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  1. #11
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    I hope you enjoy Finland. My mom is from there and I used to go a lot when I was younger. I love it, though the Finns are reserved, but that's not all bad. Enjoy the forum too!
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  2. #12
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    YES, unrepentant introverts absolutely do study abroad!! I am an INFJ as well, and my Introversion/Extroversion scale is all the way to the "I" side. I studied abroad in France for a semester during my undergrad career, and I am now a study abroad adviser at my alma mater.

    A few words of advice: The hardest part for introverts when studying abroad is, obviously, getting out in the community and getting to know people. It was really difficult for me because so much emphasis was placed on meeting French friends, going out to clubs/bars/parties, etc. I kind of felt down on myself because I didn't make any French friends while I was there (though I made a couple of close fellow American friends), but as I've grown up I realized that I didn't necessarily miss out. I simply interacted with the culture in a different way. For instance, I went to the same small grocery store a couple of times a week and got to know the store owner/manager there, I went to the same cafe and interacted with the staff there, etc. For me, it's much easier to talk to someone when I have a "reason" to do so, like ordering coffee or whatnot, rather than just trying to strike up a conversation out of the blue with a classmate. And I don't enjoy clubbing or going to bars or parties. And you know what, that's okay.

    It's important to know your limitations and comfort zone, and make it a goal to push yourself a little bit outside of that comfort zone, but don't make the goal so big that you it overwhelms you and you give up. For instance, for a strong introvert like me, it would have been totally unrealistic for me to, say, talk to one new classmate every day. For a strong E, that probably seems ridiculously easy. But for me, it was a reasonable goal to make a little small talk beyond "I'll have a small coffee" at the cafe when I am already there, or to ask the grocer a question or talk to him briefly beyond paying for my items.

    It's also okay to do things by yourself! Of course nighttime isn't the best time to do that, and you have to think of your safety, but during the day I would often go sit in public park, go to a cafe or museum or whatever by myself and just people-watch, read a French newspaper, look at French art, etc. OBSERVATION is a great way to get to know a culture, and introverts are great at it. I felt like I had a lot deeper insights than some of my classmates who spent most of their time going to bars and stuff.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  3. #13
    Senior Member Idealatious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevlisZero View Post
    Hi, Idealatious! You seem like a cool person. I'm actually planning on studying abroad as well sometime soon, perhaps to Japan. And I like your avatar!
    Why thank you! And yes, I am unbelievably cool; however did you guess?? ...Kidding. Err, I certainly can't claim my avatar represents me in any way - It was a part of a silly "cats representing the four humors/temperaments/elements" series. I am definitely not Sanguine... But it's the only amusing/not horrible thing I've drawn recently, so it'll do for now.

    Good luck with your study plans; Japan sounds amazing! Or anywhere really, just go for it. When (what semester of what year, that is) do you plan on going?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randwulf View Post
    I'm an unrepentant introvert and studying abroad is one of my fondest dreams Traveling in general is something I love to do.

    Actually, I've been learning German from books and audio tapes for over a year so that I can study in Germany oder Switzerland.
    Ooh, that's quite impressive. Much respect; you're definitely more prepared than I was/am! I decided I was sick of the USA, randomly picked a good and inexpensive study abroad program that no one else was choosing, and was on my way.

    I haven't traveled much at all really, much to my dismay. Which is one reason why I will passionately and naively (please pretend there are little dots over that "i") recommend studying abroad! ...Studying in a second language is probably an experience, I have to say. I know some of the students here studying in English get confused when lecturers speak quickly. But not to discourage you! I kind of wish I knew a second language well enough to immerse myself in learning it, so what you're planning is amazing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    I know this is a long shot, but I've seen stranger things happen..
    I have a friend studying abroad in Finland right now.. You wouldn't happen to be from Florida would you?
    I'm afraid not... But wow, someone from Florida has got to be loving or hating this weather! Which university? If it's the University of Tampere, I should meet him/her! But alas, I've only met 2 students from CA, 1 from GA, 1 from HI, umm... I think that's all! There aren't many North Americans here except us few special snowflakes, haha.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idealatious View Post
    Good luck with your study plans; Japan sounds amazing! Or anywhere really, just go for it. When (what semester of what year, that is) do you plan on going?
    I have no idea. I would like to go sometime within the next year or two, but it'll come down to how soon I can convince my parents to let me study abroad. I get the feeling they don't realize how important it is for someone with a linguistics major (and studying several languages) to actually experience immersion. It's not just something I want to do, it's pretty much necessary to become fluent.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Idealatious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I hope you enjoy Finland. My mom is from there and I used to go a lot when I was younger. I love it, though the Finns are reserved, but that's not all bad. Enjoy the forum too!
    Thank you and good to meet you! I have seen you often in the forums while I was lurking about. Finns are quite reserved indeed, but I still smile at them in the streets if our eyes meet; they probably know I'm American! I will try my best to learn from Finland and be a model citizen in the forums!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    YES, unrepentant introverts absolutely do study abroad!!...
    Thank you so much for your insights! It is amazing that you are now a study abroad advisor - I hope that when I return, I can either help people study abroad or help international students at my university. You are right; partying is a huge part of studying here for most people. Some of my roommates are partying five times a week! And don't get me started on their drunken antics. I am also quite the introvert - tried going to a few parties just to make sure I wouldn't spontaneously transform into a party-person, but can't see the appeal.

