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Volume 11 Edition 7: April 2012. Zachary Dayhuff, Editor

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Faculty and Staff!

New Video Highlights Study Abroad at UNCG

Study Abroad and Exchanges has recently produced an exciting new video to highlight and promote the exchange experience at UNCG. The video was largely the work of SAE staff member Nicola Van Straaten, who, with the help of Kaitlin Ritchie, Incoming Exchange Coordinator, and Lindsay Armistead, Study Abroad Coordinator, spent some time with UNCG exchange students from across the globe to get their take on study abroad and what the experience has meant to them. Van Straaten then edited the material into a brief and engaging outreach video.

Asked about why they chose to come to UNCG, students cited the quality of its academic programs, the pleasant campus environment, and the renowned North Carolina scenery. Once here, however, students discovered many things to love about international study, such as the amiability and diversity of the local community, and the rewarding experience of living in a new culture.

Chi Gava, a Zimbabwean student on exchange from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, featured her exposure to new cultures.  “I am able to interact with people from all walks of life… that’s what I love about it.” Rhys Johnson, a student from Hull University in England, described the benefits of international study emphatically: “The people, the people… The people are just great!”

Nicola, SAE Video Director

Study Abroad and Exchanges staff member Nicola Van Straaten, who produced SAE’s recent video to promote study abroad at UNCG.

Students found, too, that study abroad had helped them to grow personally. “I learned that I enjoy immersing myself in … new situations,” said Helen Rochford, who came to UNCG from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.

Van Straaten also says she learned from the experience of making the video. “I learned a lot as I went,” she says, “like to make sure the area was quiet [and] to be relaxed with the person I was talking to, but not to make noises or agree with them as they spoke, because if I wanted to use that footage there would be my voice in the clip.” Altogether, Van Straaten became very enthusiastic about the process, and she found it difficult to decide which material to leave out of the video. “We probably interviewed about ten people, and cutting that down was difficult, because people’s stories were interesting and I sort of became attached to certain tales and anecdotes…” Van Straaten notes that she “came to terms with” the rich footage that did not make the final cut.

An international student herself, Van Straaten was an apt choice to produce a video on the benefits of study abroad. After growing up in Durban, South Africa, she moved to Cape Town to study Dance, and eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Dance, Choreography, and English Literature. She is currently pursuing postgraduate studies in Dance at UNCG. After she finishes her studies this year, she plans to live and work in Cape Town and hopefully travel some more before she returns to the United States, or potentially Europe, to pursue a Master’s degree in Fine Arts or Choreography.

But she’s keeping her options for the future flexible; “That plan changes weekly!” she insists.

To learn more about the benefits of Study Abroad at UNCG, watch the video at: http://www.youtube.com/embed/Urd6BktOWGU

Previous editions:
- Vol 11, ed 6: March 2012
- Vol 11, ed 5: January/February 2012
- Vol 11, ed 4: December 2011
- Vol 11, ed 3: November 2011
- Vol 11, ed 2: October 2011
- Vol 11, ed 1: September 2011

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