Blog Archives

Australia Day – the Dublin Way

By: Denisha Brekke

While Denisha seems to change her mind daily about her passions and career goals, there is one thing she will never change her mind about: she loves traveling! Born and raised just north of San Francisco, CA, she has competed in every sport from softball to surfing, celebrated her last four New Year’s on four different continents, and recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in international business.

During the fall semester of my senior year at the University of Southern California, I chose to take a break from Los Angeles and study down under for an exchange semester. So realistically, it was their spring semester, but for Melbourne you might as well call it winter. For six months I lived in Melbourne, Australia, where I surfed, learned the rules of footy, attended a lifetime of barbecues, and partied with Aussies wearing neon body suits or something else ridiculous, on countless nights. Am I forgetting something? Oh yeah… I also attended my classes at the University of Melbourne, of course.

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Interview with a study abroad guru!

By: Triptrotting Team

Did you ever study abroad or would like to study abroad?  We recently interviewed the President and Founder of studyabroad101.com, Mike Stone, who shared with us his love for traveling, tips for studying abroad, and experiences starting a venture based on his passion.  Check out the interview.

Q:  Tell us about yourself

A native Bostonian, I graduated Tufts in 2007 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Communications and Media Studies. A high school trip to France became the “gateway” to my travel addiction, as well as my decision to invest savings in experiences over material goods. I had the opportunity to study abroad twice in college, Melbourne, Australia, and Talloires, France, where I later returned and taught a global citizenship workshop for high school students. I enjoyed working in the marketing industry through my experience in account management at Arnold Advertising, in Boston as well as Melbourne, Australia. I am also extremely passionate about documentary filmmaking and social entrepreneurship, and I am still very active in various Tufts alumni service groups.

Q: What is your job and what do you like about it?

I am a co-founder and President of Abroad101, the first and largest study abroad review website. Study abroad changed my life, but when researching programs, my friends and I felt completely overwhelmed since there were no online resources offering insider student reviews. I love the fact that my team and I are building a community that can help returning students share their experiences so more future students can choose the best program for their needs. I am a huge proponent of molding a career around your passions and strengths while finding an opportunity to serve a demonstrated need and positively impact society. If every student studied abroad, our world would be a significantly more informed, accepting, and dynamic place. The fact that our website encourages such global citizenship provides more adrenaline than coffee any day!

Q:  How many countries have you been to? 13 – US, Canada, England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Israel, Spain, Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Japan

Q: What do you like about the Triptrotting idea?

I love how Triptrotting facilitates and expedites cultural acclimation via connections with like-minded individuals. The type of reciprocity that results from two travelers sharing an interchangeable host/visitor relationship is remarkable. I really appreciate having insider information about foreign destinations before I arrive, ranging from the best “hidden gem” restaurants to museums and events. I also really enjoy hosting out-of-town friends and experiencing my own city from the unique, novel perspective of a tourist. The traveler’s mentality is always more adventurous, and you don’t need to leave your neighborhood to experience the thrill of a vacation. I think it’s awesome that Triptrotting helps form these connections, and ensures that people can avoid the tourist traps and truly “live like the locals do”!  

Q:  What are some tips you could give your members about studying abroad?

Don’t settle for a program that is less challenging than what you can handle. Studying abroad is all about re-defining your comfort zone. Do some reflection on your personal limits and what you want out of your experience, so that you can select the program that will provide the infrastructure to expand your comfort zone. This enables less inhibition to take risks, embrace a new culture, and return from your experience with more confidence and a heightened global perspective. I would also recommend diving head first into the local culture as much as possible. Take courses with local students, join a student organization, live with a host family, or get a job or internship to avoid “The American Bubble.” As I wrote in a recent blog entry, “One of the biggest complaints we hear from students when they return from their time abroad is ‘I wish I got to know more locals and further integrate into the culture.’ In other words, we all have a desire to experience our new foreign home as a local…but it can be difficult to be ‘in the know’ if you are busy adjusting to the new culture and haven’t yet mastered the language.” More reason why we love what you are doing at TripTrotting! Read the rest of this entry

No More Housing Hassle for Student Travellers?

