The CGIS Brief

Designed to be 20-30 minutes in length, the CGIS Brief was created to give CGIS staff and prospective study abroad students an opportunity to have a conversation on various topics as a way to encourage students to start thinking more about their time abroad prior to departure. Topics range from heritage seeking, being an ally abroad, the pandemic, and more!

We encourage everyone to ask questions throughout the conversation or share out any insight of their own. Each event is co-facilitated by the CGIS Brief Team (Ashton, Callie and Stephen) every other Thursday at 3:00pm EST on Zoom!


Event Accommodations:

Do you need any accommodations that we should know about (disability, dietary needs, etc.)? We encourage you to share this information with us as early as possible, so we can put in place any reasonable accommodations. Please contact the CGIS Accommodations email (CGISaccommodations@umich.edu) to submit an accommodations request.





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For many people, religion plays a big part in their daily lives and some may think that has to change when they go abroad. If you are a religious student, you may have a few questions or concerns as you consider studying abroad: Is there an active community practicing my religion in my host city? How will I keep kosher/halal? Will I face discrimination due to my religion? How can I connect to local practitioners? Join us for the conversation as we tackle these questions and address key considerations when practicing religion abroad. 

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How has COVID-19 changed the landscape of study abroad? What does study abroad during a pandemic even look like? How can you study abroad while still staying safe? We’ll be answering these questions and more during this brief in collaboration with CGIS’ Senior Health and Safety Advisor Rachel Reuter and Barcelona SAE’s Founder & CEO Rich Kurtzman. Rich joins us from Barcelona where he will be providing on-the-ground insight on how the people of Barcelona and throughout Spain are navigating the pandemic. If you plan to study abroad this summer or fall, especially in Spain, you don’t want to miss this opportunity! 

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Students who are seeking international experiences as a way to explore their own roots are considered heritage seekers. Their experiences with a certain culture give them a unique perspective and can serve as an advantage in their immersion experience, and while most heritage seekers are invested emotionally and intellectually in their host country/homeland, some may neglect to consider the negative impacts of their perceived familiarity with the culture. Join us for this special brief where we discuss this somewhat invisible identity and the benefits and barriers a heritage seeker can encounter while navigating abroad.

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Living like a local or improving language skills may be one of your motivations for going abroad, but how much more can your experience be impacted by a smaller city? Join us for this brief to learn more about language acquisition and how connecting with smaller local communities can play a big role in your personal growth abroad.

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Oftentimes, our experiences are completely different from our peers. The reality is that we all carry different identities and they all come with their own unique privileges and barriers. Navigating those identities abroad can be very different from what we may be used to in our own communities. This is why allyship can be very powerful when traveling with peers. So how can you support your peers abroad if they are discriminated against or left out of group activities? How can you identify this is happening in the first place? This brief will discuss ways in which you can serve as an ally while studying abroad with peers of various socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and religious backgrounds to name a few.

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Parents, curfews, and rules, OH MY! Whether it's a few weeks in the summer or an entire semester abroad, students often say their homestays were a program highlight and in many cases, it helped improve their language skills even more. Join us for Homestay Advantage to dispel assumptions some students have about homestays abroad, as well as, the benefits of living with a local. 

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The CGIS Brief
You May Choose As Many Sessions As You Want