Did you study or intern abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Julius: I did not intern or study abroad, and it is one of my biggest regrets about my time as an undergraduate. I attended a university that championed its study abroad opportunities: most of my peers spent multiple terms abroad. Between on-campus jobs, leadership positions I enjoyed holding and coursework for my minor, my only option was to consider a Summer abroad. At the time, I didn’t realize how many different ways I could financially incorporate a Summer term abroad into my undergraduate experience – which ended up being one of the main reasons I didn’t end up spending a term abroad.
What aspect of working at CAPA inspires you the most?
Julius: During my time at CAPA, I have had multiple opportunities to advise students whose semester abroad would be their first time out of the country (and sometimes out of state). Watching each student navigate his or her own fears, anxieties, challenges and successes in a unique way is exciting to watch. In part, I attribute the supportive community CAPA provides through its experienced staff and engaging academic and cultural programming to these student successes.
How do you see the field of international education changing over the next 10 years?
Julius: I certainly foresee many variants of the International Education experience eventually becoming hallmarks of the undergraduate curriculum here in the United States. The opportunities to broaden one’s sociological perspective, witness – and contribute to - globalization first hand, as well as to fully immerse themselves in a holistic personal growth experience are endless, and I feel that employers, campus administrators and parents (oftentimes the financiers) are beginning to embrace this more commonly.
If you had to choose one, what destination would you recommend to prospective students? Why?
Julius: While I generally assert that each CAPA location presents itself as an ideal urban classroom to any student dependent upon what he or she seeks from the experience, I thoroughly enjoy advising students on the CAPA Beijing Program. Here lies an opportunity for any US student to experience one of the most historically impactful economic, cultural and political landscapes in the world. Students on the program live in an international student dormitory at one of Beijing’s most well known institutions: I feel that this residential opportunity presents itself as a truly dynamic cultural (and social) opportunity for many of our students.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering going abroad?
Julius: As a Program Manager, I work with students through their pre-departure process. I think the one thing many students wish they did was begin planning earlier for their term abroad. Conversations with your family, academic advisors, financial assistance office advisors and your study abroad office can really be pivotal in shaping your experience. Something as simple as applying for a passport can end up costing more money (and stress) than necessary when done at the last minute as you prepare to embark on your journey.
Any tips for first time travelers?
Julius: My number one tip for a first time traveler is to never let a bad day or a bad experience ruin your trip. It’s all about the journey, after all; and sometimes, this will include rude people, bad luck, a tough case of culture shock or even just a runny nose. It’s important to grow from any setbacks or discouraging moments, and remember to laugh them off while you enjoy all the seemingly meaningless (and sometimes indescribably life-changing) moments during your time abroad!