|Jennifer Adams (left) and Kelsey Holmes added a global element to their OU-C educational experiences.|
By public relations student writer Mallory Laird
An information session regarding study abroad experiences offered by Ohio University will be held at 3 p.m. on Oct. 17 in OU-C’s Bennett Hall room 105. Representatives from the university’s Office of Education Abroad will be on hand to share information with students and faculty as well as answer questions. Information on the Office of Education Abroad, including the various programs it offers, is available online at http://www.ohio.edu/educationabroad/.
As two Ohio University-Chillicothe students discovered, studying abroad offers an opportunity for learning that cannot be gained in the classroom and gaining a global perspective that is beneficial in their future academic and professional pursuits. As one travelling student put it, the experience “was worth every penny.”
“Studying abroad has not only enriched my college experience, but my life as a whole. I was able to learn so much about myself and my abilities. You come back to the States as a changed person, in a very good way,” said Jennifer Adams, who studied abroad in England.
Fellow OU-C student Kelsey Holmes, who has taken study abroad trips to Italy and London, said, “The whole experience is life-changing. I was definitely very nervous. Previous to my first study abroad trip, I had never been out of the country or flown before, so doing two new things at the same time was very, very scary for me. In the end it ended up making me a more independent person.”
A change in perspective is a benefit of studying abroad. “I view things completely differently than I did prior to studying abroad. Being immersed into different cultures brings a new perspective to how you view things. I have found that I can bring my study abroad experiences into classes other than art history and give a whole new meaning to what I am learning,” Holmes said.
Both individuals had an interest in an international experience for personal and academic reasons. As Chillicothe Campus students, Holmes and Adams were able to tap into the resources offered by the university’s Education Abroad program.
“I decided to study abroad because it was something I had always thought about doing. Being a regional campus student, however, I didn't know that the option was available to me. One spring quarter a representative from OU Education Abroad was on campus. A friend and I talked to this representative for quite a while and suddenly the possibility of studying abroad was opened to me. Another reason I decided to study abroad is because my major is art history. Looking at a book is one thing when you're dealing with art but being able to experience it in context is another experience entirely,” Holmes said.
Adams also elaborates, “Being a regional campus student I never thought an opportunity like this would present its self to me. I had always wanted to travel the world and this was my chance. I had many friends who had also studied abroad who highly recommended this experience to me.”
They both faced the challenges of adjusting to new surroundings and cultures, which is a large part of the study abroad experience.
“Adjusting to a country that speaks English was not too terribly hard. The hardest part was watching for the cars going in the opposite direction that you're used to! Learning and adjusting the London Underground was not as complicated as it would seem,” Holmes said.
Options are available to make these invaluable experiences affordable.
“A very good friend told me that she would pay back every penny of her student loans from studying abroad with a smile because it was well worth the extra cost and I find that to be true as well,” Holmes said. “What I think a lot of students don't realize is that financial aid can be used towards a study abroad trip to make it more affordable. There are also education abroad and program specific scholarships that can be applied for to help cover the cost.”
Holmes plans to teach in the future, and the study abroad experience will help her in her career.
“My plans after studying abroad include using my experiences to help teach others. My long term goal is to be an art history instructor on the college level. I think that is so important for someone that is planning to teach art history to study abroad and to have a personal experience with art pieces that they will be teaching others about.”
Both Holmes and Adams highly recommend studying abroad to other students.
“Absolutely. I highly recommend study abroad opportunities,” said Adams. “I would definitely recommend other students to study abroad.”
“It is an unforgettable experience that can add so much to a college education,” Holmes said.