Tag Archives: Going Global

Study Away Recollections

Senior Global Public Health student Fanta NGom had an incredibly transformational experience while studying away at NYU Accra in Spring 2013. Learn about her semester away, the influence of the city’s one and only mental health school, and how she used the experience as a catalyst to start her own non-profit organization, P.R.O.M.O.

Fanta NGom (Center)

Global Public Health ‘14

When I decided to attend NYU back in 2010, I never imagined my NYU experience being as great and rewarding as it has been. For one, the clubs I have joined, such as the Academic Achievement Program (AAP), Black Students Union (BSU), and the African Students Union (ASU) have contributed to both my personal and academic growth. These clubs were instrumental in turning me into the leader that I am today, a leader dedicated to creating an experience full of academic and social success for all students at NYU. Throughout my years here, I took amazing classes such as Complementary and Alternative Medicine that solidified my love and passion for mental health. I hope to not only educate society about mental health, but also raise awareness, and find more effective treatments for all disorders.

 The experience that greatly affected my career path and contributed to my growth was my decision to study abroad in Accra, Ghana, my junior year. That year I took a risk; that risk was leaving behind everything and everybody and studying abroad for a whole year. I studied abroad in London during the fall and then left for Accra in the spring. At first, I didn’t really know why I made the decision to go to Accra. Yes, as an African I wanted to visit Africa, as this would be my first time on the continent. Yes, I wanted to experience a place way out of my comfort zone. And yes, I wanted to attend a study abroad site applicable to my minor and my overall interests. However, when I left Accra, I realized that I went there for a purpose; to develop a non-profit that would change the lives of many women across Ghana and hopefully across Africa.

While studying in Accra, I had the wonderful opportunity of interning at the only mental health school in all of Accra. This school, The New Horizon Special School, has both a school for children between the ages of 5 and 18 with a variety of disabilities including learning disabilities and a vocational school for adults. I worked with the youngest students at the school and it was in fact a life changing experience. I noticed how much of an impact dance and music has on one’s life and how it must be incorporated into the treatment of mental health. I realized that at the end of the day, despite their disabilities, these students were happy, loving people who should be treated no differently than the little girl or boy who goes to the school right down the road. Going to my internship was the highlight of my days in Accra. Being here really strengthened my desire to go into the field of mental health and today I am doing just that.

As a senior, it is completely normal to have anxiety about graduation and be stressed out about our career plans. However, being in Accra, made my senior year less stressful. Currently, I am developing a non-profit along with one other NYU Accra Alumna and my past mentee. This non-profit is called P.R.O.M.O.: Protecting the Rights Of the Marginalized and Oppressed. P.R.O.M.O. seeks to address cultural and societal perceptions on mental and reproductive health within Ghana in hopes of developing new ways to promote self-sustainability. By providing access to essential medical resources, health education, and a safe space for women of reproductive age and older with mental disabilities and HIV/AIDS, we hope to create a sense of belonging through a new community. Our purpose is to provide our sisters, the women in our space, with the means to self-sufficiency, which will act as an access point to establishing and maintaining happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. We seek to provide a safe space where women can be educated on mental and reproductive health issues and be provided with the resources and skills needed for self-sufficiency. Our safe space will act as a shelter for those who wish to regain their self-sufficiency and health. Our space will also serve as a temporary refuge for our non-residential sisters, where they can attend our awareness and educational programs.

Going to Accra inspired me to do this. Going to Accra made me realized how much of a passion I have for mental health. Going to Accra affected my career choices. Without this experience, I wouldn’t be able to say that I am working towards the betterment of the lives of many women in Ghana. Today, we are semi-finalist for the NYU Reynolds Changemaker Challenge! We are also in the stages of applying to various grants to fund this initiative. This spring break, we are hoping to travel to Ghana to further research our venture, meet with the Ministry of Health, see the space where we will launch our non-profit, and travel to Tamale to meet with Dr. Abdulai (5th recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Peace and Social Justice in 2012) who has a clinic in Tamale and has agreed to collaborate with us, as well as other individuals who are key to the success of our venture. Our market research done in Ghana will allow us to determine all potential start-up challenges, have a better understanding of our target market, determine our competitive analysis, and other important elements essential for a successful start-up of our non-profit.

I encourage everyone to study away and if not for a semester, go for 3 weeks, or a summer! It will honestly impact you in ways unimaginable!

