Phrase of the Month

The "International Phrase of the Month" aims to promote cultural understanding and interest in the different places our students travel to! Every month our Study Abroad Student of the Month provides a word or phrase, which reveals aspects of the local culture they live in.

Current Phrase of the Month

November: ไม่เป็นไร: While fairly untranslatable, this word, “Maipenrai”, resembles the English phrases“nevermind”, “don’t worry about it”, and“It’s ok”.

Read more about why Doug Krauth chose ไม่เป็นไร as his word:

"When I think of Thailand, I think of relaxation, smiles, and the word ไม่เป็นไร. While fairly untranslatable, this word, “Maipenrai”, resembles the English phrases“nevermind”, “don’t worry about it”, and“It’s ok”. In essence, the word embodies the pervasive ‘go with the flow’ attitude of the Thai people and can mean many things. Lose your keys? Maipenrai, you can buy new ones tomorrow. Running 20 minutes late to class? Maipenrai, there's no need to rush. Get hit by a speeding tuk tuk? Maipenrai, Maipenrai! Only one foot is broken at least! The Thai spirit is to take a situation no matter how bad it is, accept it and move on. Life goes on. Maipenrai."

Previous Phrases

August: 侘寂 (wabi-sabi); harmony, perfection, smoothness, or balance.

"Kegon Falls, Nikko – Japan. Photo of the falls by themselves, to account for poor lighting."

Read more about why Richie chose 侘寂as his word:

"There are a lot of Japanese words that could describe this trip, but I would put them all together in “wabi-sabi” (侘寂 ) which means harmony, perfection, or smoothness. During my stay outside Tokyo, I saw the traditionally peaceful waterfalls, Onsen (hot springs), and lush countryside. Once I moved to Tokyo, I still found harmony in the constant ebb and flow of traffic. You will never find yourself waiting too long in Tokyo, but you also won’t feel rushed. As an engineer, efficiency and smoothness are beauty, and Tokyo may very well be the most attractive city in the world.”

"This is the beautiful Cyprus sunset I saw during all my dinner time."


"Canopy-walk" -Hannah Touchton, Ghana


"The view from a cafe of Place el-Hedim and Bab Mansour in the medina of Meknes." -Christian Brawner, Morocco

"This is the giant's causeway. It's a stone structure that is believed to have came about due to the fighting of two giants. They began throwing stones at each other from two separate islands. When the stones repeatedly came up short there was a bridge connecting the two islands. The bigger giant came across the bridge and quickly decided he didn't want to fight the other. When he ran back across the bridge her tore up the causeway, leaving just this small amount for us to see." -Jessica Dennis, Northern Ireland

"This is one of my favorite spots in Salamanca. Located across el Puente Romano (“Roman Bridge”) which crosses the Tormes River. It shows the reflection of the old and new cathedrals of Salamanca which were built in the 12th and 16th centuries, respectively. I lived right next to the cathedrals." -Abby Wittmer, Spain