Whether it’s lounging by the pool, traveling the world, interning for a dream company or sleeping in until noon, summer is a three-month long vacation where students have the freedom and time to spend their days how they please.
Bre Lombard, student coordinator for the International Studies team at Kansas State, recommends that students study abroad. Students at K-State can study abroad through the International Studies Abroad program, which is offered by the Staley School of Leadership.
“If there’s an opportunity to go abroad, take it,” Lombard said. “The U.S. is a comfort zone, and you grow more outside of your comfort zone.”
Students studying abroad through the International Studies Abroad program take a semester-long course in the spring that prepares them for the trip. During this course students learn why it’s important to travel globally and not just locally, what ethical volunteering looks like and how to talk about and share their experiences when they return home.
Lombard facilitates this class with other student coordinators, along with booking flights and making sure students are up-to-date on their insurance and vaccinations before traveling.
Applications for the International Studies Abroad program will go out in the fall and anyone can apply. They are looking for students who are open to new experiences.
“You have to be willing to learn and adapt,” Lombard said. “You have to have a positive attitude.”
Meredith Clark, sophomore in nutritional sciences, is also spending her summer away from home. She will be studying abroad for 40 days in Sevilla, Spain. While in Sevilla, Clark will be taking Spanish classes and learning about the culture of Spain. The weekends are reserved for traveling, and Clark will have the opportunity to travel to Morocco.
“It’ll be fun to explore Spain,” Clark said. “I’ll live with a host family, so it’ll be interesting to see how their family dynamic is different than it is here.”
Some students also use the summer to work on internships to gain experience in their fields.
Katie Wetta, freshman in mechanical engineering, is interning at Trissential, a consulting firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota this summer.
Over the nine-week internship, Wetta will become familiar with the company, meet with clients and learn how to run a small business. She will be living in the University of Minnesota apartments and is excited to be independent but will miss her friends and family back home. Wetta is most excited about gaining experience in the real world.
“Engineering is all about experience,” Wetta said. “It’s not about your GPA or your degree. It’s about what you do with it.”
Whether it is working or traveling, K-State students are spending their summers gaining experience and knowledge for the real world and traveling the globe.