Two students explore their perspectives on studying abroad
Studying Abroad in London: Expectations
By Zandra Shafer
It has been said that preparation is the key to success. As I prepared for my impending month-long trip to London, I found myself becoming increasingly overwhelmed. What could I expect from my courses, classmates, professor, and the city itself? My family and friends all constantly tell me to be careful. They are nervous for my safety. Should I be? Will I be able to keep up with students from around the world or will I end up looking like the stereotype of an ignorant American? Will I be perpetually lost, both physically and mentally? I certainly hope not.
Although I begin this article with a list of concerns, they cannot even begin to compete with the excitement which has been building inside of me since the first moment I heard Jimm Cox describe the Study Abroad in London program. I knew instantly that it was something I had to be a part of; the opportunity is far too great to let slip by. My international travel thus far consists only of short trips to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with my family. This trip is my opportunity to expand my horizons culturally, and challenge myself intellectually.
My greatest hope is that I present myself in a manner that I can be proud of, that I am a credit to USC Upstate, to the Study Abroad program, and to the United States of America. The specific lessons that I will learn relating to European history and culture are unknown to me at this time. The one thing that I am sure of is that I will return with a plethora of new experiences and knowledge in the areas of international travel, museums and galleries in London, and a sense of adaptability to any new situation that I may be faced with.
Why and how you should consider studying abroad
By Andrew Becker
As my study abroad experience soon comes to its conclusion, I must look back at its beginning.
It didn’t begin when I hopped off the plane in Paris, nor after several hours of train rides to reach my destination in the Netherlands. It didn’t begin on opening day at my foreign university, or even the first day of classes.
It began at Upstate when I decided to make a simple inquiry when I was curious and asked for some help. Three continents, 13 countries, and months later, I can’t help but feel grateful for my decision.
All it takes is a little motivation and curiosity. Who hasn’t imagined living in another country?
Maybe you’re like me and wanted to follow in the footsteps of famous expats, such as Hemmingway or Fitzgerald. Maybe you’re looking to perfect a second language, or to immerse yourself in another culture. Or maybe you don’t know what you want from life at all, and you’re still searching for what’s important to you.
A study abroad experience may offer all these things, and so much more. Getting in touch with the helpful faculty at the Burroughs building can get you started figuring out your options, costs, paperwork, and accommodations. They will let you know about scholarships opportunity.
The application is not an easy process and will require a great deal of time and effort, on top of your normal workload. There are people to help you along the way, and the more work you put into the process the more rewarding your experience can be.
It takes a few hundred dollars to be painfully realistic, and know the cost of your trip.
This experience will cost you dearly if you do not take the time and effort to do it the right way, so hit the books hard, pinch pennies, get scholarships and grants, and spend wisely. If you can do all of these things, you’re bound for fun and success during what will surely be a profound experience.
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