    I will do some more people-watching - you have given me some good ideas of things to do! I just love exploring Tampere and trying to figure out Finnish signs, although I really should venture into shops more. I plan on attending clubs (not that kind of club! ) to meet some intellectually-minded students. I actually got to have conversations about politics with a few Finns at a debate club - and me, debating with strangers, is pretty astounding in itself.

    (Also, I confess that I absolutely love walking around at night, especially by these lovely lakes, but I assure you I am careful and in well-lit places!)

    Quote Originally Posted by RevlisZero View Post
    I have no idea. I would like to go sometime within the next year or two, but it'll come down to how soon I can convince my parents to let me study abroad. I get the feeling they don't realize how important it is for someone with a linguistics major (and studying several languages) to actually experience immersion. It's not just something I want to do, it's pretty much necessary to become fluent.
    You are absolutely correct, hmm... Here is my suggestion - maybe 6 months before the application deadline, research, research, research - choose a specific program, plan everything you have to do to apply, budget, list all the necessary costs, familiarize yourself with the timeline, even be sure you've preemptively asked professors for letters of recommendation. And if money is an issue, learn all about offered scholarships.

    And then present it to your parents, as well as your reasons for studying abroad, in a very confident way. ("I've already learned this, did this, am preparing for this, oh and *when* I go to Japan..." instead of *if* I go, haha!) That's what I did, but in a compressed time period. Of course, your parents may not be like mine, they were pretty okay with it... but it would show them you are serious. But you have plenty of time to prepare; don't worry too much!

  6. #16
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Hell yes and anyone visiting Ireland I will show you around. The whole country is my backyard.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idealatious View Post
    You are absolutely correct, hmm... Here is my suggestion - maybe 6 months before the application deadline, research, research, research - choose a specific program, plan everything you have to do to apply, budget, list all the necessary costs, familiarize yourself with the timeline, even be sure you've preemptively asked professors for letters of recommendation. And if money is an issue, learn all about offered scholarships.

    And then present it to your parents, as well as your reasons for studying abroad, in a very confident way. ("I've already learned this, did this, am preparing for this, oh and *when* I go to Japan..." instead of *if* I go, haha!) That's what I did, but in a compressed time period. Of course, your parents may not be like mine, they were pretty okay with it... but it would show them you are serious. But you have plenty of time to prepare; don't worry too much!
    Oh man, that sounds hard. As a perceiving type, all that detail-oriented planning is certainly not my strong point, but I'll try. Thanks for the advice!

  8. #18
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idealatious View Post

    I will do some more people-watching - you have given me some good ideas of things to do! I just love exploring Tampere and trying to figure out Finnish signs, although I really should venture into shops more. I plan on attending clubs (not that kind of club! ) to meet some intellectually-minded students. I actually got to have conversations about politics with a few Finns at a debate club - and me, debating with strangers, is pretty astounding in itself.

    (Also, I confess that I absolutely love walking around at night, especially by these lovely lakes, but I assure you I am careful and in well-lit places!)
    No problem, I love my job but one of my pet peeves of the study abroad industry is that the general culture is very extrovert-driven, and I think we sometimes set students up to feel like failures if they don't meet 5 new best friends while abroad. That's an unrealistic expectation for some people-- I've met two close friends TOTAL since high school, so i'm not sure how I'd have been expected to meet someone and become that close in the period of one semester.

    Joining a club sounds like a great way to meet people-- good for you! And I'm glad I've given you some helpful insights.

    (I walked alone at night, too, but the adviser in me won't let me recommend it )
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

    My blog:
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    Wordpress: http://introvertadventures.wordpress.com/

  9. #19
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Sorry introverts, but what the hell are you doing abroad if you're having trouble meeting people? What was your motivation for goin there in the first place?? I absolutely cannot understand this mindset.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  10. #20
    Senior Member giegs's Avatar
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    There's more to travel than the people you'll meet, as I'm sure you know. Just think, for a moment, of the places you'll go!

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