About a year ago, I was thinking about going abroad. I talked to my advisor and told him that I wanted to take a semester of school overseas. I always wanted to do it, but planning is exhausting. Figuring out where to go, what part of the year and don’t get me started on the paperwork; the loans and housing is chaotic.
Traveling is crazy; the experiences, views and the expenses. My loan was a little bit heavier this year because studying abroad is costly. There are souvenirs at places you go to that you’ve wanted since you were little. There are activities that you must go on because they are just flat out unforgettable. And we can’t forget about the food and drinks and other drinks… anyways. It’s a lot of money to go to a different country, like one would expect, but worth every penny. Plus, if you are interested and worried about costs, there are many scholarships with the school’s partnering programs. Also, make sure you know how much of the loan is going to each semester. I requested more for my first semester because I’m in Spain and need more, rather than next when I will be back home counting my nickles because I sold my soul in Spain. No big deal. Loans: check. Need to do: housing arrangements.
Housing wise, figure that out ASAP. If you are living in a dorm I don’t think it’s that big of a deal (don’t quote me), but if you’re planning on renting a home or apartment you need to find a subleaser (that is if you’re leaving for a semester not a year). Facebook is good, or just connect with some of your friends. It’s cool to get out of Keene for a bit, and you could go almost anywhere.
I thought I knew where I wanted to go until I saw all my options. I was a child in a candy store. I wanted to go everywhere. There is an abundance of programs you can go through that offer different majors and studies. For me, I didn’t need anything other than elective credits so i was going to take classes that would be more interesting to me; I like more expressive classes, like writing and art. Most schools offered many classes of science and art so you shouldn’t have a problem filling up your schedule while your abroad. But I will forewarn you, these are still real classes! You have to go and you have to do your work. As much as everyone thinks (or at least in the back of my mind thought) studying abroad does not mean these courses are going to be a piece of cake. Learning is why you are in school in the first place. Vale? (Okay?) These classes help you understand the culture and the people of the place you are staying in. Es muy importante! But it’s worth it. I know you’re all thinking about your friends, the parties you’ll miss… blah blah blah. Just kidding; I felt you.
I was nervous that I would miss out on things happening with my friends, you know missing those “you had to be there” moments. This is my last year at college so I’m missing Red and White Night with my friends, the first semester pub crawl and everything in between. But after debating in my head about it and talking to students who studied in other countries, I was like, “I might actually be able to do this.” And you best believe I’m doing it as you read this. And it’s an unexplainable experience—but as you can see, I’m trying my best.
I hope you all got something out of this because I highly recommend taking a chance and putting your fears aside to grab on to this amazing opportunity that KSC is giving you all. Keep your grades up, talk to your advisors and if you have any questions, big or little, just shoot me an email! I would be happy to talk about my experiences and your potential concerns. This is not sponsored, but @KSCglobaleducationoffice: you’re welcome.
Kiana Wright can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org