You know when you go to an interview and the hiring committee ask you to predict the future! The typical question: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? Honestly, can we even answer this question? Don’t get me wrong I have asked this question and I have answered this question. We’re my predictions accurate? I don’t remember 😊
Today I was trying to make my way through my to-do list when I got a notification on my phone. It was one of those were you see a photo “on this days” years ago. I looked at it and it show me that:
10 years ago today I was hooded by my doctoral advisor, Dr. Ginger Watson and I celebrated my earning my doctoral degree (I actually had a bunch of revisions and didn’t really graduate until the end of summer but who cares I still partied like a rockstar!). I remember my mom and my brother came to celebrate with me and that was pretty awesome.
5 years ago I was in Zurich, Switzerland leading a study abroad program with primarily undergraduate students and an alumni of the Instructional Design and Technology program from The University of Tampa. My co-coordinator Merrie was honestly the best! I don’t know how I would have finished this trip without Merrie! 💖
Reflection on this post:
So I am now, 10 year later from getting hooded, wrapping up my first year as a faculty member at The University of Tennessee Knoxville. I am working on a research plan with my first doctoral student. I am conducting research with two additional graduate students. I am the graduate coordinator of the learning, design, and technology doctoral program and we are in the process of welcoming a nice group of doctoral students this fall (very exciting!). I am also working on other research and writing projects.
If you had asked me 10 years ago or even 5 years ago, where I was planning to be in ____ number of years, I do not know if I would have even been to come up with my current life. As we say in Panama: la vida es loca y a cualquiera le toca!
Final thoughts and message from our official study abroad blogger: Marquis Holley. Love how Marquis captured complete and totally random moments, objects, scenes, and people from our study abroad experience in his photos. I think his writing and images show his background in communication and instructional design. It fills my heart with joy to know that this short experience will have a lasting effect in him as a participant in the program.
It’s hard to believe, but this week will mark two weeks since we’ve all returned from Switzerland. What a journey it was. Here are a few more images to provide a closure of sorts for our trip. We’re truly thankful for you following us, as well as your commentary. Please know that education was the reason we as students decided to study abroad, and we learned more than we could imagine on this trip. Special thanks to the University of Tampa for allowing this trip to take place. Furthermore, the Instructors that accompanied us during this trip are to be commended. Much appreciation to Mr. Frederic Palazy, CIS representative, as a true help and guide during our stay here. And to all of the teachers, students, administrators, and people we met on this trip, much love and gratitude to you for making it one to remember for a lifetime. Once…
Jetlag sucks and it is important to take it into consideration. When I do this again, I will plan to have very light activities on the first few days.
It is very different to travel with students that have a high interested on the theme of the program compared to students have some interest. In the group with had a 75% of students with very high interest on the theme of the program. The other 25% were participating mostly for the experience.
The leadership team of this program are very active individuals that had no problem been on-the-go. It can be challenging to accommodate for others who do things like “nap” or are not very active. If you want to participate in this type of programs or recruit students to participant, make them aware that to make the most out of the experience you will be spending very little time in the hotel room posting on Snapchat.
Just like with any group, there are students who tend to be more vocal. Therefore, they tend to drive the direction of the group. It is important to give the other students options or opportunities to voice their opinions/choices.
In making connections or plans to meet with schools, university research groups, or others, it is at times difficult to know how casual or formal the visit will be. Asking for as much information as possible before hand will help give the students context.
I cannot say enough about my assistant coordinator for the program: Merrie Tankersley. I already miss her! Having a good traveling partner to bounce ideas will make your study abroad program an amazing experience. Merrie was an absolutely joy to be around. I will miss our time together in Switzerland and I look forward to our experience next year in Belgium.
We organized most of the logistics through a study abroad service provider, CISabroad. As part of that arrangement, we had a on-site representative all the time. We met at the airport in Zurich after arriving in Switzerland, his name is Fred. Fred was honestly the best. He was very resourceful, friendly, and extremely patient.
The weather was just perfect. We would have made the best out of rainy days in Switzerland but I am glad that every day we were blessed with good weather.
Although there were some challenges with group dynamics, I was very happy to see that the five girls in our group grew so close together. They were also very inclusive of our male student. Overall, I am glad we had each of them in the group.
Aside from an strain ankle and a student with a cold, we had no major incidents during the trip. All students were always on time, respectful of the program rules, and participated in all required activities.
Switzerland is a beautiful country (and pretty much that sums it all). Our side trip to France was a treat. I strongly recommend visiting Colmar, France.
I am EXTREMELY thankful to every individual and organization that welcomed us during our visit in Switzerland. I plan to spend a good chunk of my pre-departure time at the Zurich airport writing thank you emails.
I am sure there are other comments I want to write about this experience, but this is all I have for now. Here are some of the pictures I captured:
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