Don’t let the intimidation of being somewhere new stop you from the life-changing experience that studying abroad can offer. On Wednesday, February 29th, curious students stopped by the study abroad table with many questions. Patricia Murdock, Director of the Study Abroad program, says there are five good reasons a student should study abroad.
“Study[ing] abroad is the best way to learn a language,” Murdock said. Many students are already taking languages, including Italian, Spanish and German. “What better way to really learn and understand the language than by studying in that country?” asked Murdock. Being there encourages one to practice the language more in depth and to learn from the locals.
The second reason to study abroad is to get to experience a new culture first hand. Murdock explained that cultural differences go much deeper than just differences in language and food. They reflect peoples’ beliefs and values, as well as the people from those cultures may view the world.
According to Murdock, another reason to consider taking a trip is because “study abroad will help you develop skills and give you an experience that is different than the traditional classroom setting.” Although this can make a student feel uneasy at first, it can turn into a very rewarding experience. A student will discover his or her own weaknesses and strengths and learn how to overcome challenges. “You will encounter situations that are wholly unfamiliar to you and will learn to adapt and respond in effective ways,” explained Murdock.
Studying abroad allows students to learn more about themselves, said Murdock, explaining the fourth reason for students to consider it. Students often gain perspective about their own cultures and see them through fresh eyes. Some students even find themselves re-evaluating their previous beliefs and values with the new ones they have been exposed to while studying abroad.
The final reason Murdock offered for why students might wish to consider studying abroad is that “study abroad can enhance employment opportunities.” She continued, “To some employers, a student who has studied abroad can be seen as self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems and situations.”
Australia and England are two of the most popular places where Post students study abroad. Yecenia Tapia, a junior Early Childhood Education major, is currently spending her spring semester in London. She spoke of how she loves it there and is embracing all the new experiences that are coming her way. Tapia said, “This is definitely an experience that every student should take. No one will ever take this experience from me, and it is something I can carry throughout my whole life and talk about what an impact in my life this has been.”
Hailey Brosnan, a junior Biology major, is currently studying in Australia. She has been there since February 14th and will return home on June 30th. She mentioned the excitement of studying in another country and getting to embrace its culture. She said that she has no regrets about her decision to go to Australia. “I felt that I wanted to get the most out of my college experience, and when else would I get a chance like this to spend a semester in another country?” Brosnan said.
To study abroad, students must be in good academic standing and must garner approval from their department chairpersons and the Post Director of Study. They must also have completed one full-time semester on campus. Students can use their financial aid that they are normally entitled to, including scholarships when studying abroad. There are additional costs for airfare and spending money, which vary depending on the location a student decides to go.
If you are interested in studying abroad, you can contact the Director of Study Abroad Patricia Murdock at firstname.lastname@example.org, stop by the Study Abroad office in Winnick House, Room 221, or visit http://www.liu.edu/CWPost/Academics/Study-Abroad.aspx