Over the next few weeks, OHIO students who have returned from various abroad experiences will share their thoughts on study abroad, travel, culture and more. Below are the stories of three OHIO graduates who took time out of their busy college career to study abroad. All viewed their experiences as invaluable.
Morgan Chambers (Major-Dance)
I was lucky enough to go abroad three times during my college career. First, I went to Ghana with OHIO’s African Culture through the Arts, and conducted an independent study while there. Second, I performed in Italy and had amazing excursions to Venice, Florence, Italy, and Rimini beach. Finally, I had a five-week internship as a dance teacher in multiple schools outside of Cape Town, South Africa.
All of my experiences were very different, but they all taught me something new about myself and made me more adaptable and culturally aware. I realized that the cost of studying abroad was worth it; my first trip meant so much to me that I was determined to find ways to fund future trips. I applied the OHIO’s Provost Undergraduate Research Fund, took out personal loans, and worked an extra job to be able to afford traveling all summer.
Experiencing life abroad helped mold who I am as a scholar and artist, and I know it will affect how I conduct myself in the professional field. It may be cliche, but education abroad changes people; I am a huge advocate that everyone needs that kind of experience to help make them into a more independent and globally aware individual.
Jim Brown (Major-Finance & Pre-law)
I went to Florence, Italy in the Fall of 2007 and I would not hesitate to say it was the greatest experience of my life. I can thank the Office of Education Abroad for guiding me to a program that suited me perfectly. As a business major, I was worried that taking a semester to study art history and philosophy would put me behind as far as possible from graduation, but I graduated on time with two majors and a certificate from the Global Leadership Center. I was fortunate enough to receive a small scholarship from the program I studied through, but I cannot stress enough that there is no price tag you can put on an experience like studying abroad. I have made lifelong friends, and I could not imagine my life without my time in Florence.
Halle Tansing (Major-Journalism)
I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina spring quarter of my junior year (2008) at OHIO. I was looking to further my Spanish language pursuits and to experience a new culture, one which I had been curious about for years.
The experience was amazing, and going through a third-party provider was an excellent choice because it gave me the opportunity to make lasting friendships with other students from all over the United States. My time abroad brought me to a new level of independence and introduced me to a world of new cultures, cuisines, music and beliefs.
I never had any doubts prior to studying abroad, being well prepared and asking every question imaginable before you go helps to settle nerves and build up excitement. Any myths that I had heard were squashed before leaving the country and any concerns financially or otherwise were taken care of by the appropriate offices at OHIO. Planning the program required a lot of work on my own, most of which I did before even realizing I needed to come into the Office of Education Abroad.
Students should study abroad because it’s the experience of a lifetime. Go somewhere that isn’t English-speaking, challenge yourself, make friends with the locals and enjoy every minute of it. Your time abroad is what you make of it, so do any and everything possible.
If you are a returned student and would like to share your story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.ohio.edu/educationabroad/Students/returnstd.html.