How to Use Your Study Abroad Experience to Create a Life of Awesome


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Alexis Grant speaks to students who recently returned from studying abroad about how her semester in Cameroon helped her get where she is now -- and how they can use their experiences for good, too.

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  • Etiquette class = none of it seemed to matter. I had a new perspective on what mattered.
    + Each of you also probably gained new perspective, adjusting to what seems like a new culture
  • Today I want to talk about that perspective, and how you can use it to live an awesome life going forward. Because this is an experience that will drive you for the long run if you’re smart enough to harness the energy and use it strategically.
  • How do you harness that energy? By recognizing what you gained from this experience.
  • Before we get into the details of what you’ve gained, I want to tell you a bit about MY story, so you understand how I got from where you’re sitting now to where I am today.
    + Why Cameroon
    + Study abroad in NZ = Ah-ha moment
    + Took full-time job to get experience, save money
  • Freelanced along the way
  • If you consider my backpacking trip, my book and all the experiences that led up until this point, I am where I am now largely because of my study abroad semester in Cameroon. And that might prove true for each one of you in the coming years.
  • So our big question today is…
  • Lucky as in – Europe, refillable drinks and spaces between the tables.
    + Story of how ran the race for women in Albany. Can’t waste the opportunity.
    + Go after and achieve what you want.
  • + What did you learn?
    + Having fun is a solid goal, but take it beyond that
    + How to make what you learned part of your story
  • + This might have been first opportunity to challenge yourself, do things you’re uncomfortable with = look where it got you
    + Show of hands, who feels like they’re better person after semester
    + Keep learning, prove to yourself
    + Apply that to life going forward. How can you push yourself outside your comfort zone?
    + Example: My experience in Cameroon led to my trip, starting my own business
  • Many of us discovered a love of travel
    +Live a life of adventure and learning even after entering the “real world”… constantly look for opportunities to weave travel into my career and life
    + how do you make this more than a one-time opportunity?
  • Right now, probably a lot of you are motivated to do that
  • + think outside the box about how you approach your life
    +If there’s something you want to do, figure out how to get tehre
  • The last thing I want to leave you with
    + Ask yourself
    + Proven to yourself you can push outside your comfort zone, you can learn new skills, and you’re really lucky to have this life of opportunity in front of you.
    + Now go out there, and do something awesome with it.
  • How to Use Your Study Abroad Experience to Create a Life of Awesome

    1. 1. Use Your Study Abroad Experience to Create a Life of Awesome Study Abroad Re-Entry Conference Alexis Grant
    2. 2. Cameroon 2002
    3. 3. Travel = Perspective
    4. 4. What You Gained  Recognized how lucky you are  Skills that makes you a better job candidate  Learned to push yourself outside your comfort zone  Love of travel
    5. 5. My Story Liberal arts college  J-School  Houston Chronicle  Freelanced in Africa
    6. 6. Photo
    7. 7. Photo
    8. 8. Photo
    9. 9. Photo
    10. 10. Photo
    11. 11. Photo
    12. 12. Photo
    13. 13. My Story Liberal arts college  J-School  Houston Chronicle  Freelanced in Africa  Wrote a travel memoir  U.S. News & World Report Now: Innovator-in-Chief of Socialexis
    14. 14. My Slashes  Journalist  Social media & blog strategist Clients: Small businesses and startups Managing editor of Brazen Life  Entrepreneur Creating and selling ebooks and courses How to Take a Career Break to Travel How to Build a Part-Time Social Media Business
    15. 15. How can you use the perspective you gained while traveling to do great things in your life? Our Goal Today
    16. 16. Recognize how lucky you are, and use that as a motivator Action #1
    17. 17. Figure out how what you learned while studying abroad makes you a better job candidate. What story do you want to tell? Action #2
    18. 18. Push yourself outside your comfort zone = Great rewards Action #3
    19. 19. Love of travel = How can you fit travel into your life? Action #4
    20. 20. Job that involves traveling Live abroad Take a big trip Work remotely Ideas for fitting travel into your life
    21. 21. Make Travel a Priority
    22. 22. Dream big Surround yourself with go-getters Seek inspiration online How to maintain your momentum
    23. 23. What’s your next Big Goal? Now that you’ve accomplished this…
    24. 24. Questions?
    25. 25. Twitter: @alexisgrant I’ll post this on SlideShare. Connect with Me
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