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How To Study Abroad Without Needing a Passport

Studying abroad is really, really cool. You get to see new places, meet new people, and learn about a culture other than your own. I was lucky enough to have the privilege of studying abroad over winter break my junior year of college. Going to India for those four short weeks totally changed my life and my outlook on American culture. It’s been a while since I was in India, but I’ve still got a little nugget of wisdom I feel I need to share.

You can travel while standing still.

Wherever you go to school, or work, or play, there are people everywhere who have experiences different than yours. Maybe they’re from another country. Maybe they have different political views than you do. Whatever the case may be, the point I’m trying to make here is that it’s important to surround yourself with people who are different than you. So often we cling to the familiar and only associate with people who have backgrounds similar to our own. I’m not saying we have to ditch all our friends, but I am saying that we need to really open our minds.

In my opinion, where I went to school, international students were not treated very well. When I was in India, I was extremely grateful to have local students to show me around. We were assigned ‘buddies,’ and they would bring us around their friends, even on the weekends when they didn’t have to. Why don’t American students do that? We have so much to learn from those students. They come from another country. Befriending someone from another culture only expands your knowledge. It shouldn’t be embarrassing.

So here’s my challenge for you: talk to the people around you. Stop and marvel at the way they view the world. Ask about their home country. Ask what they think of yours. The result could really surprise you.

“How can I help you?”

I ask a lot of questions. If you’ve spent over 15 minutes with me, you know that to be true. Whether or not you think my questions are annoying, there’s one question I think we can all ask more. “How can I help you?” Here’s why:

1. It’s open ended. If you ask someone this question, you’re not giving him or her an opportunity to say “no.” You’re assuming you can help and telling him or her that you’re already prepared to jump in.

2. It shows you care. If you ask this question to one of your employees, it’s a total win-win. Adding “how can I help you” in front of “finish this task by the deadline” says that you are willing to help, and that you want the task done. Your employee gets the opportunity to ask any questions necessary to complete the task, and you get to remind him or her to make it happen.

At this point you’re probably thinking that I have done some overthinking on this topic. You’re probably right. Keep reading.

3. It’s helpful. This reason is probably the most apparent of the three. But I think that us humans need to help each other more. Not that many people truly need help, but I’d venture to guess most people really appreciate being helped. Call me green, but I think taking time to help someone is an investment worth making.

So there you have it. What do you think? Do you have a go-to question that seems to work for you? Comment below, I like feedback!

Cheers to the weekend,

JP

Why This Site Exists

Hello. 

I wanted to formally introduce my site (reader, meet site. site, meet reader) and why it exists. As someone who always likes a project, I thought this site would be a good spot for me to practice coding a site (insert clapping noise here), and sharing any helpful tips on life that I deem to be worth sharing. Like these:

  • How to make your Résumé more beautiful
  • Commercials I totally dig and why
  • Company branding that makes me happy
  • Things that inspire me
  • Recent life-changing discoveries 
  • Food

Of course I’ll try to make it interesting, but bare with me. I’m no comedian. Subscribe anyway. 🙂 Thanks for reading, I’ll be back soon!

Be kind always,

JP

Ten (fun) Facts about JP

  1. My vice: Diet Coke.
  2. Fascinated by: company re-branding efforts. LA Clippers, you lose.
  3. Current TV show addiction: Shark Tank. If you haven’t seen it, please run to the nearest TV and watch an episode.
  4. Current resident of: Little Rock, AR
  5. Never been to: the circus
  6. Hidden talent: I played the piano for 13 years.
  7. Most recent amazing experience: last year, my parents and I spent two weeks exploring Switzerland. It was my first trip to Europe and it was gorgeous.
  8. Snack of choice: Peeps
  9. Music of choice: music old hippies like
  10. Newest hobby: golf