Eagles Abroad Essay Contest – enter to win! 

Southern Miss is proud to offer study abroad programs that span the globe and help build international understanding through education. We are excited to offer the first “Eagles Abroad Student Essay Contest” as part of our International Education Week festivities this year.

Think back to what studying abroad did for you. Before, during and after your experience – you changed. Your experience produced powerful insight into differences among world cultures, and a deeper understanding of your own. By sharing your story, you help prospective students, their family members, professors and others in the community know, feel and appreciate the importance of studying abroad.

We want to hear your story about what you experienced when you studied abroad. Please read our contest eligibility criterea, deadlines and tips for how to write your essay below. We look forward to reviewing your entry!


  • Southern Miss undergraduate or graduate students who have participated in study abroad are eligible.
  • Essays must be no more than 750 words.
  • NOTE: Any and all submissions to the Eagles Abroad Student Essay Contestmay be used at the discretion of the Office of International Programs for promotional purposes. By submitting your entry, you agree that your essay can be used in this way. Winners will also be asked to supply photos from their study abroad experience.

Essays should be submitted online by Sunday, November 27, 2012, at midnight.

Essays will be judged by a committee of volunteers from the university and community. Winning essays will be announced Monday, Dec. 5 and featured on our website, blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Please do not complete any part of the online form until you are ready to fully submit your essay. You may upload a copy of your essay via our online form. When you submit your entry you will be emailed a copy of your submission to confirm its receipt.

Should you have any questions during this process, please contact Jessica Lamb.

  • 1st Place will recieve a $50 gift card to Barnes & Nobles bookstore, the opportunity to waive the deposit fee on a study abroad program, and their essay will be shared across campus and in the community.
  • 2nd Place will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes & Nobles bookstore, and their essay will be shared across campus and in the community.
  • Tips for writing your essay

Be thoughtful and carefully compose your story. Check carefully for grammatical errors and stop by the Writing Centerin Cook Library 112 for assistance. When composing your essay, consider the following questions:

  • Was there a particular encounter that surprised you while abroad? What did you think and feel? How did you react? Would the experience have been different at home? How and why?
  • Did you attend or participate in a unique social aspect, event or practice of your host country? Think about social holidays, festivals, national events, business or everyday practice.
  • How have you gained a new perspective for your major/minor/country/life?
  • How is life conducted differently in your host country? What social or business customs stood out to you?
  • Did you experience any culture or re-entry shock?
  • How long has it been since your experience? Has your perspecitve changed with time?
  • Did you learn any valuable lessons while abroad? Are there any lessons you would pass on to students considering studying abroad? (lessons about eating, traveling, making friends, dealing with bureaucracy, etc.)

Taken from today’s USA Today College article:

How not to be the ugly American student when you study abroad
By Katie Mussman

So you’re going on a field study or study abroad? Congratulations!

You’re in for a treat, but don’t be saying bon voyage too quickly. While educational trips abroad can be very culturally enriching, there are several steps that a student must take to ensure smooth and safe travel while representing their universities.

A lot of students think about seeing the Mona Lisa or drinking a beer legally. What most students do not think about as they move in and out of the United States is that they are representing their university and their country as a whole. It is important to make a good impression on everybody and crucial to make smart decisions, from obtaining traveling documents early to respecting cultural norms and laws.

The most important part of preparing to leave on your study abroad is…[read more]

Enter to win an Apple iPad2!

There’s still time to enter the Study Mississippi Study Abroad Student Photo Contest! The deadline has been extended to November 6, 2012!

