Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Fabulous Lecture for Traveling Design Students

A transcript with notes of our RISD lecture on May 02, 2007 at 6:00PM in the Mason Building. Download our Power Point presentation.

Prep - Goal
-To research international sustainable design, different ways of living, and different ways of making.
-Motivation before and during
A goal keeps you going through the whole trip. It takes a lot of planing to do this, and your goal will keep you focused on getting throught the nitty gritty. Also while you're away you may feel lost or aimless at somepoint, this is a great time to review your goal and clear out any doubts or depresssion you may be facing.

Prep - Contacts
-Talk to people who have been there
-Make connections with people who are there
-Talk to professors
-Contact people in advance
When you first arrive in a new country it's great to know where you're going to be staying, especially if you know people in the area, so if you have any contacts try to plan around them if you can.

Prep - Support
-Plan in advance
-Get a grant writer
-Study part time, work part time
-Go either way
Ask organizations for support
If you decide to write a grant proposal your self, utilize the writing center during the entire process, not just for the final draft. There are people there that are more expereinced with grant proposals and will help you develope the porposal appropratly.

Prep - Tickets
-Shop around
-Round the World
-We do not recommend STA
-Leave wiggle room
-Get travel insurance
-Get an international student discount card
While we never needed out insurance, some countries like India won't officially let you in without it. Our student discount card paid for itself in transportation costs alone, the admissions discounts were like a bonus. But remember if you;re going to a country like India you're not going to get a discount on anything. Try to get tickets that our refundable, when you're planing flights so far in advance it is probable that you'll change your mind or the world will intervene somehow before your travels are over.

Prep - Health
-Bring prescriptions and over the counter medicine with you
-Antibiotics, Nausea, Diarrhea, Fever, Malaria
-Get all vaccinations before
Medicines that we recommend: Antibiotics(more than 3 days supply), Imodium, Nausea, Fever, and Electrolyte mixture (the home brew is a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice, a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar to a liter of water. The mixture should taste slightly salty, sweet and sour. Only sip the mixture.)
Make sure the doctor explains when to take what.
For Example: How long do I take the Anibiotics for? What should I do if I get sick again? In what situation do I take each medicine? When do I call the doctor or go to the hospital?

Prep - Moral Support
-Bring a friend
-Ignore those who doubt you
-Get a guide book
-Watch some local films
-Make it a big deal
While it is quite possible to travel alone having a friend makes all the logistics easier. It also saves a lot of money to travel with someone; double rooms are only marginally more than singles. Having a friend can make you less likely to talk to locals though and rely on strangers less, so know your style. And seriously ignore people who say you can't do this, what they are really saying is they cant do it.

During - Keeping in touch
-Keep a blog
-Keep a journal
-Post Restaunte
-No cell phone
Keeping a blog is a great way for people to keep up with what your doing, and if you're emailing you'll need to find computers anyway. Be warned, however, writing a good entry can take an hour, and putting photos can be challenging in some places. Many big cities have Post Restaunte facilities at their GPO, so if you need anything mailed to you, check it out.

During - Make friends
-Work exchange
-Culture exchange
-Take breaks
If you're traveling at all you've got to get to know the locals, so it really helps to spend some time in each place you visit, at least a week. Volunteering or doing a work exchange / homestay is a great way to get to know people and give you some insights to the local culture, but don't string all these experiences back to back. Give yourself a weekend here or there to relax.

During - Transportation
-Book in advance
-Ask locals
-Don’t stress out
-Consider getting a vehicle
Tickets, be it plane, bus, or subway, were by far our greatest expense. Buying early certainly saves money and peace of mind, but is not always possible. If you're going to be in one place for a long time consider getting a car, motorbike or bicycle, in the long run these can save you heaps on public transit. Having a vehicle is also nice if you're doing work exchange so you can get away during your off time.

-Have something lined up
-Summer job
-A place to think
It's quite overwhelming to come back from a trip like this, so having something lined up when you return is very calming, and searching for work / whatever right away is the last thing you want to do.

Reasons for Traveling
-You’re not tied down
-Experience other cultures
-Experience other ways of life
-See variations on what you do
-Don’t get stuck
Getting stuck is tricky. You don't want to get stuck permanently in one of the countries you visit, we almost got stuck in Japan. But you also don't want to get stuck your home country either. Keep traveling!


Ngendo said...

It's very odd to be writing here knowing that you guys are walking about on this soil again. Alison probably drinking a tea/coffee downtown...or something. It's very confusing. I cought up on your posts though. Goodluck with preparation for the lecture, we'll see you in the Mason Building in afew hours.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a job very well done!!!! Bonnie

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