Today, April 4, 2018, was Global Engagement Day!! I had to opportunity today to go and hear 4 older GEF students talk about their experiences abroad! Their names were Jacob, Robert, Linda & Ben… and the advice that they gave us and the experiences that they shared were truly so encouraging and also very authentic.
Honestly some of the advice that they gave me I would’ve never thought to actually think about… studying abroad isn’t all butterflies and rainbows. Studying abroad comes with responsibility and being cautious and just overall not going off the wall because you are in an international country. Something that all 4 people said that really was important to me was that when you are studying abroad, you need to keep up with your family and keep up that support system.
All of them emphasized how homesick they were when they were out of the country. Not necessarily because they did not like what they were experiencing, but oftentimes, when you study abroad, you are not going with people who you know very well and oftentimes, not with anyone you even know. And that is so terrifying for me. Terrifying, but exciting. So, you really have to rely on your family and try to talk as much as you can. I am planning of studying abroad in Europe, mainly France, and it scares me that most of the hours that I am awake, my family will be asleep, so I for sure cannot take it for granted when I do get to talk to my family.
Another thing they all emphasized was that there are culture shocks. Europe is so different from the United States and things are going to be not what you have expected them to be. BUT one of the most important things that I heard was that you need to try and be constant with keeping up with your language you are attempting to grow in and learn more skills in. Robert told us that once people in Germany learned that he was from America, they immediately began to test out their English on him and he really couldn’t strengthen his German. I DON’T WANT THAT!! My mom always tells me how when she was studying abroad in Spain she got extremely well at speaking Spanish and is still fluent to this day!! I want to be like that. I want to be able to use my French in my every day.
Every time I go to a GEF event, it just makes me that much more excited for studying abroad. EEP!! I cannot wait!!
It’s Global Engagement Day! Though I was only able to attend a single session today, I was fortunate enough to sit in on a lunch/lecture presentation by Sarah Griswold and Jonathan Freeman — students involved with the Peace Corps and the Fulbright Scholarship, respectively. I’m most interested in a future with the Peace Corps, so …
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I am writing this sooo late since Mardi Gras was almost 2 month ago (February 13) BUTTTT I had to write about how much fun I had at the French Club’s party for Mardi Gras!!
It was so much fun to engage with other French speaking (or attempting to speak French) students about Mardi Gras and overall just celebrate with other people who have such a passion for the language and the culture! We also got to talk about the history of Mardi Gras and just it’s significance in France.
Although I am not Catholic, I did take part in Lent this year and decided to “give up” fast food. Although I barely go to fast food places in the first place, I wanted to try something not as significant in my life first so that I could test out giving up something and so that next year I could give up something a little bit more significant in my life! Surprisingly, it was harder than excepted but so rewarding!
I cannot wait because hopefully in less than 2 years I could be in France at this time celebrating Mardi Gras! It is not celebrated here in Norman, Oklahoma, so I cannot wait to see the culture come alive all around me and truly celebrate all of the festivities!
Mardi Gras holds so much tradition and so much significance not only in the French culture, but all over the world. It is especially significant to Catholics as it is a time to focus on giving up for God and learning about what God gave up for us — his one and only son. I truly have such an interest in learning more about Mardi Gras and overall the significance it holds for Catholics as well as French people!
Continuing my penchant for attending OU’s “Lunch and Lecture” series, today I listened to a seminar presented by Georgetown University’s Dr. Andrew Scobell. Scobell gave an interesting lecture over some common misconceptions about the current U.S.-China interactions. It is no secret that the United States fosters a guarded attitude towards China. While many security deals …
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Tonight I headed over to the Honors College to participate in HSA’s “Crafts and Curries” nights. The student organization put together a night full of cuisine and culture as we spent our evening painting and sampling some (delicious) Indian foods. I met Carson and Advika, both of whom are freshmen at OU like me. What …
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Last night, on a recommendation from my Comparative Religions professor, I attended a lecture about the impact of pornography usage on the mental stability, faith and quality of marriage for Evangelical Christians. The results themselves might not surprise you–porn usage exhibits negative effects on all of these aspects of Christian lives. The trends support the …
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Mark Singer, writer for The New Yorker and author, recently spoke at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History about his most recent work, “Trump and Me”. Mark is a longtime friend of Dr. Charles Kimball, renowned scholar of religion and my Comparative Religions professor, and made a stop in Norman on his way through …
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I had the privilege of attending Dr. Nathaniel Greenberg’s iteration of the “Lunch and Lecture” series hosted by the Arabic Flagship Program. While I’m not a member of the program itself, the prospect of analyzing the communications and aesthetics utilizes by the Islamic state instantly piqued my interest. Throw in the fact that the …
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At the Colombia Night celebration, the presence of Colombian tradition was overwhelming! With the elaborate dresses, dancing, and decorations, my favorite part of the night was the hundreds of paper flowers that adorned the room. I was so intrigued by these blossoms that I asked around in an attempt to find the person who’d crafted them. When I finally tracked her down, one of the organizers of the event explained the process to me; “All you have to do is fold it few times, twist a tie over the middle, and then fan it out! Sometimes we’ll even spray them with perfume.” Overall, the atmosphere made for a very festive evening.
At Hillel, an authentic international feel pleasantly surprised me. The dinner was specifically dedicated to introducing the attendees to traditional Israeli foods, and my expectations were not high. I thought that there might be pita and hummus, but I was not prepared for a delicious, homemade meal. Not only was there pita and hummus, but we were able to enjoy tabouli, shawarma, and baklava. I enjoyed being introduced to some of the foods of Israel!