Expanding horizons by studying abroad
Kent State offers many ways to see the world through the college experience. With all of the study abroad programs available, there are endless ways for students to expand their horizons.
There are many types of study abroad programs that students can get involved in at the university. Students have the option of studying abroad for a year or a couple of weeks, depending on their preference.
“The first thing we ask students is what do you want to do because that is the most important thing,” said Ediz Kaykayoglu, the Education Abroad manager.
Through Kent State’s sister universities, a student can travel to New York, France, Hong Kong, Spain, Taiwan and many more places. There is also a program called Semester at Sea, during which a student spends a semester on a boat and travels from place to place.
Even if a student has a place where he or she would like to study that isn’t offered in one of Kent State’s programs, there is the option of creating a unique study abroad program.
“If you want to go to Portugal, and we don’t have a program in Portugal, what we can do is show you the resources,” Kaykayoglu said.
Many students who have studied abroad expressed how life-changing the experience was and what a great opportunity it was to take advantage of.
“Studying abroad saved my life,” said Tessa Engelhart, senior communication studies major. “I don’t know where I would be or what I would be doing with my life if it wasn’t for it.”
About a year ago, Engelhart traveled to Florence, Italy, in a study abroad program with the College of Communication and Information for a semester. With this being her first time living away from home, she hoped that the time would fly by.
“As I realized the time was going by, I regretted ever saying that because it was just the best thing I’ve ever done,” Engelhart said.
She said her study abroad trip was at a perfect time for her, and after traveling to Italy all of her personal problems felt less important.
“I saw so much poverty in Greece and people homeless in Spain and London that I realized there were so many other things going on that I didn’t have much to be worried about, and it made me very thankful,” Engelhart said.
Paul Mitchell, senior political science major, traveled to Geneva for a semester his junior year. He described his experience as a trip back to childhood.
“You get there, and you’re like completely lost. You have to have somebody hold your hand,” Mitchell said. “Then you start to find your way. You just get bombarded with these new experiences the whole time, and they force you to adapt and grow.”
Mitchell said he got lost in confusion sometimes when he would travel at a rapid pace throughout Europe, but the experience was still unbelievable.
When deciding on studying abroad, Kaykayoglu said to begin to plan at least a year in advance so all the essentials are completely worked out. Students have to meet with a study abroad adviser and a financial aid adviser to work out all of the details.
“Some people think they can’t afford it,” Engelhart said. “But when there is a will, there is a way.”
Scholarships are available through Kent State and outside resources to help fund a study abroad trip.
For more information on studying abroad, visit the Office of Global Education in Room 106 in Van Campen Hall.