Studying abroad: tips, advice from students, staff

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A student's passport was stamped both when they arrived and when they left Barcelona, Spain.

Studying
abroad can be a very unique and exciting experience for many students, and
K-State offers many study abroad options in a broad selection of countries. However,
after committing to a program, getting all the necessary paperwork, forms and
pre-arrival arrangements made can be a hectic time for a lot of students.

“There are so many
study abroad options out there to various locations and for various lengths of
time, if nothing else look at all of your options available to you,” Logan
Gauby, peer advisor in the study abroad office, said.

Gauby has studied abroad two different times; a faculty-led trip to London, Munich and Paris, and a semester trip to Linnaeus University in Sweden.

“For students getting ready to study abroad — take every opportunity you can,” Gauby said. “No matter where or for how long you study abroad, there are going to be experiences you have never encountered before, but you will undoubtedly grow more than you can ever imagine from each one of those experiences; good, bad or indifferent.”

Kelsey Kramer, junior in marketing, went on a faculty led trip to London and Germany.

“The faculty-led trip was nice because all the planning was done for you,” Kramer said.

She also said that the educational tours that her group went on to the BMW factory and the Chelsea football — soccer, to most Americans — stadium were fun and interesting. Kramer advised that anyone looking to study abroad or travel in general, should pack light to allow space for souvenirs, plan ahead because Wi-Fi access is not always possible to find, and keep all valuables in front of you to prevent them from being stolen.

Grace Bokelman, graduate student in grain science, studied at University College Dublin in the spring semester of 2011. She said she really enjoyed having the freedom to travel to the places she wanted to go on her own time schedule.

“It allowed me to become more comfortable as an independent traveler, even though that meant getting lost and asking for directions,” Bokelman said.

Bokelman said that she would suggest trying to make connections with people at the university before arriving and that meeting other international students at the university is important.

“That really kind of helped me out because you’re all on the same page,” she said.

One challenge for Bokelman, while getting used to Dublin, was figuring out the transportation system. Public transportation was not something that she’d had to use a lot growing up in rural Kansas.

No matter how different their experiences or destinations were Gauby, Kramer and Bokelman all said that they enjoyed their time spent abroad.

“There were no bad parts. I never regretted anything,” Bokelman said.

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