“Blind student helps others with disabilities study abroad”

“Blind student helps others with disabilities study abroad”

by Stephanie Brzezinski via “Lanthorn

Studying abroad is often encouraged at universities, but not to all students. Oftentimes, students with disabilities have a harder time organizing a trip abroad than their peers do. Juanita Lillie, a senior at Grand Valley State University who is legally blind, is working to change that.

After talking with friends and family, Lillie decided to travel to Costa Rica. The Spanish major spent the 2013 winter semester there earning credits and having fun. While studying abroad, she lived with a host family that she said is “like a second family to me.”

“As long as I told them what I needed, they would do anything,” Lillie said. “Everyone was willing to assist me. Everyone would help everyone.”

About a month ago, Lillie started researching study abroad opportunities for other students with disabilities. She found that there wasn’t a lot of information available on the topic so she decided to create her own site for students.

Lillie created the Facebook page “Abroad with Disabilities” to encourage more universities to have more inclusivity. The page can be found at www.facebook.com/DisabledStudentsAbroad.

She hopes the page will raise awareness at universities and increase recruitment, training and faculty advising for students with disabilities to study abroad.

“It is a platform to share experiences and resources,” Lillie said. “It allows students with disabilities to speak with other students with disabilities. The ultimate goal is to provide an open networking opportunity to students with disabilities despite the university they come to.”

She added that she hopes this project expands to other universities so that more students can access study abroad. She emphasized that it needs to be more diverse and inclusive of other disabilities, such as colorblindness and dyslexia.

Natalie Gomez, a GVSU Spanish professor and a friend of Lillie, also has a disability and traveled to Costa Rica. She met Lillie in their Spanish 410 class last fall and shared the idea to start researching study abroad for students with disabilities. The pair has been collaborating on the project since then.

“Our main goal is to create a network for student with disabilities interested in traveling abroad,” Gomez said. “This is an inclusive space where students can openly talk about their doubts, fears, experiences — anything pertaining to traveling abroad.”

The pair will be attending the  . . . .

“Tips for Preparing Teens for Overseas Travel This Summer”

“Tips for Preparing Teens for Overseas Travel This Summer”

via “Salem News

Teen traveling abroad

Encourage culturally sensitive and appropriate dress. For example, short shorts and tank tops don’t travel well in most developing countries.

A company that for over 30 years has delivered meaningful international travel experiences for teens offers tips for families sending their children internationally this summer.

“Health precautions, securing documents, packing and communications are at the top of every traveler’s list. There are so many things parents can do in advance of a trip to help things go smoothly,” says Scott von Eschen, President of Adventures Cross-Country (ARCC – http://www.adventurescrosscountry.com/).

Since 1983 Adventures Cross-Country has provided domestic and international cultural experiences through travel that combine service projects, adventure and sometimes language immersion for students ages 13 to 19.

The seasoned professionals at ARCC have combined the best tips and precautions they’ve given parents and teens over the past 30 years and offer this sage advice for the international traveler:


Health Precautions:

“Cost2travel.com Launched with Multiple Travel Tools”

“Cost2travel.com Launched with Multiple Travel Tools”

via “PR Web”

“Cost2travel website, which was recently launched in November, has drawn a growing amount of interest and visitors.

The website focuses on providing data about cost of travelling and living in various nations all over the world for global tourists, with price for essential products and services in these countries. The information on Cost2Travel is frequently updated by a team of local contributors from around the world, who ensure the cost data is latest and credible.

In addition, Cost2travel also supports users in drafting budgets for their trip with its budget planning tool, which contains anything from the major spend on flight and accommodation to the very little details such as internet fee.

One senior editor of Cost2travel spoke about the website with confidence: “The idea of online cost calculator is not new, but we are outstanding to others because we reach the lesser  . . . .”


“10 Travel Tips from HamletHub and Red Cross”

“10 Travel Tips from HamletHub and Red Cross”

by Tom Zareki via “HamletHub

Now that Christmas is behind us and the local weather is calling for a VERY sunny weekend and sunny skies right through New Year’s Day, remember there are still millions of Americans traveling in less-than-familiar locations. You may be one of those travelers, or be one car away from someone who is.

The HamletHub team wants to make sure you’re not involved in a travel accident, so using the vast information on the American Red Cross web site, we’ve collected TONS of information on safe travel, and have narrowed their many travel tips down to an easy-to-digest list.


When travelling, remember that nearly everything you touch has been touched by someone else: airplane arm rests, luggage, grocery bags, gas pump handles, door handles,  . . . .”


“Trip Tips: Perception Versus Reality on the Reconstructed Silk Road”

“Trip Tips: Perception Versus Reality on the Reconstructed Silk Road”

via “Indian Express

“I had a smile on my face as I strode across the tarmac of Samarkand airport, for I had arrived at last in the city I had toiled for four years to recreate as a novelist.

My expectations of seeing everything I had researched about one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world – it was founded in 700 B.C. by the greatest traders of the old Silk Road, the Sogdians – could hardly have been higher. . . .”


“12 Must-have Gifts for Students Studying Abroad”

“12 Must-have Gifts for Students Studying Abroad”

by Stacie Nevadomski Berdan

“With nearly 300,000 students studying abroad in 2012-2013, a new wave of students will depart on a much-anticipated adventure abroad right after the holidays in late December/early January. Two of my nieces will be among them – one a sophomore at Elon University, the other a freshman at Temple University. To help them choose their first study abroad program, I had already given them each a copy of my latest book, A Student Guide to Study Abroad, and I was inspired to go beyond the easy, even if always appreciated, gift of cash. So I complemented my own traveler’s experiences with research that included soliciting insight and ideas from the recent study abroad veterans who contributed to my book. With the gift-giving season now in full swing, consider giving that special student in your life a present they will find invaluable during their time abroad. Whether going abroad for a month, a year or somewhere in between, there’s something in the following list for every intrepid young traveler. . . .”