Learn more about and support Fanta’s efforts in bringing P.R.O.M.O. to Ghana by visiting the group’s Gofundme page.

Global Peers: Madrid

Hola amigos! I am Meghan Hunter, a Global Peer Career Educator in Madrid, Spain this semester! I’m a sophomore in the Stern School of Business where I am planning to double major in Finance and Business Economics. Just like anything else abroad, working towards my career and lining up work for the summer has been a different process than I’m used to. As I’ve suggested to my peers, I have had to start looking for work early. In doing so, I’ve conducted both Skype and phone interviews and had to be mindful of making a lasting and strong impression virtually. Though challenging, it certainly is not impossible. This learning experience has made me more flexible and adaptable professionally. All in all, being abroad has also helped me define what I want out of my undergrad career and my future. And though that future is still unclear, I do know that I want to travel a lot more—I want to go global! For that, I can thank this experience abroad.

Like many of my peers, I had a hard time choosing an NYU Study Abroad site. When talking to my friends, everyone proclaimed their study abroad site to be the “best.” Regarding the location, language and the culture I wished to experience, Spain was the right choice for me! It’s already April and I have been here a little under four months, but honestly it feels like just yesterday that I arrived at the Madrid airport. Time here has flown by and it is hard to imagine that I’ll have to say goodbye so soon to the country that I have fallen in love with!

One of my favorite places in Madrid is easily Retiro Park—a beautiful space with the glory of Central Park, but on a smaller scale. Luckily for me, it is less than a five minute walk from my apartment door. I have found myself lost in Retiro on my daily runs exploring the infinite amounts of hidden treasures that it holds—including my three personal favorites: the Crystal Palace, the pond and the outdoor gym. Aside from the perfect workout you can get there, it is also a great place to spend an afternoon after class! “Madrilenos” seem to love to be outside, so rain or shine there is always a unique energy found in the park.

Also traveling throughout Spain has been just as amazing. In my travels I have experienced beautiful beaches in Cadiz, breathtaking mountain landscapes and Castles in Cuenca and Segovia and the most amazing paella I’ve ever had in Valencia! One of the hardest things to part with will definitely be the Paella!

 

 

 

 

 

This being my first time abroad, I have done a lot of adjusting. Madrid is definitely very different from New York (no clothes dryers anywhere!) but what makes Madrid unique is why I love it most. Tomorrow my roommates and I depart for spring break expanding our travels outside of Spain to see more of Europe. Granted, I’m sure each city I visit will find some way to enchant and blow me away, I know that at the end of the trip, I’ll be ready to be back in Madrid—in our sleepy, quirky residential neighborhood “Conde de Casal” but home nonetheless.

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My name is Suzi Brown and I am a junior studying politics and Spanish in CAS. After studying in Buenos Aires during my fall semester, it is so amazing to have a second abroad experience in another, very different, Spanish-speaking country. As a politics and Spanish major, I was overwhelmed by the choice of classes and the different ways to complete my degree. I decided on three classes in Spanish, covering Surrealism, Cultural History of Spain and a politics class on Spain and the European Union, as well as a class taught in English on human rights. And when I’m not reading or writing for class, or getting to know more about Madrid, I keep up with internship applications for the summer term right around the corner. Using jobs posted on Wasserman’s Career Net, as well as those on Idealist and Intern Match, I have applied to quite a few listings and have started to hear back and interview with companies over Skype. It’s a little nerve wracking not to be in the city, especially when companies say they like to meet with their candidates in person, but I wouldn’t trade either one of these semesters abroad to make it to an interview in NYC, especially when Wasserman is so available and technology makes connecting so easy. But now to the true abroad experience…

Since I first arrived at NYU, I knew that I wanted to do two semesters abroad, and I knew I wanted to go to Argentina and Spain. I wanted to do this so I could (nearly) perfect my Spanish skills, immerse myself in two cultures with similarities and stark differences, and to live in two cities with opposing but shared histories: Spain, the ex-super power that conquered South America, and Argentina, the emerging country that, along with its neighbors, developed under the hands of their conqueror. And so, this semester, I once again find myself in a land of eating dinner late and going out even later, of speaking Spanish and drinking absurdly cheap wine, of quickly converting a new currency in my head, and doing an elaborate dance on the street to sidestep the remnants of the dogs that don’t get picked up after. But where Buenos Aires is sprawling and sometimes empty, Madrid is compact and full of people; where Buenos Aires is still building up their landscape, Madrid has settled into theirs, everything much older, boasting their long history.

