Advice from Past Barry Fellows
Barry Fellows are always interested in talking to you about developing your project. Former fellows may help you find the right contact or professor, whether you want to work in education or health and travel in Vietnam or Kenya.
In This Section
Avani Dholakia - India
Patrick McCarthy - China
Christine Nguyen - Vietnam
Emily Biesecker - Philippines
Bethany Shady - India
Bevin Peters - Kenya
Kelsy Sargent - Kenya
Anne Hirschhorn - South Africa
Arvind Nagarajan - Ecuador
Alexander Soble - Mexico
Samantha Hennessey - Mexico
As a supplement, here is some advice from past fellows:
- Read up on history and travel before you go. Take some material with you because books and magazines are unlikely to be available locally (or in English) in rural areas.
- Seek advice from people who have already traveled in your destination country or area or from those who have lived there; e.g., faculty, students and alumni.
- Arrange to live with a family. Living alone and finding short- term housing can be difficult and expensive. A family situation will enable a real immersion into the host culture and provide a degree of safety. Pay the family a fair amount (not too much or too little, each of which can cause problems). Ultimately, the family may be a more important part of the experience than the work itself.
- Prepare a plan/schedule for your project before you arrive. However, be flexible and seek alternative projects in the event that unforeseen (by you!) events prevent progress on your first choice. Work simultaneously on more than one project to avoid frustration of delays and slow moving events/responses.
- Seek training before departing Yale on social sciences research, specifically how to record data, how to conduct a valid survey, and how to produce effective research.
- Review "What's up with Culture" and the Yale Health and Safety Web site while you are there.
- Donít sacrifice your health for the sake of politeness. It's hard to refuse food and drink when you are a guest at someone's home, but your health is also extremely important. Bring antibiotics!
- Learn about and be sensitive to appropriate cultural behavior between males and females.
- Be wary of long bus rides alone.
- Keep a journal.
- Bring a camera and take lots of pictures (with you in them too!)
- Research a list of certified doctors in your area. Make contact with one or more doctors upon arrival (before you need medical help). Remember that in an emergency, your Medex traveler's assistance coverage can recommend English-speaking physicians who are affiliated with Medex.
- Remember to register with the U.S. Embassy upon arrival.
- In many countries, relationships are more important than task orientation or work performance. Be careful to develop relationships in which you do not appear judgmental.
- Seek to make friends of the same gender and approximately the same age because bonding may be quicker and communication easier.
- Talk to as many people as possible to understand all points of view in local politics. Visit local universities and make contacts with faculty.