K Story Guide – SABSAA

LET’S TALK ABOUT your SABSAA experience:

SABSAA is a voluntary engagement opportunity for students who want to make a difference for their peers; it is all about collaboration between Study Abroad/Study Away students and the Center for International Programs. This Student Advisory Board identifies student concerns related to the study abroad experience, provides an open space for them to reflect and share diverse perspectives on certain situations, and leads in the creation of solutions that improve the overall experience for students.

LET’S TALK ABOUT the transferable skills acquired:

  1. Critical Thinking/Problem-Solving: When identifying a problem, you must also be able to consider potential solutions. SABSAA requires skill in tackling challenges like increasing student engagement in study abroad/away, providing an accurate picture of what to expect when studying abroad, and testing out new strategies related to pivoting to a virtual environment.
  2. Oral/Written Communications: SABSAA meetings require you to be a clear, accurate, and precise communicator because you are advocating for your peers. The ability to share your own study abroad/away story in a realistic way is necessary for interested students to gain an understanding of the benefits, challenges, and uncertainties related to studying abroad. As this board also seeks to provide a safe space for students to express concerns to campus leaders,
    maintaining appropriate levels of confidentiality when communicating, whether in writing, in person, or in a virtual space, is critical to sustaining trust amongst all
  3. Professionalism/Work Ethic: SABSAA requires the ability to manage and lead multiple meetings, schedule them considering time zone differences and bandwidth issues, all while balancing other life, work, and school commitments. Recognizing when you are in need of recalibration to avoid burnout translates to strong self-awareness, a skill employers seek in potential employees.
  4. Global/Intercultural Fluency: The act of studying abroad brings with it a cultural fluency that immerses you into the experience and requires you to exchange and experiment with new cultural ideas and perspectives. Recognizing different cultural norms and conventions from your own opens your mind, challenges
    your assumptions, and teaches you something new. You serve as a liaison, not only for your host sites but also for students who seek wisdom and guidance from someone with a lived cultural experience.
  5. Teamwork/Collaboration: While all members of SABSAA may have traveled abroad/away, not all have had the same experiences with the program. Thus, working together as a team requires you to listen to others, respect their unique backgrounds, and work together toward the common goal of enhancing the
    study abroad program for future students.
  6. Leadership: SABSAA is a voluntary organization, meaning you elected to be a part of it. Stepping up to lead a group of people charged with advocating for students is not for everyone. When students air grievances with the program or the institution, it is your strong leadership on this Board that respects their concerns and shares them with campus leaders in a thoughtful, solution-oriented manner.