Communication and Traveling are Key Tips to Success Study Abroad

Most of the students encounter difficult things such as language barrier, culture shock and adjusting to a new country when they experienced study abroad. These difficulties are depending on people and countries, but there are two tips to have a great life in the new country.

Fighting with Foreign Language and Using English

Language barrier is the biggest issue for most of the American students during the studying abroad. According to the Pew Research Center, there are no national requirements to study foreign languages in schools in the United States.

Emily Burns, a senior student at University at Albany who study English and Japanese studied at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan in fall 2015. She said she had struggles about the language during her life in Japan.

“Japanese and English are so different. Reading Japanese characters was the most difficult thing for me. Speaking is also kind of difficult issue. If I went to restaurant or store, they ask to understand me? Language barriers were difficult for me when I go around the city by myself.”


Ms. Burns was in the Kansai Gaidai University, Hirakata, Osaka, Japan.

On the other hand, Teah Sisti, a communication and psychology student at University at Albany did not huge language problems when she studied abroad in Florence, Italy. “Not in Italy, Florence specifically, so many people speak English there.”

She took four classes at the university in Florence, and she was able to take classes which are not required to speak Italian.

She said, “One was a cultural class, the second one is photography class, and other two I’m actually singer so I studied opera. All of the opera is Italian. My professor did speak English to me, but she taught me Italian words. Overall my classes were primary in English.”


Ms. Sisti was in Florence, Italy.

Most of Europe countries have a national requirement to learn a foreign language, especially English. In Italy, where Ms. Sisti studied abroad, students need to study at least two foreign languages, according to Pew Research Center.

This is why she did not feel any language difficulties. Otherwise, many Japanese people are not good at speaking English. Foreign people need to speak basic Japanese when they travel to Japan.

Homesick? Enjoy New Place?

Transition to the country is another difficult issue for international students. Most of the international students miss their family, friends, foods and things in their home country. Then they will encounter culture shock. However, it depends on people.

“Adjusting to a new country was hard for me. I’ve never been out of America; I’ve never been ways from my family before. I especially missed America during the thanksgiving holiday. But I tried walking around and meeting new people to get to use to it,” Ms. Burns said. She experienced culture shock during her studying abroad in Japan.

However, Ms. Sisti enjoyed the differences between the US and Italy and she did not want to go back to the US.

“The most unexpected thing was that it was easy to transition to Italy. People usually suffer from culture shock, but I loved it! I enjoyed hanging out with local Italian people. That was really cool,” Ms. Sisti said.


Ms. Sisti was in Florence, Italy. It was taken in the very beginning of her study abroad.

“When I came to Albany for the first day as a freshman here, I cried like a baby. When I was in abroad, it was different to be here. I sure miss home, but I was surprised it was not a serious problem when I was in Italy.”

Important Two Tips For All Students Who Studies Abroad

Ms. Burns and Ms. Sisti experienced differently in different countries, but there are two same points that they experienced about enjoying the different culture.

  1. communicating with local people
  2. traveling around the place

These two points are important things to have great studying abroad experiences.

When you are studying abroad and you have difficulties with language, talking to local people is one suggestion to solve the language problem. They probably help you to understand the language.

Communication has other benefits. “I met with new people every day. It was fun for me. My dorm was kind of like an international house,” Ms. Burns said. The ways of communication are different from their home country, but it is one of the ways to have fun in a different culture.

Moreover, traveling is also great opportunities for studying abroad to get to know about the country and its culture. “I went to Kyoto to visit temples. It was amazing,” Ms. Burns said.


Ms. Burns was in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Ms. Sisti also traveled around the Italy and other countries in Europe such as France, Netherland, Spain and Greece.


Ms. Sisti was in Barcelona, Spain during her trip around Europe

The purpose of studying abroad actually depends on people. But communicating with local people and traveling are important to overcome culture shock and enjoy the life of studying abroad.


Enjoy the life as a Ph.D. student and Look for the great future – Catherine Dumas, a Ph.D. student at University at Albany


Catherine Dumas, a Ph.D. student majoring Informatics will receive the Ph.D. degree from University at Albany, State University of New York. She researched in her field of informatics, E-Petitioner system and data using data mining analysis and social network analysis and taught several courses there. She attended the College of Saint Rose for the bachelor of arts in English, and she started studying informatics at University at Albany for her master’s degree.


