03 Aug Studying abroad: Professors make the difference

[caption id="attachment_2200" align="alignnone" width="660"] The building is impressive. The people inside it are amazing.[/caption] During my second semester freshman year in college I befriended a geography professor. Or maybe it was he who befriended me. We got along great. He was gearing up for his annual abroad program in the Mexican Yucatan where, each summer, he took a group of students. He asked me to assist him in research, and went so far as to write letters of recommendation getting me into my university’s honors program to apply for travel scholarships. It was my first time going overseas. I wasn’t a geography major. And my interest in science came to an explosive halt back in elementary school when I added too much baking soda to my Mount Vesuvius volcano. I blew off ceiling tiles. But Dr. Biles sold me on the abroad experience first, the work second. After two months overseas, however, it was both the experiences in a different country and my research work that made my time abroad memorable. A reputable international studies survey is released each November. Last year’s report shows that the top two majors of US college students studying abroad are social sciences and business/management. Foreign language is seventh. What does this mean? Many things, but to my point it shows business majors studying abroad are likely enrolling in business classes abroad, not a foreign language. Students study abroad what they’re studying back home. In my case I was the...

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