On September 27, the Study Abroad Returnee Contact (SARC) program held their first internal event! While getting to know each other over sushi, we invited two CPS Community Engagement Advocates (including our very own Peer Advisor, Praveena Fernes), to lead us in discussing cultural humility and reverse culture shock. The Community Engagement Advocates are student leaders trained to facilitate dialogues around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and help foster a campus culture of inclusion and empathy. Working with CEA's during this event allowed us to delve deeply into our experiences abroad and reflect on the privileges we had, the challenges we encountered and the lessons we learned.
Studying abroad not only gives students a new perspective on the world, but also a new awareness about themselves. Whether it is understanding one’s identity further or reaching a new level of independence, our students discussed the ways in which studying abroad has changed their academic, professional, and personal lives. The experience of studying abroad is like no other, and the program participants appreciated the time and space to reflect. Posting Instagrams and telling stories to friends back home is one thing, but we found that diving deeper into our relationships and struggles abroad brought new meaning to our abroad memories.
Does creating insights from your travels sound appealing to you? Are you interested in speaking to a SARC or serving as a SARC yourself? Check our website!