After spending some time looking closely at different study abroad possibilities, what do you want to do and why? Has your mind changed since you applied for this program? How and why (or why not)?
After looking over different study abroad opportunities, I’m still not totally sure what I want to do. I think that I may go on one of this summer’s Journey programs–possibly to Brazil, Italy, or Turkey. Already, people that I work with on The Daily have been talking to me about summer internships (for this summer and beyond), and I feel that this upcoming summer would be best for me to study abroad, since there will be less pressure on me to be working or doing internships. If I can’t go this summer, next summer would likely work too. I also feel that it would make most sense for me to get that general education requirement out of the way this summer rather than later on, when I may have already fulfilled the requirement.
As far as my longer study abroad experience, I’m unsure. I feel certain that I would want to be in a Spanish-speaking country. Part of me wants to go to Spain and live in a big city for a semester, but part of me wants a more immersive experience somewhere in South America. Really, I just want to be able to speak Spanish wherever I study. I’m also interested in the OU in Arezzo program–while I know that Italian isn’t the same as Spanish, I really do appreciate the variety of classes that are offered in Arezzo. I bet organic chemistry in Italy would feel a lot more glamorous than organic chemistry anywhere else. (Plus, my mom and my grandma would be so happy for me to get in touch with my Italian roots.) I’ve been thinking that the spring semester of my sophomore year would be a good time to do a study abroad experience.
I’m also still curious about internships and volunteer programs where I’m doing more than just studying abroad. I would really like to find a way to incorporate my journalistic interests or even my interest in photography with my study abroad, even if it’s just a personal project for me.
As far as whether I’ve changed my mind since applying to be a Global Engagement Fellow–I don’t know if I ever had my mind made up to begin with. I’m a fairly open-minded person, and really, all I want out of study abroad is a place to immerse myself in a new culture and learn something about myself (and get some credit hours knocked out). The good thing is that I’m sure I’ll be able to do that anywhere.
So, it’s clear that I still have a lot of questions. Luckily, I’ve set up an appointment to meet with Shanna Vincent in October, and I’m hoping she’ll be able to help me come up with a more definite plan for my study abroad future.