LynxConnect - Your Pathway to Self-Discovery!

Are you feeling a little overwhelmed trying to make the most of your college experience? Are you finding it hard to envision what your future could be after graduation, or do you need help with professionally marketing your skills including intercultural experiences?

LynxConnect is here to help!

LynxConnect is totally dedicated to fostering diversity and success among all CU Denver students. Our caring and enthusiastic team can assist you in gaining confidence, exploring studying abroad, assessing your cross-cultural skills, charting career options, academic research, and expanding your global perspectives. So many CU Denver students have exactly the talents which employers are seeking here in Colorado and around the world. 

In addition to advising students on charting their own pathway to success, LynxConnect staff can help you navigate common barriers including finances, access to information, and cultural adjustment.

 

 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

                                                                                                                      -Lao Tzu

I vividly remember the numerous events I attended as a college freshman to help me plan my educational journey. Among those included observing powerful motivational speeches from renowned alumni, visiting dozens of elaborate campus organization tables, and meeting with eager faculty across the disciplinary spectrum, all aiming to help students navigate their meandering goals into purposeful, attainable steps. It was heartwarming to see so many people excited to support our own voyages of discovery as new students, and yet there were admittedly times where I doubted whether such amazing opportunities in college were really possible for someone like me.

Studying abroad was among the options that I hastily assumed would not be achievable in college. Such fears ranged from expectations that the financial costs would be far too high, that it would be too unsafe for me to go so far away from home as a student of color, and that it could be difficult to convince my family about the benefits of that experience, knowing their deterrence was earnestly based on love and past sacrifices made throughout my childhood. Being 100 miles away from my hometown as a freshman was tough already; even 1000 miles away would be simply unimaginable.

 

My 8000-mile journey began the night I met my first international exchange resident from Taiwan. I remember how excited she was to tell me about the countless new sights, new sounds, new foods, even new genres of music she heard in passing from the moment she boarded the US-bound plane leaving Taipei, and how tearfully appreciative she was for how welcomed our Resident Advisor team made her feel on campus that evening. It was the start of many conversations between us over several months about adjusting to a new life abroad, ultimately convincing me to take a similar leap of faith to really understand my identities and to experience the world from an entirely new perspective. That leap became my decision to study abroad in Taiwan for a summer.

Each day that followed included a series of small yet monumental steps: completing the application paperwork, searching the internet for scholarship opportunities, learning basic Mandarin Chinese phrases, mentally preparing for a 16-hour flight, and making countless calls to my family members to help ease their fears about living in a different country. “How will you take care of your hair? What will you eat? What if you need to buy more clothes? How can you possibly fit in?” were all questions from loved ones on topics that I honestly worried about too, but having the incredible support from my resident, from the university’s study abroad office, and from many of the people I met at the university’s Black Student Welcome event during freshman year truly boosted my independence throughout the process. Knowing those resources were available enabled me to diligently pace myself to avoid becoming overwhelmed by all the factors involved.
There are not enough words to fully capture the profound impact that studying abroad had on my life. Not only did my time abroad ultimately inspire my goals after graduation, but it also helped me to appreciate my own identities in more ways than I had ever imagined. It therefore gives me great joy daily to help students at CU Denver recognize that studying abroad is indeed within their reach, whether such experiences last for two weeks or even a full year. Our team at LynxConnect remains eager to help your global ambitions become a reality too!

Interested in learning more about study abroad opportunities at CU Denver? It is never too early! Schedule an appointment with our Office of Global Education, contact a Peer Advisor in LynxConnect, or attend our Spring Study Abroad Virtual Fair on January 25, 2022 and our Virtual Scholarship & Financial Assistance Panel Discussion on January 26, 2022. More details about both virtual events will be posted on our study abroad website and in Handshake.