After much deliberation and many applications, I finally have a plan for my summer. I applied for the Critical Language Scholarship to learn Turkish, but unfortunately I was not accepted. Then, I planned to go to Israel for an archaeological dig, and even had paid my deposit. But then, I heard that a spot had opened up for a trip I have been hearing about in my German classes for several semesters now.
Long story short, I’m going to be spending a month in Leipzig, Germany this summer! I couldn’t be more thrilled.
I’ll be traveling with about fifteen other OU students to Leipzig, where we’ll take intensive German classes each morning, make field trips around the area each afternoon, and explore the country on weekends.
I’m eager to spend a month in Leipzig and become really acquainted with the city, and I’m also eager to see many different cities in Germany such as Berlin, Dresden, and Erfurt, to name a few. In the past two years I’ve learned quite a bit of German vocabulary and grammar, and practicing speaking in the classroom and in the real world will help my fluency tremendously.
Since I have the opportunity to spend this summer in Germany, I am considering other options for my semester abroad in spring 2018 so I can experience a different country and take classes more suited to my major, Letters. I’m browsing universities that offer courses in Classics, Greek, and Latin. Aristotle University in Thessaloniki looks like a wonderful option.
Plans could change again, as they are prone to, but I’m ready to embrace whatever travels my future holds!
A wise man once said that a person can plan their ways but the Lord directs their steps. The direction I actually end up going may be completely different, but these are my plans for the next year.
I’m finally applying for the Cousins program this year! I’ll be matched to an international “cousin” at a matching party, based on mutual interests. I’ll meet with my cousin at events sponsored by OU Cousins and outside of those events – I want to be able to do regular life things with my cousin, like eating lunch and going to Target, and also do fun things and show them my favorite places in Norman. In Central Asia this summer, I had several good friends take me under their wings and show me around their city, and I’d like to be able to return the hospitality.
Critical Language Scholarship
The Critical Language Scholarship allows students to travel abroad for eight weeks in order to learn a language of high interest to the US in an immersive environment. The eight weeks of language immersion are equivalent to about one year of study in the language, and no previous knowledge of the language is necessary. The program is highly competitive, and I don’t think I have a very good chance of being accepted, but I’m telling you, readers, for the sake of accountability, so I can’t easily back out of it because I didn’t tell anyone of my plans. The application deadline is in November.
I’m going to apply for the 2017 program to Baku, Azerbaijan in order to learn Turkish. My heart for the region of Central Asia really grew this summer, and I can envision myself teaching English there in five or ten years.
University of Paderborn
I’d like to study in Paderborn, Germany for a semester or a year next year during junior. OU has several exchange programs in Germany, but I chose Paderborn because there are fewer English speakers there than in other German towns with large universities, and I want the experience to be as immersive as possible. I’m also interested in Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.
Last Friday, May 6 the new officers for the International Business Association (IBA) met to get things rolling the 2016-2017 academic year. I know hold the new the position of IBA recruiter so shameless plug, if you’re a business student or an International Area Studies student looking to view things in a global, yet business manner you should join! Any who, this is a fairly new organization and our new President, Bailey Wilman, is also a Global Engagement Fellow. We focus heavily on business, but more importantly than that we want to show people how to take their major, their skill set and apply it globally, apply it abroad. We have a lot of great ideas for the upcoming school year like partnering with other cultural groups on campus, as well as working with the GEF’s on upcoming events. We don’t want our organization to be limited to only International Business majors, we want people to realize and utilize the valuable skills and lessons that are to be learned from our many speakers, and more importantly from each other. We live in a global world, so why not learn how to work globally?
Originally when I came to college I thought that I would be studying in Spain. I knew a lot of people that went there and since I’ve never been to Europe I thought it would be a good chance for me to explore a new culture and visit numerous countries. However, as I started to think about why I chose to be a Spanish minor and listening to the passionate way in which my Spanish Professor Sra. Audas, talked about Bolivia I knew that Latin America was were I needed to go. I still love Spain and hope to go their one day, but my future is in South America. As a business major I hope to be a supply chain manager for a company that has a global component in Latin America, because I love the people and their rich culture. Also, while in Latin America I still explore other countries, and since I will be studying abroad in the Spring semester, my parents have already decided that they will come down at the end of the semester so that we can travel around, and take in new sights together.
After talking with my study abroad advisor I have narrowed my options down to either Chile or Ecuador and I can’t tell you how excited I am. I’ve traveled to various states in the U.S., but my international traveled has been limited to Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and a few islands on a Cruz. Don’t get me wrong I am extremely grateful and blessed to have had those experiences but I am very excited to immerse myself and spend an extended period of time in a new country, with a diverse way of life.
I’ll admit that I’m not entirely sure how I want my study abroad experience to go. This summer, I’m hoping to go on the trip to Mexico and Brazil–I’m just putting the finishing touches on my application. I’m really hoping that I’m accepted for that opportunity. I think the length of the trip is perfect for my first real study abroad experience, and I hope that in Mexico, I might be able to practice Spanish a little. I’m also looking forward to the classes that Dean Grillot will be teaching throughout the trip.
After taking that trip, I think it might be easier to decide where I’d like to travel for my longer study abroad trip. If the language practice is too overwhelming on the shorter trip, I might decide against a more language-intense and immersive study abroad location. When I did my study abroad advising session, Ms. Vincent suggested that I consider places like Peru, Chile, Ecuador, or more rural parts of Spain if I wanted to really improve my Spanish language skills.
So, I’d consider myself about halfway decided. I do know what I want to do with my short study abroad experience, but not the long one. I know that in my study abroad experiences, I want to be surrounded by another language to some extent (not sure how immersive a program I’m looking for), I want to be fairly independent (so maybe that means living on my own or with a host family, but probably not with a large group of other American students), and I definitely want to be taking useful, relevant classes that will help me graduate on time. Because journalism classes I take abroad will almost certainly not transfer back, I think it would be beneficial for me to take either Spanish or computer science classes abroad to work towards completing my minors. Once I complete my summer study abroad trip, I think I’ll know a bit more about myself and what I want for round two of study abroad, and it’ll be a much easier decision then.