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Versatility, Cultural Connections & Adaptability: A REAC’s tell-all tale on international education

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

Guest Blogger Lewis Cardenas is Regional Educational Advising Coordinator for EducationUSA in South Asia, covering Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

What are the benefits of international exchange and education?

For me, the most significant benefits have been developing my intercultural and interpersonal skills. It has allowed me to become a better leader and approach critical thinking with a different lens.

Each country has its unique style of teaching. Studying abroad can help you expand your horizon by developing the capacity to adapt to various educational pedagogies.

This helps you become a better person because it exposes you to different management styles & personalities, thus making you more versatile in the workplace and your everyday interactions. You capitalize on enhancing your communications skills, building your confidence, curiosity, and adaptability.

Tell us a bit about your study abroad experience as a student

Over 20 years ago, I took part in an Education Abroad experience at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. In making just a critical choice in what now seems ages ago, I uncovered the focus of my graduate research, laid out a road map to my career, constructed the beginnings of long-enduring friendships, and explored cultural gems that still beckon from the other side of the world.

I ended up volunteering for the Australian Red Cross while I was there, and I participated in the Newcastle Ultimate Frisbee Club. Everybody in my hallway became a family. To this day, we still refer to ourselves as the B 1st Family.

The threads of my education abroad program in Australia remain woven into my daily life. I am lucky to work in a position that allows me to assist students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. Friends from Australia have now visited me on several occasions in the United States, and I recently went back for a mini 10-year reunion with my mates.

What does "International Education" mean to you as a professional working in a diplomatic mission/internationalizing higher education sector?

I work with a talented team of EducationUSA Advisers, diplomats, and international organizations that work daily to create access for students around South & Central Asia. Each of us has a unique role to play in creating that access. Ultimately, we all aim for the same more extensive picture of seeing more international students in our regions study in the United States of America. At the heart of what we do, we always remember the why? We know the positive impact international education has had on our lives. We want to create as many opportunities as possible to see more students domestically and abroad seize opportunities for global exchange.

What are your top tips for international students on the occasion of International Education Week (IEW 2021)?

Next week (15 to 19 November 2021), the world unites to put International Education at the forefront of its mission. Attend as many events as you can. Ask questions, take notes, and make a road map. If you miss out on next week, don't be discouraged. Know that International

Education is a 365 affair. Many people like EducationUSA are ready to assist you in finding out more information about how you can benefit from cultural and academic exchange, whether through short-term, full degree, or non-degree programs.

Take a look at the entire line up of events, activities and fun online competitions organized by Yashna Trust – EducationUSA Bangalore here.

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1 Comment

Very nice read...loved it.

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