She originally thought to be an academic librarian. “At for first few program, it was an information environment,” she said. She got really interested in all of the research can be done in that program. She changed her mind from the academic librarian to the researcher. Then she finds a Ph.D. program at University at Albany, and she decided to pursue the degree.


She really enjoys being in the informatics community at University at Albany. People, like my fellow Ph.D. students, the community it’s really enjoyable. We all have same struggles and challenges. “I can have all support system here,” she said.


Another enjoyable thing for her is the conference to present her research. Ms. Dumas said, “I went to China and that was amazing. I can get to know people in my field all over the world. It is really cool. It makes her possible in terms of making connections, seeing them another conference, researching with them or collaborate other projects.”


Ms. Dumas is still choosing her career after she received the degree. She thinks that academia and industry both have a great opportunity for her. “Academia would be more freedom because basically I gonna doing I research. And I enjoy teaching. In Industry, everything moves and happens quickly. That’s exciting and cool.” She is looking for jobs from both sides. She will apply for jobs after January.

Providing Useful Information with Beautiful Pictures – Yukinobu Tano

Yukinobu Tano, a Japanese journalist and an editor-in-chief at BLOGOS which is one of biggest online news media in Japan, has run his own personal blog for three years. He has gotten more than 400,000 PV every month. As of May 2016, he has over 422,600 PV and 3,963 twitter followers.

He started his career as a radio director, working for Nippon Broadcasting System, one of the biggest radio company in Japan from 2000 to 2008. In 2008, he changed his job to Nico-nico live, where he worked as a director for live broadcasting. After two years, he changed his job again and started working at Livedoor Co.,Ltd. It is at that moment when he began his current job at BLOGOS. In 2013, he changed his position to the journalist at LINE NEWS until finally achieving the goal of editor-in-chief at BLOGOS on Oct. 1st, 2016.

The name of his blog title is Tanocchi-no-blog. (

He mainly introduces the best foods in Japan but focuses mostly in Tokyo. Among his other interests include reporting on travels using low-cost carrier airlines, especially Jetstar Airways, and Japanese social problems such as overworking and radio industries. Most of his reports are based on his real experiences. He works weekdays and travels on the weekend. He often conduct day-trips using low-cost carrier airlines.

“I was surprised at the price of the flight tickets. We usually need more ¥10,000 using Shinkansen, but LCC allows us to go somewhere from ¥5,000,” Mr. Tano said.

The reason why he writes a blog is that he wants blog audiences to have a better life. It is from his real travel experiences. When we travel to a place for the first time, we are most likely confused about many things such as how to go to the airport terminals and where is the good places to eat before boarding.

Also, we want to get this information before we travel. He communicates these things with beautiful pictures taken by him to the blog audiences. He wants people to prevent failures when they travel or work.

“Great pictures and blog post titles are very important issues to expand the blog and build brands of my blog,” Mr. Tano said.

Many people decide to read the article based on the title. If the title is not clear, people may not be interested and not read it. As a result, the blog audiences may decrease. Therefore, he said he studied about the search engine optimization (SEO).

Thanks to it, when we googled “ジェットスター,” meaning Jetstar Airways, in Japanese, his blog will appear on the third.


He also emphasizes about pictures on the blog post and tweets. “I often change pictures between featured image of the blog and its tweet. For example, when I wrote a blog about the great steak restaurant in Tokyo. The featured image would be the overview of the steak. But I will use another picture such as a cross-sectional view of the steak. Why do I use it? It is because we can see juicy steak from its view. It lets people click Retweet and favorite button. I always think what makes people happy.”

Mr. Tano’s next step for the blog is going to make short videos on Vine, a short video sharing service. “Videos should be popular in the next internet era. I think It can be interactive with blog audiences. For example, Tasty, the cooking video channel is really nice. I try to make and use videos when I introduce great foods and tips for travel.”

His first career was a radio director, but I do not think he tries to do a podcast and other audio services using his experiences in the radio industry. Mr. Tano said, “I think just only audio is not suitable for people who use the internet. Audio takes the time to understand the content.” That’s why he tries to write blogs with pictures and short videos.