Toward the beginning of the semester, I put up two posts, one telling you which international groups I was joining and one the study abroad programs I was considering. Over the course of the semester, things have changed. New opportunities have appeared, and I’ve made some decisions.
Now I’m going to share those decisions with you.
In my previous post, I mentioned OU Cousins, International Advisory Committee, and WLT Book Club. Since then, I have also joined the Swahili Club.
In regards to OU Cousins, I still want to take part next semester. However, my Cousin has not been very responsive to my attempts to meet up. I may email the program and tell them this in hopes I will be paired with a new Cousin.
Unfortunately, I do not think I will be continuing with IAC next semester. I just don’t believe it’s the right place for me. It hasn’t helped me connect to other cultures in the ways I thought it would.
WLT Book Club and Swahili Club are both definitely on the agenda for next semester.
I am fairly certain I will still have class at the time of the WLT Book Club meetings. Yet, since the meetings are only once a month (we had three this entire semester), I don’t see it as a huge obstacle. This club has provided me with some great opportunities, and I am enjoying the exposure to new literature immensely.
I am very excited to continue learning Swahili. While I am not very far into the process, I can already tell this is a language I will love. While I don’t dislike learning French, I do not connect to it the way I do with Swahili. Along with my enjoyment, I have practical reasons for wanting to learn this language now. I believe it will put me ahead if I travel to Tanzania this upcoming summer, where I heard we will be given daily lessons. It is also a language covered by the Critical Language Learning Scholarship, which I am considering applying for in the upcoming years.
Speaking of traveling to Tanzania, the Journey to Africa: Tanzania program is still very much on my radar. While I haven’t made much progress, I have started the application for it.
Beyond that, my plans have changed. Even if I go to Tanzania, it will not be my first trip abroad. I had to petition, but I have received permission to go on the trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil being hosted by the College of International Studies during Spring Break. The program is called Politics and Ecology in the Marvelous City. I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to experience Rio before spending a whole semester there (something else that is still on my radar).
I also previously mentioned the Honors at Oxford program. After more thought, I’m not sure how beneficial this program would be for me, especially with its high cost. While I would love to go to Oxford, traveling is expensive and requires practicality. I believe other programs better align with my goals, such as the Critical Language Learning Scholarship mentioned above.
So, that’s where I’m at. I’m sure new developments will arise once the new semester starts, but right now, I am ready for a break (which will include daydreaming about Brazil).