The very first event I attended this fall semester was the Education Abroad Expo. It was an amazing opportunity for me to learn about a vast majority of the study abroad options that are available to me at my time here at The Ohio State University. I learned many valuable things about study abroad in general but also about the different requirements and responsibilities that come with traveling abroad. Prior to this event, I had a vague idea about what study abroad really was. I assumed that it was just an opportunity to get to travel and have fun, but that is not the main focus at all. Although having fun is one of the aspects of studying abroad, I learned that it gives you the opportunity to really broaden your horizon. During a trip, you get to learn about a group of people, their culture and their way of life and you get to really immerse yourself and try to make a difference and really leave your mark on the world.
There were many study abroad options that caught my attention. Many of the options were catered to my general major as International Affairs and they all seemed to be very intriguing and unique in their own way. I feel it would be impossible for me to narrow down all of these options to the program I will end up doing but I tried to focus on the options that were relevant to my major and also was in an area that I feel I could benefit from visiting. I wanted to focus on a middle eastern/northern African study abroad since I want to improve my Arabic speaking skills and also because they have a lot of opportunities for International Affairs and Business students. Countries such as Morocco, Egypt, and Israel caught my attention because they fit the demographic I was looking for and they are all beautiful and culturally rich countries. I will definitely be able to practice and improve my Arabic speaking skills and also be able to study and gain knowledge relevant to my major.
When I was first considering study abroad’s before the fair, I was originally looking to do one that was during the summer but I am now starting to also consider ones that are a semester long. I am still leaning towards the summer long option because I think it is a good and reasonable amount of time to be away from home and it also gives me the opportunity to experience the culture and livelihood in another country better than if I only stayed for spring or winter break.
I want to embark on more than one study abroad so I know that I will need money on order to do that. This study abroad fair really helped me learn about the many scholarship opportunities given to Ohio State students in particular and through other outside factors as well. The college of arts and sciences has its own study abroad scholarships that I know I will definitely utilize. Although I am not considering doing a study abroad this year, I feel I am well informed and prepared for applying to various study abroad’s in the future!