HousingAnywhere.com founder Niels van Deuren

HousingAnywhere.com founder Niels van Deuren

By: Madeline Reddington

For most of us who have done so, studying abroad was one of the best experiences we had in college—but finding someone to take over our rooms for an awkward four or five-month period isn’t nearly as fun. Luckily, for those of us who are worried about coming home to find our things trashed by an unruly sub-letter or biting the bullet and paying rent for an empty room, there are more options. Meet Niels van Deuren, Triptrotter and founder of HousingAnywhere.com.

What made you start HousingAnywhere?

When I went abroad for my Bachelor exchange to Singapore, I wanted to sublet my room. Unfortunately, it was quite hard to find someone who wanted to rent for just five months. However, at the same time I heard that the International Office of my current university was desperately looking for rooms that were available for a short time period. There I saw the gap: there was a supply of short-term rooms, and demand. I simply created a platform to bridge these two parties.

How is HousingAnywhere different from other exchange-based hospitality networks?

Only students can use this platform. And above all: it’s totally for free to advertise your room or respond to an advertisement on the platform. Students at a few top schools already use it, like ESADE Barcelona, SSE in Sweden, WU in Vienna, USP in Brazil, and more.

What are the best and worst parts of being an entrepreneur?

I would like to summarize it as: “Whoa, opportunities everywhere, but a day has only 24 hours!”

What else are you doing these days?

I am studying International Business Administration—taking a Masters in CEMS International Management.

How many countries have you been to?

Ai, many! South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos, Cambodia, New Zealand, Thailand, and basically all of Europe. I am still missing the USA on my list though!

What’s a crazy experience you had traveling/studying abroad that you can share with the Triptrotting community?

Living in Lisbon for a few months. What a time! What a nice vibrant city that is!

What’s next for HousingAnywhere and yourself?

Well, we recently launched our platform in Peru (Lima, Esan University) as well. So the road is: expanding our platform to more countries and cities!

If you had all the money in the world, would you quit and move to an island or invest it all in your business?

Move to that island and continue the business from there! The nicest thing in this digital world is that companies are not limited to operating in one specific place.

4 Questions to Ask Before Deciding to Study Abroad

By: Her Campus 

It may seem like this semester’s going to last forever, but it’s already time to start thinking about next year. With never-ending midterms, relentless snowstorms, and this year’s course enroll period and housing lottery ahead of us, it can be hard to get amped up for another semester of the same major, the same people, the same stuffy dorm room or shabby apartment, and the same frat houses and sticky college bars. But if you’re starting to go a little stir-crazy in your college town, why not switch it up a little? And no, we don’t mean by trying a new flavor of Yoplait Light—we’re talking about studying abroad. A semester or summer in a different country provides a totally amazing, and totally different, summer experience and a chance to travel and explore other cultures without a hectic school schedule in your way. You can use the time to earn major credit, volunteer overseas, explore a new career overseas, even learn the secrets to Italian cooking, while your friends trek to the library and drink Keystone at home. But don’t hop on that plane just yet—before you study abroad, you have lots to consider. Her Campus talked to Dean Tsouvalas, Editor-in-Chief of StudentAdvisor.com, and to study abroad students around the world, about what to ask yourself—and your study abroad advisor—when planning your time overseas. Hit these five key questions and you’ll be ready to take off before you know it!

1. What kind of experience do I want?

E very city in the world offers a different cultural experience, and wherever you choose to study abroad will have a huge effect on the months ahead. As much as your time abroad will be about studying, working, or volunteering, it will be even more about exploring and fitting into a new environment and absorbing the culture around you….Read more here at Her Campus, written by Amanda First

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