This past week I visited the Office of International Affairs at The Ohio State University. I learned about the different opportunities there were to study abroad and learn outside of United States. The advisor I spoke with was very knowledgeable about the different programs and helped me find which one could work best for me. I was very unsure of what I was looking for when I first went but after answering a few questions about my interests, where I wanted to travel, and for how long, the advisor presented me with a few different programs that I might be interested in.
The main point that first prompted my visit to the Office of International Affairs was when a speaker came and talked to my college seminar class about the opportunity to study abroad. Study abroad has always been something that I have thought about in the back of my mind but never something that I really took seriously and considered doing. It was an option that always interested me but in the past I always brushed it off as unrealistic because I believed I wouldn’t have the time. It was one of those “it would be nice” but probably won’t happen thoughts. The presenter spoke about how education abroad has a range of different programs that go to different countries and last for different amounts of time. Some people study abroad for a year and some go for only a few days. The thing that all students who had traveled abroad was the out of classroom experience to learn not only about another subject, but about another culture. The advisor even explained that many of the programs to study abroad count as credit, the same as a class would and factor into your GPA. Learning that there were some programs that could count as credit towards my major and wouldn’t take up too much time was what made me want to pursue more information about possible education abroad programs that might be right for me.
The program that sparked my interest is called Scientific Roots in Europe. There is a spring semester long on campus course that pairs with the education abroad program which counts as biology credit which ties in perfectly with my biochemistry major. The first half of the semester is spent learning about the context in which biological scientific discovery has taken place in Europe, specifically England and France. Over the week of spring break, the class travels to England and France and visits multiple historic sites where scientific discoveries have been made. The British Museum, Down House, and the Muséum national d’Histoire Naturelle are just a few of the historical sites which will be visited during the trip. After returning, the class resumes and a final project that ties the content learned in the classroom with the content learned in Europe is completed.
I would love to be able to study abroad sometime within my next few years at OSU because the mix of travel, learning about biology, and immersing myself in European culture is something I hope I get the opportunity to do.