This semester, students are studying abroad across the globe in several programs offered by the Office of International Education (OIE). OIE offers 25 programs in six continents around the world, where students can enroll for a semester or a year of classes abroad.
Ariel Keene, a senior, is studying abroad at Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom. “I chose [Queen Mary University] because of its central location in London and how diverse it is. The past few weeks at Queen Mary have been pretty great and I’ve met many people with such different backgrounds. I love it!” Through studying abroad, Keene has learned to be free to grow and find herself as an independent person. “I’m here living in an apartment by myself, traveling by myself, etc. and it’s been teaching me how to be more independent and comfortable in my own company.”
Keene observed that “a year ago, I would have never thought that I would be studying abroad by myself for 3 months.” Keene stated that her future is “forever changed because I know I am not the same person I was when I first came to London. I’ve adopted a new perspective on life and what I want to do as a career.”
Haley Wess, a junior anthropology major, is currently abroad at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Since going to Australia in July, Wess has enjoyed her opportunity to travel around the eastern hemisphere. “I’ve been to Bali [Indonesia] with the other SMCM people here, and I’m going to Whitsundays which is in Australia in a few weeks,” Wess told TPN. “Then my sister and mom are coming and we’re traveling around Australia and headed to New Zealand after that!”
Wess remarked that, due to the time difference, “it can be hard to talk to my family and friends back home while abroad,” but that in the end, she will miss the people she’s met in Australia. “I’m gonna miss a lot of the people I met in Australia, they’re really genuine and surprisingly go out of their way for you to get to experience things while you’re here.”
Junior Erika Blair is studying at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies in Kyoto, Japan, through a non-SMCM program, CISabroad. Blair is studying Japanese language and culture classes, which are taught completely in Japanese. “I grew up speaking the language, but haven’t had a formal opportunity to study since middle school,” said Blair. “It’s an immersive experience.” Blair says that her experience has been “amazing” so far, and feels that she is “fortunate that I not only get to live in this country but that I also get to live in the city that my family is from. Kyoto is absolutely amazing, the city life is awesome, but it’s also so rich in culture/history.”
Blair’s favorite thing to do in Kyoto is to visit the Arashiyama district and visit the macaque monkeys that roam the area. “I would die for those monkeys,” . Blair has also enjoyed getting to see new shrines and temples throughout Kyoto every day.
The OIE has several study abroad programs offered directly through SMCM, and helps students organize non-SMCM study abroad programs as well. The office is located in the Glendenning Annex, and has walk-in advising hours from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, and 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Thursdays.