ProfTalks went global on Monday night with a series of talks about studying abroad and the benefits that an international education brings to students.
Speakers presented their thoughts and experiences to interested students for “International Profs” in the Owl’s Nest, and spoke about why they chose to go abroad. For most, it was a liberating experience. For all, studying abroad was a purposeful resume builder.
Senior education major Sondra McNicholas, who studied abroad in Dublin, found herself a job within a travel agency after she returned.
“When I came back, I got an internship with International Studies Abroad and so I go around campus and I talk about studying abroad and answer questions,” McNicholas said.
McNicholas addressed the most common myth about studying abroad: the price. Many programs supplant loans and many scholarships are transferable via financial aid.
“If you think ‘I can’t go, it won’t fit into my schedule,’ come talk to me,” she said. “There’s everything from semesters, to years, to summer programs, to internships and volunteer programs.”
For other speakers, studying abroad was a way to experience something new.
“I love traveling, and being in a new culture and meeting new people excited me,” said student Nikki Pascual. “I chose to go to Greece…I decided Thessaloniki because it’s really a low-key city and it’s one of the greatest choices I’ve ever made.”
“Going on my own was really scary, and I was terrified on the plan, but once you get there and you meet friends you’re going to learn how to rely on yourself.” – christine mccabe
It was a learning experience for most, especially early education major Christine McCabe who studied in London and found education even outside the classroom.
“You’re going to learn how to rely on yourself,” she said. “Going on my own was really scary, and I was terrified on the plan, but once you get there and you meet friends you’re going to learn how to rely on yourself.”
Additionally, international students themselves presented their own thoughts on being in the U.S. and at Rowan.
“International students face a lot of social difficulties in school and outside of it like language barriers, cultural shocks, lack of families and support and adjusting,” said graduate student Sanaz Shahi.
“For most international students, English is their second language and they find it hard to communicate or express their feelings to others,” she continued. “Some students get used to the language and pick it up very quickly. But some students take time and they face difficulties with the accent, like me.”
Every speaker stressed the benefits they brought home after their trips. While earning credit was important, they all spoke fondly of the friends they made and the opportunities international study gave them.
Students interested in studying abroad can reach out to Rowan Education Abroad office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next semester of Prof Talks has already been scheduled, beginning with one on Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m., concerning “New Beginnings” to coincide with New Year’s and resolutions.
After that, topics include “Love” (for Valentine’s Day), “Finding Your Why,” “Words to Live By,” “Mindfulness,” Sexual Violence” and “Snapshots.” Students interested in speaking are encouraged to reach out to Ashley Nichols at email@example.com or get in contact with Leadership Rowan.
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