In case you’re unfamiliar, I initially started this blog as a requirement for my “Global Engagement Fellowship.” This is a program that not only funds study abroad opportunities, but is also a unique group of people with varied backgrounds, majors, and hobbies who all hold interest in international affairs and global travel. In addition to being a Global Engagement Fellow, I am also enrolled in a Gateway Class comprised of only “GEFs.” For the past two weeks of class, I have been engaged in conversation with many people from various places around the United States in my Global Engagement community. Even more exciting was having the opportunity to hear from upperclassmen Fellows about their experiences at OU, and their time in this diverse GEF community.
Initially I thought that the study abroad opportunities offered by this program would be the most valuable, but the community within the program has been integral to my first few weeks of school. All of the people in my seminar class, as well as the other Fellows that I have met, have been engaging, interesting, and supportive. Nonetheless, I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to study abroad. I am increasingly interested in the three week summer programs that have been discussed. Perhaps these would give me the opportunity to travel to more countries. I am also looking forward to my semester abroad. While the idea of spending almost twenty weeks out of the United States makes me somewhat nervous, I am still looking forward to this daring and unique opportunity.
Hearing other Fellows discussing where they have been on study abroad, or where they want to go, opens my mind to places that I have never considered studying abroad. For the past few years, I have thought that I would study abroad in Spain. However, there are so many unique opportunities outside of Europe that perhaps I had never considered. My seminar class had the opportunity to hear from one upperclassman who had studied abroad in Columbia. While I never considered this as an option, I definitely plan on looking into it now. I am so excited to discover and explore the wide range of possibilities that are available through The University of Oklahoma.
The best advice that I have received thus far is to not get “too involved.” I think that I made this mistake in high school and was not able to give all of my organizations the attention that they needed or deserved. I plan on attending many club meetings and finding out which ones are truly “for me.” If I am not whole-heartedly enjoying my club, or if it is distracting from my studies, then I will no longer participate in that club. It’s as simple as that!