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Transitions Abroad Magazine September/October 2007 Vol. XXXI, NO.2

Travel Features

Tunisia and Beyond
Daniel Gabriel and his family journey to northern Tunisia to explore a moderate Muslim regime. In this quintessentially Mediterranean region, travelers can experience Islamic life, visit a thriving artistic center, and stay in a blue-and-white cliff-side village.

Retracing the Silk Road
Following in the footsteps of Marco Polo,
Lies Ouwerkerk crosses from Turkey into Iran to see for herself the country behind the headline news. She reports on the kindness and hospitality of Iranians, who share with her their pro-Western attitudes, in spite of their rigid religious leaders.


Back Door Travel by Rick Steves (magazine only)
The New Tangier Experience Modern Islamic Culture

The Resourceful Traveler by Tim Leffel
A Needle in a Haystack Finding Travel Websites that are Worth the Search

Senior Travel by Alison Gardner (magazine only)
Moving to Mostar Battle-Scarred Beauty in the Balkans

Ask the Expat by Volker Poelzl
Staying Healthy Overseas Advice for Travelers and Expatriates

The Intentional Traveler by Michael McCarthy
Project Kindness Helping the People of the Dolpo-Pa

International Career Adviser by Jean-Marc Hachey (magazine only)
Spousal Employment & Freelancing Abroad International Career Adviser

Special to This Issue

Ramping Up by editor Sherry Schwarz
Find out what the International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is doing to raise the standards for volunteer programs and how its resources can benefit you. Plus, a new Brookings Institution initiative on international volunteering and service may enable Americans of all ages to apply for fellowships.

Living and Working Abroad

A Family’s 3-Month Journey in Argentina Wendy Simpson
Freelancing Can Be Your Ticket to Living Overseas Adam Bray
Entrepreneurial Expats Douglas E. Morris
The Trials and Tribulations of Being a Manny Jonathan Irwin
Work, Relax, and Learn Hebrew in Israel Yosefa Gilon
Interning in Italy Marisa Iallonardo
Teaching English Abroad: How to Avoid Cowboy Schools Scott Zimmermann
Teaching English in Santiago, Chile Heidi Resetarits
Chance of a Lifetime in Levoca, Slovakia Lorie Singleton
Living in Costa Rica Leah Dobkin
Special Education Teaching in Japan Vicki Versland
Teach English in China Guy Bojesen-Trepka
Teaching in South Korea Aubrey Jangraw
A Family Volunteers in Bhutan Penny Siefker
Multicultural Activities in Australia Sarah Muxlow
A Career Move Down Under Sarah Muxlow
Moving to New Zealand Erin Beneteau
Make Your Career Move to the U.K. Katie Fahrland
The Pros and Cons of Working in the Gulf N. Debbo
Why Move to Egypt Susan Zannos
Cultural Immersion in Egypt Rosanna Racanelli
Extended Stay in Ascea, Italy Else Mogensen
Integrating the German Way Heidi Lux
Finding Work in India Nicole Burdick
Expatriate Salons in Paris Linda Lappin
Living in Paris Susan Bruce


Information Exchange

Calendar of Arts, Culture, and Events
World Music
Off the Radar Travel Adventures
Book Reviews

Activist Responsible Traveler
Volunteer in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Lynne Simpson

First Person
The Reality of Being an Expat Teen Sheila Scarborough

Travel to Eat
A Taste of Bali Lies Ouwerkerk

Best Bargains
The Affordable Caribbean Terry Redding

Travel Tips
Black Under-Representation in Travel Rabin Nickens

Language Tips
A Lesson from Spain Melissa Larsen
Speak Like a Native Daniel McGlynn
Choosing a Language School Robert Wailing

Beverly Kitson: Dancing to Her Own Tune Leah Dobkin

On Being a Global Nomad Douglas E. Morris

From the Editor

Every now and then we receive an article that inspires us to push our editorial boundaries and to think about the world a little differently. For the most part we like to publish practical information that can help readers plan their next overseas experience, but when Lies Ouwerkerk’s article on traveling in Iran arrived, we had to give it a second look. Although we realize most North American travelers won’t be venturing to what President Bush termed one of the “axis of evil” countries, we nevertheless found her account fascinating. She describes how the people of this rigidly policed nation are changing its cultural, religious, and political underpinnings—perhaps not surprising when you consider that, according to Iranian government statistics, about 70 percent of Iran’s population is under 30.

