Christopher Stender: The Benefits of Living Abroad During Your Studies

An accomplished immigration lawyer, Christopher Stender has lived abroad for a collective two years, including a period in Germany as an undergraduate. Beyond the obvious benefits, such as immersion in a foreign language, Christopher Stender notes several additional advantages of such an experience. Perhaps most importantly, an experience abroad teaches empathy: since newcomers to a culture often experience embarrassment or frustration as they attempt to navigate their new environs, as a result they may learn to empathize with those undergoing similar experiences in their own country.
In addition to empathy, people who live abroad learn how to talk to strangers. In our home countries, we rarely strike up conversation with strangers unless introduced by a mutual friend. While abroad, however, individuals must forge new networks of friends and often initiate contact with people they would not normally approach. Since the usual icebreakers used at home no longer work—and there is more of a language barrier—this process becomes even more challenging. In the end, however, people learn the valuable skill of finding common ground with everyone, and that it isn’t as difficult as it first seems. Upon return home, these individuals tend to find that they have greater confidence in themselves and their conversation skills.

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About Christopher Stender

After working for three years as Assistant Chief Counsel for the San Diego District of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, Christopher Stender launched a law partnership in 1993. Initially known as Stender & Larkin, the firm was renamed Stender & Associates, PC. Christopher Stender and his team of bilingual associates provide comprehensive immigration-related legal services, working with individuals held at Arizona’s detention centers and prisons in Eloy and Florence, as well as at California’s detention centers in El Centro, San Diego, and San Pedro. Christopher Stender assists in bond procurement and payment, visitation and hearing scheduling, and detainee transportation. He is known for taking tough cases, promoting novel legal theories, and getting positive results for his clients. He routinely appears before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the First, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Prospective clients can read about the immigration process in both English and Spanish on his website. Christopher Stender spent his undergraduate years at the University of Würzburg, Germany, and the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1990 from the Syracuse University College of Law. An East Coast native who lived abroad for two years, Christopher Stender has traveled extensively throughout Europe. In addition to his native English, he speaks German and Spanish. He supports Grace Point Church, Homeless Outreach, Cesar Chavez Elementary School, Tijuana Schools Mission, and Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. He lives with his wife and four children in San Diego.

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