Important Advice for Study AbroadOn October 11, 2018 by Carley Grace
I have lived in suburban Oklahoma my entire life, so I knew when I went to college that I wanted to study abroad. In fact, the opportunities for international study solidified my commitment to OU. I have met so many people who have been willing to share their experiences and advice with me. Now that I am about 8 weeks into the semester, I have had ample time to sort through the tips, warnings, experiences, and encouragements given to me by Becoming Globally Engaged classwork, upperclassmen, friends, teachers, and advisors. I have learned how to use my future study abroad experiences on my resume. I have been warned about the potential culture shock and how to deal with difficult potential questions about my home country. I have learned about my own privilege and how others perceive the combination of my color, nationality, and gender. I have also been shown that studying abroad does not have to be expensive, and it can even be comparable to studying here at OU or cheaper. I have been shown different ways of coping with unforeseen discomforts while traveling. I now know how important it is to figure out your comfort zones before you leave. For example, if you prefer to travel in a large group or a small group, if you prefer cold weather or warm weather, or whether you want to study in a large city or a smaller town.
One of the most important pieces of wisdom I have received is that even though I am an engineering (or computer science) student, I can still do a semester abroad. When I went to my spring semester advising session, I was told that I would not be able to study abroad. Thankfully, I have been told by multiple other parties that it is completely possible. It will definitely take a little more planning than it would have for other majors, but it is a huge relief to know that I will not have to sacrifice my major to study abroad or vise versa. There is so much I know I am missing by never really experiencing any other country and I know college is the perfect time to try new things.