Other stories filed under 2018-2019
Will you take the opportunity to study abroad?
December 20, 2018
Many people have the wish of traveling once they are out of high school, whether it be during college or when they are done with school altogether. Luckily, many colleges offer the chance to study abroad to their students. This allows students to get to experience new cultures for an extended period of time and to ultimately see parts of the world that wouldn’t be possible without this opportunity through colleges.
Most colleges have a wide variety of study abroad trips that vary from going to England in Europe or Guatemala in South America. One downside to these programs is that you need to get accepted into them. This process of becoming accepted is a long, kind of excessive, process. Students have to go to special sessions that are basically informational meetings about going abroad. Then students must fill out an online application about why they want to study abroad and how the students would benefit from studying abroad. An interview with the program director then takes place, and the director picks the 30 students that get to go on the trip.
Once you become accepted into the study abroad program, the process is not over. Students will have to go and obtain a travel visa. This may include having to travel to another state because Minnesota does not have adequate government buildings/institutions. For example, if a student were to study abroad in South Africa they would have to go to Chicago, Illinois to turn in the proper paperwork and get the travel visa.
I had to chance to talk to a friend of mine about the logistics of studying abroad. Cassandra Evans is a junior at the College of St. Benedict’s in Collegeville, MN. She was accepted into the South Africa study abroad trip and is leaving January 28th, 2019 and is coming back towards the end of May 2019.
Cassandra plans on taking a wide variety of classes while in South Africa. She is going to be taking South African Literature, South African Jazz/Pop Music, South African Politics, and an International Field Experience where she gets to volunteer in the community. Along with the unique classes offered, she also gets to experience the culture and gets to go out on fun excursions throughout her trip. Cassandra has the opportunity to go on multiple excursions, for example, she has the option to go bungee jumping, go on a safari, touring the cities, going skydiving, and cage diving with sharks.
Interview with Cassandra:
Q: What are you most excited about your trip?
A: “I’m excited about experiencing a new culture and being able to go on an adventure like this with a group of individuals that choose this program for the same reason I did. I also can’t wait to get close to everyone from my school and also expand my friendships with those individuals that go to Nelson Mandela University.”
Q: What are you going to miss most when you are gone?
A: “I’m going to miss my friends and family the most because even though I’m going to be having the adventure of a lifetime it’s hard not to be able to share it with those I love. Plus down there we don’t have the best communication with my friends and family back home so it makes it even harder to not be connected.”
Q: Do you have any worries or concerns about leaving/when you get to South Africa?
A: “I’m not very concerned about living there for 4 months because our program has made sure we are prepared with what is happening there and what we can expect. Plus we have gone over lots of safety precautions for when I am abroad. One thing that is a little of a worry is the communication with those back home because I will be doing lots of neat stuff while I’m abroad and not being able to have that instant connection will be a change but I know once I’m there after a few weeks it will become normal and I will embrace being in a new part of the world.”
Q: How are you feeling about leaving so soon?
A: “It hasn’t set in yet about how soon I am actually leaving. I think it will set in in January since I leave at the end of January. But I know I’m trying to spend as much time with friends and family while I’m here.”