Let Your Mind Wander
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A newsletter for study abroad returnees, highlighting stories, information, and events to inspire you to continue building on your international experience.
Did you know IAP has resources for students returning from study abroad? Check it out online. Join us for events like Global Cafe, International Trivia Night, and volunteering at the Study Abroad Fair (fall) or orientation events (fall/spring). Be in the know on international related opportunities and follow what young alumni have done after their study abroad in our monthly newsletter - Badgers Beyond Abroad.

Study Abroad Photo Contest

Share your study abroad experience by submitting your best snapshots into the IAP Study Abroad Photo Contest! Winning photos will be displayed on campus, featured in IAP promotional material, and winners will receive a canvas print of their image!

Vote for your favorite finalists on our Facebook page.

For more info and to submit photos online:
Contest open now through April 2
International Trivia Night
February 22
State Street Brats, 2nd Floor

Brush up on your global knowledge and tap into some of those facts you’ve learned in the classroom or abroad! Form a team (3-5 people) and come to IAP International Trivia Night. Whether you have international interests, returned from your study abroad or are just a trivia nut come join us in a fun, social atmosphere and vie for some amazing trivia prizes.

This event is free and open to everyone!

Publish Your Travel Photography or Writing

UW-Madison's student-run travel magazine: Souvenirs, is currently accepting travel-related writing and photography submissions for the Spring 2018 print issue, Deadline March 1. 

2018 Undergraduate Symposium
The annual Undergraduate Symposium is our campus-wide showcase for undergraduate creativity, achievement, research, service-learning and community-based research across all disciplines through oral presentations, poster sessions, exhibitions, and performances. The Symposium will be on April 13, 2018.

Take advantage of this opportunity to present your work to the campus community and public-at-large…even the work you did abroad.

Deadline to Apply: March 1

Spring 2018 Career Workshops by CEC

Multiple Dates

Creating Your Path to an Internship
Exploring Careers Regardless of Major
Bullet Journaling and Goal Setting

Sign up online:

International Festival at the Overture
February 24
10:30 am to 4:30 pm

Lily Atonio | SENEGAL

UW alum Lily Atonio found her year abroad to be one of self-discovery, and says the journey doesn't end after returning home.

Photos: "My reaction after a Senegalese friend called me a true Senegalese woman after I put on a gifted boubou from my host mother." Below, Lily sporting a kimono for a special 50th Anniversary celebration with the Japanese Spine Society in Kyoto, Japan – November 2016.


What have you been doing since completing your study abroad program?
After completing my academic year study abroad program in Senegal, I took on the role of Director of Global Connections for the Wisconsin Union while finishing my undergraduate degree in International Studies: Global Security.

During the summer after graduation, I was inspired by an epic binge-watching session of a popular K-Drama and then decided to move to Korea where I worked on an English teaching contract. From Korea, I returned to my hometown in Wisconsin where I worked in the admissions department of a local technical school. I refocused on my career ambitions which were to travel more and work within the non-profit sector.

Luckily, I found an association management company, Executive Director, Inc. (EDI), located in downtown Milwaukee that married both of those desires. Currently, as the Education & Program Manager of the Scoliosis Research Society within EDI, I’ve been sent around the world to places such as Malaysia, Czechia, Japan, and South Africa

A reflection on your study abroad experience: How did your time overseas impact your life, your goals, and your career?
My year in Senegal was a year of self-discovery. Studying abroad was part of me studying myself. I learned how strong I was and how much I am in love with seeing and learning new things. After being awoken and experiencing what I believe to be true joy (What’s better than discovering your love for mbalax music or that you actually don’t hate onions?) I constantly seek out that thrill whether it be in work achievements or to listening to an amazing new instrument from an obscure corner of the world. My study abroad experience has had a profound effect on my goals – emit an inexhaustible joie de vivre.

Share with us a favorite memory from your study abroad days.
I was incredibly fortunate enough to enjoy the wonderfully talented Youssou N’Dour in concert three times while in Senegal. Each time was a treat to my ears and mind. I have never heard anything like the sounds his band makes and his distinctive voice is truly a world treasure.

The first time I saw him in Dakar, we foreigners arrived naively before midnight but the wait added to the amazingness of the experience. I will always remember the first time I heard his voice wail over the microphone and the following sounds of glee from the crowd. It was truly unforgettable.

What advice do you have for students returning from abroad?
Approach your return as you did during your first days abroad. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean there isn’t more to learn and new people to meet. Also, listen to Johnathan Overby on WPR on Saturday nights.

Interview conducted via email August 2017.
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