         

Both cities have had an immense impact on me, but this blog post is about Madrid, so let me focus on a few things that make up the life of a Madrileño…

Ham. It’s pretty much a national obsession. After eating this meat forever, it has developed historical significance and has always been a safe meat to eat (aka there has never been Mad Pig Disease). There is also a hierarchy among the ham here, Jamon Ibérico being the best and most expensive, Jamon Serrano pulling in a close second, followed distantly by paleta, the stuff that people don’t like to talk about and that doesn’t even bare the name jamon. And just about any grocery store or cafeteria you walk into will house at least one pig’s leg dangling from the ceiling, waiting to be sliced up and serve to the next lucky customer.

An obsession with being outside. Undoubtedly, the weather we’re experiencing here in March is infinitely nicer than the freak snow storms my friends and family are suffering through in New York and New Jersey. But still, 50 degrees and raining usually does not call on me to sit outside under an umbrella meant for the sun, sipping on drinks and nibbling on tapas. And yet, that is exactly what I saw on a cold, rainy night in the center of the city. Which makes me even more excited for the warmer days to come, when we can take full of advantage of restaurants’ terrazas and rooftop bars and join the hordes of Madrileños that take to the streets at night, preferring to share some drinks on corners or right in the middle of the road, rather than gathering inside someone’s apartment. Even now, when the sun is shining, I find myself needing to take off my jacket at midday and aim my face at the glorious sun—strong from the altitude and unimpeded by any tall buildings. And in truth, with a beautiful park around the corner and plenty of plazas to stroll through, why not spend as much time outside as possible?

            

Churros con chocolate. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain this one. Fried dough dipped in thick, hot chocolate? Spain definitely knows how to do sweets.

             

I’m excited to come back to New York this summer after a year of living abroad, but I’m going to miss the surprises of new cities, the uncertainty of communicating in my second language, and the more leisurely pace that people live their lives, just a few thousand miles away.

Resource of the Week: Going Global

Resource Name: Going Global

Where to find it: You can find it on the home page of your NYU CareerNet under the News Feed section.

What it is: Going Global is a country-specific career and employment database containing constantly-updated information on topics such as: work permit/visa regulations, resume writing guidelines and examples, employment trends, salary ranges, networking groups and cultural/interviewing advice.

Who it is good for: Going Global is an essential tool for anyone pursuing employment opportunities in a foreign country.

Why you should use it: Packed with country-specific career information, this research tool provides you with expert advice and insider tips for finding employment opportunities at home and abroad. You can also access more than 400,000+ country-specific company profiles across all sorts of industries. Additionally, Going Global provides you with cultural advice, including communication styles, office protocols, negotiation styles, etc.

See the video below on the Global Advantage!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG95snSBAvg&list=UU9q7eKa7EbCHC-osaW-QGMw&index=4[/youtube]

 

What now, Wasserman? The Overseas Job Search

After studying abroad and traveling through Europe, I think I’d like to work abroad when I graduate. This seems a daunting task as job hunting is tough enough already. How do I search for jobs overseas? What now, Wasserman?

-Apprehensive Abroad

Dear Apprehensive,

While it may seem a herculean endeavor, finding work abroad is actually more feasible now than ever. First things first, you need to think long and hard about where you want to go. There is a lot to consider in deciding on a country to live and work in. Before getting on a plane with a stack of resumes, you need to first do extensive research on the country you are considering. A work permit is necessary to be legally employed, so you will need to research your chosen country’s policies ahead of time.

Make sure your resume is appropriate for the country you will be applying for jobs in. International resumes differ from domestic resumes and you need to ensure you are submitting an appropriate CV. Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to be certain it is the correct length and includes any additional information they may expect.

So you have your country picked out and your resume updated.. what now? Fortunately, the Wasserman Center has a vast array of resources available to help you find work abroad. Start by visiting the global resources on our website, or information and job listings for countries around the world. You can also access the GoingGlobal database through NYU CareerNet, which contains more than 80,000 pages of information from work visas to employment trends and everything in between. Ready to apply for that dream job now? Good luck! Buona fortuna! Bonne chance!