Studying abroad carries with it ample promise of exciting, transformative experiences. However, there are some very difficult aspects of navigating a new culture. In working with our Global Ambassadors Program, I unpack some of these harder topics with students who join IFSA as ambassadors.
One of our Ambassador Student Advisors had just returned from South America and wanted to focus her written reflection project on the harassment she experienced abroad. In her first draft, she wrote about being catcalled and stared at on the subway by men. In dialogue with me and our health and safety team, each draft she wrote took on a deeper, richer understanding of her own identity and the cultural frameworks behind people’s behavior.
This process afforded her the time and support she needed to reflect, explore, and grow. In her latest email, she wrote that even after experiencing some of the most intense challenges of living abroad, she would return with IFSA again and again.
Kira Rysiewicz | IFSA Field Director