In spite of encountering stark contradictions between modernization on one hand and oppressive Islamic edicts (particularly for women) on the other, Ouwerkerk’s most lasting impression was of the “kindness, openness, curiosity, and hospitality” of the Iranian people. She describes their unexpected pro-American attitudes and marvels at how easily they bonded over their many common interests, as she recalls joining them inside their homes to eat, drink, dance, watch TV, and debate.

Ouwerkerk’s story echoed in my mind as I read the results of a recent poll of Iranians conducted on behalf of Terror Free Tomorrow ( The poll found that only a slight majority of Iranians favor their government developing a nuclear weapon, whereas four out of five Iranians favor opening up their country’s nuclear program to full inspections and to renouncing possession of nuclear weapons if this is accompanied by outside economic assistance and international trade, in particular with the United States.

My hope is that in its dealings with Iran, the U.S. administration will exercise full diplomacy and cooperate with the international community to encourage Iran to suspend her uranium enrichment activities. This would be a positive step toward illustrating that the United States has learned we can’t take unilateral action in a globalized world.

Another step the United States may take toward bolstering its image among the international community is by increasing its good works abroad through expanding volunteer and service initiatives overseas. Although this isn’t presently a government mandated program, it may become one. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Norm Coleman (R-MN) introduced the Global Service Fellowship Program Act (S.1464) into the Senate on May 23, 2007. Its purpose would be to fund fellowships to promote international volunteering opportunities as a means of building bridges across cultures, addressing critical human needs, and promoting mutual understanding.

Another national movement to promote the engagement of Americans with the world is the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act of 2007 (H.R. 1469), which we have reported on in past issues. This Act, which the House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass in June 2007, if signed into law and funded, would create a program to enhance the global competitiveness and international knowledge base of the United States by ensuring that a greater number, and a more diverse body, of undergraduate students have the opportunity to acquire foreign language skills and international knowledge through significantly expanded study abroad.

Professionals in the fields of international volunteering and study abroad have some justifiable reservations about how quality programming will be maintained, how funds will be distributed, and what measures will be taken to help prepare large numbers of Americans going abroad to be culturally respectful, but by and large these are inherently positive new initiatives about which we can get excited.

Sherry Schwarz

Transitions Abroad Magazine

Publisher and Editor
Sherry Schwarz
Founding Editor and Publisher
Dr. Clay A. Hubbs
Web Content Editor
Gregory Hubbs
Jeffrey Boyce
Advertising Manager
Kate McGrail

Contributing Editors
Susan Griffith (Work Abroad )
William Nolting (International Education and Work)
Jean-Marc Hachey (International Careers )
Volker Poelzl (Living Abroad)
Rick Steves (Budget Travel)
Rob Sangster (Independent Travel)
Tim Leffel (The Resourceful Traveler )
Zahara Heckscher (Volunteering Abroad)
Edward Trimnell (Language Immersion)
Deborah McLaren (Responsible Travel )
Ron Mader (Ecotourism and Latin America)
Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson (Gap Year)
Cynthia Harriman (Family Travel)
Bill Mohan (Teen Travel)
J. Mara DelliPriscoli (Lifelong Learning)
Michele Scheib (Disability Travel)

On The Cover
Photographer Ewen Bell stopped to talk with this man on the island of Amorgos, in the Greek Cyclades. “Time hasn’t stopped in the Greek Islands, but it sure does move at a gentle pace,” says Bell.

Photo by Ewen Bell, Bell is a travel photographer and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He once had to eat grasshoppers to avoid offending a host family in Vietnam, but now he prefers to work with Grasshopper Adventures for a few photo tours each year in China, Thailand, India, and Borneo.

Mission Statement
Founded in 1977 by Clayton Allen Hubbs, Transitions Abroad is the only publication dedicated to work, study, living, volunteering, and immersion travel abroad. Its purpose is the dissemination of practical information leading to a greater understanding of other cultures through direct participation in the daily life of the host community.

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