Study Abroad Extravaganza Highlights the Benefits of Experiencing Other Lands
If you attended the Study Abroad Extravaganza on September 7 and you have no desire to hike through the Amazon River Basin, spend some time at an authentic Oxford pub discussing British literature, or do something else interesting that you’ve never done before, then you may want to check yourself for a pulse.
A dozen students, faculty and staff discussed their study abroad experiences with great enthusiasm, showed videos and photos from their journey, and shot down just about every possible excuse for turning down the opportunity to study abroad.
“Belize is a beautiful place, and it was an awesome research opportunity that will look great on a resume. The scenery was really nice and after being abused by the water all day you got to return and spend time in a hammock,” said Jennifer Schwab, a genetic engineering major who went to Belize in July to study the Queen Conch of the Caribbean with Professor John Cigliano, Ph.D. She also went to Guyana in May to study the Amazon River Basin with Cigliano and classmates. “In Guyana, we hiked through one of the largest areas of pristine rainforest. We saw a Harpy Eagle, which is very elusive. People go there year after year and never see one.”
Rachel Morgandale did her study abroad during the summer at Oxford University. She admitted to being hesitant at first about going to Europe alone, but said Director of Global Initiatives & International Programs Jenny Weatherford, Ph.D., put her mind at ease. In the end, she would do it again in a heartbeat.
“If any of you are considering not studying abroad for that reason, forget it,” said Morgandale, an English major who studied creative writing at Oxford. “It’s (beneficial) to learn more about the places you go and about the subject you are studying, but you really get to learn a lot about yourself.”
Shamara Rhodes and Becca Lowe, criminal justice and social work majors, respectively, went to South Korea along with four other CCC students to study at Seoul Women’s University for the month of July. They also got to spend time living with a host family and traveling the country, learning about the culture.
“This exchange program is really for any person in any type of major. I had an amazing time, and there is something new to do every day,” said Rhodes. This was the second year for this highly successful exchange program, through which two students from Seoul Women’s University will live and study on the Cedar Crest campus for the 2012-13 academic year.
During the Study Abroad Extravaganza, professors Bob Wilson, Ph.D., and Allen Richardson, Ph.D., discussed exciting study abroad trips they are taking to Italy in March 2013 and India in May 2013, respectively.
“How many of you have had a chance to ride an elephant, or see a tiger in their world, and not in a zoo?” Richardson asked, noting just a couple of the unusual things students will get to do if they choose to accompany him to India.
With a wealth of study abroad options, and scholarships available from Cedar Crest College and hundreds of organizations—including prestigious international Gilman Scholarships, through which two Cedar Crest students have studied abroad—there really aren’t any excuses for not making the most of these opportunities.
“I can help you figure out what’s best for your interests and your academic program. You may think that it’s difficult to get away from your everyday life to study abroad, but it there’s a will, there’s a way,” said Weatherford, emcee for the program which attracted 50 or so students.
For information on study abroad opportunities at Cedar Crest College send an e-mail to Jenny.Weatherford@cedarcrest.edu.