Mississippi institutions value education abroad. The newly established StudyMississippi Consortium is introducing the “Study Abroad Photo Contest” to recognize and appreciate students in the state of Mississippi for their international experiences whilst on a Mississippi Institution study abroad program or whilst independently traveling outside of the United States and international students studying in Mississippi institutions.
This award will recognize students for their exceptional experiences abroad, which they will showcase through photography. Upload your photo to the StudyMississippi Student Photo Contest Flickr group by October 30, 2011.The ‘Study Abroad Photo Contest’ winner will be announced at the culmination of International Education Week 2011 on November. 17; they will also be recognized at a public ceremony, and will receive an Apple iPad2.
What are the eligibility criteria?
  • Students entering the contest must be enrolled in a Mississippi school, college or university.
  • Students should submit photos taken abroad while attending a Mississippi school, college or university’s study abroad program or while independently traveling or living outside of the United States.
  • International students can submit a photo that best portrays student life or cultural experiences during their studies in a Mississippi school, college or university.
  • Entries must be an original work taken by the individual submitting the photo
  • Entries must include the student’s name, the university where they are enrolled, title of the photo, country/location of where the photo was taken and specify if it was during a Mississippi institution study abroad program.
  • Entries containing illegal substance abuse may not be accepted and all entries must be appropriate for viewers of all ages.
  • Images cannot be digitally enhanced or altered in any way.
What is the process of entering the ‘StudyMississippi Student Photo Contest’?
  • Each student can submit a maximum 3 photos. Select photos you think best represents your experience studying abroad. Or one that you feel portrays the ultimate cultural experience abroad – feel free to be creative!
  • Upload your photo to the ‘StudyMississippi Student Photo Contest’ Flickr group by October 30, 2011.
  • You must join Flickr to add your entry to the group, and be sure to include the following information within the title/description:
  • Title of photo
  • Where/when was it taken?
  • Your name and home institution
  • Feel free to explain briefly why you selected the photo
  • Please email a copy of your submission to jessica.lamb@usm.edu with “StudyMississippi Photo Contest” as the subject.
How is the winner selected?
The contest winner will be selected through an online public vote. Voting will be open between November 1-14, 2011
Contact Information: For questions or troubleshooting contact Jessica Lamb at jessica.lamb@usm.edu.
StudyMississippi Consortium
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The above information was copied from the StudyMS facebook page.

Snippets from ‘The Student Printz’ 1 September 2011

Students seize overseas opportunities by Jonathan Andrews

There are a variety of study abroad programs available to those interested in expanding their horizons by studying in foreign countries.

Brittany Murphy, a senior history major, spent nearly three weeks in Vietnam as part of a study abroad program.

“I think that it’s more than just a gaining of knowledge, it’s a gaining of experience, an eye opener and, in my case, a heart opener,” Murphy said. “If a student is skeptical about studying abroad, I’d tell them that it would change their mind, their heart and their soul,” she said.

Jessica Nester also spent some time abroad, but chose [to] be a part of the program in Spain.

Nester, whose study abroad trip was her first outside the country explained that being in a place where everyone speaks a different language can seem daunting at first, but having others in the same situation, like fellow students in a study abroad program, can help ease the transition.

Our first letter from Emily Simmons – at The Hague, Holland

Hello Dear Lady,

Things are just great here, of course! Let’s see… It is chilly already, borderline cold for us M’sippians. It doesn’t rain literally ALL the time, just seventy-five percent of the time. But not to worry, it isn’t a depressing, sad rain. It’s more like a artsy, moody, poetic rain; classic European moroseness, or anyway that’s how I’ve framed it for myself. SO many internationals, heavy on the Canadians, Americans, and Aussies. I guess the English-but-not-England thing is a big draw for them… I already have made friends with a guy from Florence, a girl from Vienna and a gal from St. Petersburg. So, basically, I’m set for travel!

I’m thinking of jetting off to Portugal while it’s warm and sunny there, I could use some Vitamin D. Lisbon has been on my list for the longest time. Probably weekend after next, as there are still sights unseen nearby. Dylan says hello, he went to an Arcade Fire concert in Amsterdam spur-of-the-moment last night with one of his roomies. We can do things like that, see  🙂

The main thing I have absorbed about The Netherlands thus far is that the people are universally friendly. Not normal, hospitable, polite friendly, I mean truly helpful, jovial, and open. Strangers in the street are happy to help, advise, point in the right direction or just chat. The city is very accustomed to hosting a lot of international residents, and pretty much everyone I’ve met has known where Mississippi is! The people seem happy to have foreigners around, and I’ve met a lot of shopkeepers and restaurant owners who are ex-pats themselves. My coffee guy (here five days and I already have a morning coffee guy) is from Portland; he fell in love with a Dutch gal and moved here five years ago. Sweet isn’t it 🙂 The international vibe means great food too. So far I’ve had a perfect quiche (tasted like Paris), an English breakfast (with a pot of Earl Grey, mind you), really good Mexican (can’t usually find that in Europe, eh?) the best Chai of my life, and an awesome Turkish kebab dinner (made vegetarian especially for me, they were so sweet).

I wanted to come to The Hague because it is such an internationally important city for global peace and justice. One of the four main branches of the UN is located here, the International Court of Justice, which includes the court where war crimes are tried. I think it is especially exciting to be here at this time, with the current state of world events. I read a news article just this morning, calling for Gaddafi to be taken alive when he is found, so that he can face his charges of crimes against humanity here in The Hague. There are a great many NGOs and relief agencies that have headquarters here, and since I hope to one day work for some kind of human rights organizations, this seemed like the perfect place for me to spend a semester of my studies. It was an opportunity to perfect to pass up.