Monday Motivation #74 (10/11/2021)
When I was a graduate student, I had the chance to present my research at several conferences. Visiting Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, and California was nice — but traveling to Sweden and Italy was an adventure!
My Grandpa Luchini was born in Italy, in a tiny settlement called Longoio carved into the side of a mountain. I knew that it was north of Pisa, where my conference was located, and so I added a few days to the end of my trip to explore some of my family’s history. The internet was in its infancy so I had to rely on travel guidebooks and the train and bus schedules, but I plotted a route and set out with a friend.
It was definitely an adventure, involving trains, buses, a lot of walking, and hitching a ride with a couple of tourists from Arizona whom we befriended in a cafe and recruited to join our search mission. But eventually I found the house where my grandpa was born and got to experience first-hand the villages and farms and mountain trails that he told stories about when I was a child.
Although we haven’t quite returned to pre-pandemic travel planning, we are starting to see more in-person conferences and opportunities for graduate students to share their work in new places with broad audiences. Tacking on a few extra days to explore is pretty common, and gives graduate students a unique opportunity to learn about new places and people. This week, I’m sharing some resources and ideas about how travel can enhance our teaching, learning, and research activities.
Three Things to Try This Week
Get the Most out of Conferences — this article from LSU offers tips from real graduate students about how to get the most benefit from attending an academic conference.
Get a Fresh Perspective — traveling has numerous benefits beyond sharing academic work with like-minded peers. Exploring new places and moving beyond our regular routines can shift our perspective and support creativity. Learn more here.
Get the Best Deals — traveling as a graduate student takes some planning, but also offers opportunities unique to this season of life. Learn more about how get the most out of your travel plans.
- Engineering graduate students can apply for travel funding when they present their research at a conference or meeting.
- The MSU Travel Clinic offers a range of services, information and support for those traveling abroad.
- Get inspired by reading about this year’s recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship (aka, the “Genius Grant”).