Hello everyone! As you can see, this is the blog that will document my study abroad in Glasgow, which I will be leaving for in only 2 months. I am very excited about this trip, and I hope that I can document all the fun things that I do while I am overseas. I also will want to tell you about different aspects of Scotland and other parts of Europe that I get to visit, just so you can learn while you read up on my experiences; on top of that, I’m also going to give tips and advice, both based off of my experiences and from other sources, about studying abroad and traveling to different countries for those who are interested in studying abroad.
I’m probably not going to be able to post very often up until leaving in September just because I don’t really think there is a point in writing a blog about studying abroad when I haven’t left the States yet. Having said that, however, I will post once or twice before I leave; one of those posts, I want to hear from you, the readers (as well as my friends and family) about anything that you want answered before I leave.
I will answer some questions that I have been getting from numerous people over the past few months right now, though. The first question I have been getting a lot is how long I will be gone for, or rather, when will I leave for the United Kingdom and when will I be returning? The answer is that I leave on September 6th, and return on December 21st (right on the Winter Solstice!). In other words, my semester proper begins later than at McKendree, but ends later as well, which means little because it’s going to be awesome!
Another thing that I will say is that I am doing this from a different institution than what McKendree has done for a long time, and that is that I am traveling through ISA (International Studies Abroad). While I am not the first person from McKendree to go through ISA (that would go to Caitlyn Jacober, who is currently studying in Valencia for the summer and currently has a blog that you should definitely give a visit), I will be the first to use them through a full semester. They have been very helpful in answering my questions (of which I have had very many) as well as with other arrangements.
Again, remember to send me any questions that you have, and I will answer them in the next blog that I post before I leave. Until then, I will be continuing to make arrangements for leaving, and I hope to see most of you before September!
Until next time,
STUDY ABROAD TIP
Deciding on a country and school of study - So you’ve made the decision to study abroad and likely have a country where you want to study in mind as well, but if you are like me, you probably had quite a few places in mind, and believe me, it can be difficult to narrow it down when there are a lot of places you want to go. So here are some questions you can ask yourself while you are contemplating where you ultimately want to go:
- Can you/are you willing to speak/learn another language for the majority of your trip?
- Is your country in the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere? (From my experience, universities in the southern hemisphere are structured differently, meaning that the “Spring” semesters begin in July and the “Fall” semesters begin in February)
- Are you comfortable leaving and returning by the program’s dates?
- What kind of classes do you want to take while abroad? (if you want to take classes within your major, it might narrow down your search)
You obviously don’t need to follow this list completely, but my biggest advice is that you think long and hard about what kind of experience you want to have, what each country can provide, and anything else that might be a deciding factor on where you want to go. In other words, don’t make a final decision until you’ve considered things such as cost, location, climate, location of the university within the country, etc.
Sometimes two places can seem almost equal to where you want to go and making a final decision can seem like the hardest thing to do (I know because I’ve experienced it). I personally ended up nitpicking both of my top options before I made a final decision, but ultimately, it’s your call on which country you want to go to. Anyway you look at it, it will be a life-changing experience!