.


3. Listen to your intuition. Explore with fresh eyes, and be in touch with your surroundings.


4. There is something to cherish from the relationships you create as you travel. That heart-pumping momentum I felt as I left for Budapest on a whim, with friends I hardly knew, is what I’ll remember years from now. There’s really nothing like discovering a new place with new friends.

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5. Leave your expectations behind. You create the life you want. Spark up a conversation with a local at your favorite café, or try something you never thought you’d do. This is what makes your experiences abroad unique. I’ve come to appreciate the times I’ve felt challenged learning a new language, as well as the times I’ve felt carefree, laughing uncontrollably singing karaoke.

China: 4 Weeks in the PRC

Have you ever wondered what 4 weeks in China would feel like?  According to Ryan Ashbaugh, a month in the PRC with INTO China is nothing short of amazing, and challenging in all the best ways.  He explored secluded parts of the Great Wall, discovered hidden gem eateries, and studied at a top Chinese University with people from all over the world. Read on as Ryan shares with us his experiences of a summer spent traveling throughout China.

If you feel inspired to have your own Asian adventure, apply for a scholarship to travel and study in China today!

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Abroad101’s 2012 Study Abroad Rankings are Out!

Abroad101 Releases 2nd Annual Study Abroad Rankings, Presented by STA Travel

16,000+ Student Reviews Reveal Highest Rated Study Abroad Programs in Academics, Language, Budget & More

Abroad101, the leading study abroad review website, released its 2nd annual study abroad rankings in partnership with STA Travel, the premier youth travel expert enabling students to travel the world.  The rankings compiled evaluations from students at over 200 US universities to highlight leading international education programs.

The 2012 rankings honor the highest-rated study abroad programs and locations by American students who have studied abroad. Students complete thorough online evaluations hosted by Abroad101 with both quantitative and qualitative responses. With a database of over 16,000 evaluations and 800,000 individual data points, the Abroad101 rankings provide a snapshot of student opinion on study abroad programs.

The 2012 Top 10 highest rated programs provide a wide range of geographical and disciplinary variety. The list has programs in traditional study abroad hotspots such as France, Italy, Spain, and Australia, but also features programs in China, Costa Rica, and Greece. Abroad101 is proud to announce the student-selected Top 10 Study Abroad Programs for 2012:

The Abroad101 2012 Top 10 Study Abroad Programs

1. CEA: Aix-en-Provence (Aix-en-Provence, France)

2. Sant’Anna Institute – Sorrento Lingue (Sorrento, Italy)

3. IES Abroad: Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing, China)

4. The Education Abroad Network: University of New South Wales & University of Sydney (Sydney, Australia)

5. University of Indianapolis: Odyssey in Athens (Athens, Greece)

6. The Education Abroad Network: Bond University (Gold Coast, Australia)

7. Semester at Sea (Travelling – 12 countries)

8. AIFS: Richmond in Florence (Florence, Italy)

9. AIFS: University of Salamanca (Salamanca, Spain)

10. Sol Education Abroad: Latin University of Costa Rica (Heredia, Costa Rica)

In addition to the highest rated overall programs, Abroad101 is also releasing ten additional categories for leading study abroad programs and destinations. The top programs and descriptions for the following categories are available at www.studyabroad101.com/rankings:

Top Academic Programs

Top Short-Term Programs

Top Program Providers

Top Programs for Language Learning

Top Science & Math Programs

Top Non-Traditional Countries (with Featured Programs)

Friendliest Cities

Most Livable Cities

Top Budget-Friendly Countries

Top Foodie Cities


“Abroad101 is leading the field in helping students make informed decisions about their international education,” says Mike Stone, President and Co-Founder of Abroad101. “Nearly 25% of university study abroad offices use our free feedback collection tool and these rankings are the result of thousands of students sharing their experiences with the world. We are thrilled to analyze trends in our data to highlight programs that students truly value.”

Abroad101 has partnered with STA Travel, a universally recognized travel leader and invaluable resource for student budget travel, to present this year’s rankings.

Quote from Adam Cooper, Director of Development at STA Travel:

“We at STA Travel are committed to study abroad and these rankings help students who are starting out on their search disseminate information and narrow down their choices. This comprehensive list gives students, parents and Universities alike an inside look into what’s new for study abroad and all the top notch study abroad options.”

Abroad101’s 2012 Study Abroad Rankings can be viewed at: http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings


About Abroad101:

Abroad101 is the world’s first, largest, and fastest growing study abroad review website. Founded in 2007 by Tufts, Harvard, and MIT graduates, Abroad101’s mission is to promote global citizenship by fostering the most meaningful study abroad experience for all students through technology innovation in international education. Abroad101 empowers universities with its free market-leading online evaluation tool, has awarded $85,000 worth of scholarships through innovative contests, and provides an advertising and student recruitment platform for global program providers. Abroad101 is a 2010 winner of the MassChallenge Global startup competition. To learn more, visit http://www.studyabroad101.com.

About STA Travel:

STA Travel is the youth travel expert enabling students and young adults to explore the world by creating experiences filled with adventure, discovery and personal growth. They offer a unique range of products with exclusive discounts on airfare, accommodations, tours, rail passes and more. Globally, STA Travel is present in 90 countries with 400 retail locations, sending more than 6 million travelers away each year. To learn more, visithttp://www.statravel.com.

Want to read student reviews to find the perfect study abroad destination for you?  Visit Abroad101.


Secular Republic, Muslim World: Participating in Turkish Ramadan

Tons of Muslims gathering for activities, Sultanahmet in the background.

Submitted by Rachel Whitcomb, Global Ambassador in Istanbul, Turkey

A long skirt and covered shoulders gets you through most neighborhood and sights safely.

One of the most interesting parts about Istanbul and Turkey in general is that although it’s a secular state, and has been for decades, the population is 98% Islamic and at this time of year, Ramadan, it certainly shows. This unique combination leads to a variety of clothing styles- modest coverings ranging from burqa (fully veiled except for the eyes), hijab (only the face is showing), and just covering all of the arms and legs, to the modern European/Western style dressing. There are certain parts of the city that you need to be aware of what you are wearing, but most of the time it’s not something we worry about.

I’ve been in solidarity with the half of the Muslim population here in Istanbul that has been fasting for Ramadan- that’s no food or water from morning prayer at 3:55 a.m. until the sun sets at 8:40 p.m. (yes, that many hours without food or water). It’s been a challenging and humbling experience, especially to be a part of it around so many other people! By day, the city and areas around my campus are pretty barren, but after the sun sets people come from all over and hang out and celebrate. It’s a beautiful sight to see!

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