Am I There Yet? (Why Now?)

7 Feb

Hey Everyone,

We meet again! I hope you all are having a wonderful week, and enjoying this wonderful weather! I know I been talking about Study abroad and all that fun jazz. Today I wanted to talk to you about why I choose to go on this long journey the spring semester of my second year in college. Where do I begin? There are a couple of reasons I waited until now to apply for study abroad. The number one reason is planning. Since high school I knew I wanted to travel around the world, go meet different people, experience different cultures, and learn about different countries.

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When I was accepted to the U of A in the Fall 2011, I knew I wanted to study abroad, but I really didn’t know how to go about finding information about programs. I went directly to my major department and just simply asked if there were any study abroad programs, and sure enough there were plenty. The only problem was that they didn’t necessarily have a program that fit me personally. I wanted to go to Turkey and study Turkish culture, history, and language. My next stop was visiting the Study Abroad website here at U of A.

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I contacted the Study Abroad office and set an appointment with the one and only Ken Simonds. You guys meet Ken in my previous blog. He was extremely helpful in finding the right program for me, but he never sugar coated anything and told me this is no easy process. Sure enough it has been a challenging process. Here is a list of things I had to consider before applying. These were crucial key points for me to make my final decision.

  1. Planning: You need to know what you want to do before anything – talk to a Study Abroad advisor. They’re here to help!
  2. Timing: Check with your academic advisor when it would be best to study abroad, and if you’re in good standing to leave. This could apply for Fall, Spring, or Summer.
  3. Do your research: Make sure you know what program you’re applying for, and if it’s a transfer credit program.
  4. Funding: Ask yourself, “How I’m I going to fund this trip? Are there any sort of scholarships for me to apply for?”
  5. Think and Review: Think about your future, and be 100 percent sure this is something you will never regret

These are the steps I took before committing to study abroad. It took me a year and a half to make sure I had my plan set, and after much thought, research, meeting time, and many tears, I realized it was TIME! So now I’m here – Spring semester of my sophomore year applying to study abroad in the Summer of 2013.

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