A room full of excited travelers eagerly awaited advice on how to kickstart their interests abroad. With over 70 different countries to choose, students can see anything from the lush countryside of Italy to the mysterious architecture of Peru.
International education workshops started Jan. 22, where advisers and students returning from studying abroad offered advice and shared stories in the hope of inspiring the next wave of travelers.
“I think the (international education workshop) gives a lot of students a confidence that they might not be able to have staying in the same place. A lot of students are flying on a plane for the first time, or entering a new culture for the first time, and it teaches them skills, but even more, they learn more about themselves abroad than otherwise,” said Kalin Bradley, an international education advisor.
During the workshop, Bradley laid out how study abroad programs affect the world as a whole.
“I think it’s helping us understand one another through going to other cultures that are completely different from what you’re used to,” Bradley said. “Sure, students have the world at their fingertips through the internet, but it’s totally different to go and experience that first hand. You can prepare all you want, but it’s actually being there and having those physical experiences that connects you with other people.”
Samantha Kramer, a junior political science major, experienced the study abroad program first hand. After studying in Spain for a semester, she said she returned to Boone with more than she left with.
“It definitely felt like I was just thrown out into the world, which was a really cool experience. I feel like being there on my own made me grow independently,” Kramer said.
Aside from her personal growth, Kramer said she also came back with a new friend group.
“My favorite thing about my time abroad was the people I met there. I met a really cool group of people that I’m still really close friends with. The friends I took back with me really made my experience,” Kramer said.
Roxana Johnson, a junior psychology major, said she looks forward to her first study abroad program.
“I’ve wanted to do it for a while because my mom did the study abroad program a long time ago, and she always told me how much it influenced her,” Johnson said. “I’m planning on doing a psych program in Prague, and I’m really excited to expand my perspective on the subject.”
Students wishing to attend workshops can visit the Office of International Education and Development webpage on the university website to choose a day and time. Held in the student union, workshops will continue through April.