By Haylie May
Ever since I have arrived on campus, I have heard a lot about the Michigan State study abroad programs. With advisors, professors, and other students encouraging people to take part in the programs, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. This week I interviewed a fellow first-year student, Rachel Powell, who took part in a Freshman Seminar Abroad program this past summer.
Which study abroad did you do? Was it just for fun or did it relate to your major?
“I did the freshman seminar abroad study to New Zealand. I studied economics and sustainability in relation to New Zealand. When I first toured MSU, the lady talked about freshman seminars abroad and I hadn’t heard of them before and that was honestly one of my deciding factors for coming to Michigan State. As a hospitality business major with a minor in environmental and sustainable studies, the study abroad did relate to my studies because I want to focus ecotourism and it got my biology credit out of the way.”
Why did you decide to do a study abroad before your freshman year?
“I was really excited for the opportunity to jumpstart the college experience and meet new people before I even came to Michigan State. Getting my biology credit out of the way was also a big perk. I got to meet a lot of people who were in RISE through this trip so it was nice to know people before coming to campus.”
What is some advice for people thinking about doing a study abroad? How did you choose yours?
“I think something that’s really important is going to a place that’s new for you. If you read the description for a study abroad on the website and it makes you excited, that probably means it will be a good fit for you. It is also a good way to earn your credits. If you’re going to pay for the study abroad experience, you may as well choose one that will help chip away at your credits.”
What was the best part of your Study Abroad?
“Interacting with a completely different culture was the best part. I’ve lived abroad in a couple different countries, but I had never had the opportunity to experience Maori culture before going to New Zealand. It was really exciting to be able to immerse myself in the culture.”
How has study abroad changed your college experience?
“For one, besides making me a more well-rounded person, and continuing to inspire me to join more study abroad programs, I’ve gotten involved in SAGA. SAGA is the global ambassadors for study abroad, being involved in it has allowed me to help raise awareness for study abroad on campus and plan events for students to come to if they’re interested and want to learn more information about it. Also go check out SAGA they’re really cool!”
Would you do another study abroad?
“Absolutely. I’ve already applied for a study abroad in Antarctica, and I plan to do more in the future. I’m always on the study abroad website and I think it’s a really big part of the college experience here.”
After talking to Rachel I was super excited about exploring the different study abroad programs here at MSU. By looking on the website, I learned that not only can you earn credits while immersing yourself in other cultures, some study abroad and away programs can also place you into companies for internships. This would be another great way to gain life experience while also getting a taste for what a real career will be like in the future!
The lovely pictures in this post were all given to me by Rachel and are from her trip!