Study abroad opens many new doors

Cadet Brendan Moreina during his semester abroad in Machu Picchu. Picture by Thomas Blood

From distant cities in China to popular European capitals in Prague and Berlin, Norwich students who experience study abroad gain cultural breadth, important additions to their résumé and opportunities for adventure.
Norwich University offers students a chance to gain both “experience and perspective as a person as well as for future careers,” says the Assistant Director (AD) for Education Abroad and Away at Norwich, Thomas Blood.
“(Employers) know they are not taking a risk hiring someone who has studied abroad,” said Blood. “They know someone who has studied abroad is capable of rising to the occasion in the face of a new challenge, which is very important for any career.”
Students have the chance to study in a foreign country for the same price, if not less, than what they pay to attend Norwich, he explained.

“It’s a misconception that studying abroad always costs more, it doesn’t need to. A big reason why we have a wide range of programs is so that way, there are a variety of costs for a variety of students,” said Blood.
Apart from offering an affordable chance to experience another culture, there is much to gain from a study abroad experience. “The perspective it gives you, as a person, to see the world and know how big it can be, it is really amazing,” Blood said.
According to Blood, numerous options are currently available for students willing to take a chance at studying abroad, in almost any country in the world. The three main programs offered by Norwich are the exchange program, the Norwich program, and third-party programs, each having hundreds of locations to choose from.
Blood’s office, located at the International Center right above Plumley Armory, serves as a crucial resource for students seeking a better understanding of the study abroad process, and application to the programs.
According to the Norwich International Center website (https://www.norwich.edu/international/), there are students from 33 different academic majors studying in over 23 different countries around the world this semester, giving cadets and civilians a “gateway to the world,” in over five continents.
According to Blood, popular academic destinations are Cork and Dublin in Ireland; Chengdu, China; San Jose, Costa Rica; and military exchange programs like the Australian Defense Force Academy in Canberra, Australia, for members of the corps.
“Our study abroad website can show you everything you need to know, and even help you map out your schedule for the programs,” Blood said.
The International Center website serves as a vital asset for students thinking of studying abroad with little or no knowledge of the programs, allowing everybody the opportunity to explore possible future options.
“I was really interested in studying abroad last year,” said Trevor Franklin, 19, a criminal justice major from Grayslake, Ill. “I would talk to my counselors and academic advisor to see what I had to do, and where I was able to go.” Franklin began considering his potential study abroad programs extremely early, making sure to have plenty of time to get the documentation required ready for the departure.
“I had been considering programs all summer, and officially started the process early this (fall) semester, so that I could get everything in place and make the whole process easier,” Franklin said.
Franklin, who was recently accepted to attend the Anglo-American University in Prague, in the Czech Republic, this upcoming spring semester, explains how he “weighed out the options,” before settling on Prague.
“I was looking at Dublin, Ireland, and Chengdu (China), before Prague,” Franklin said. “After considering every program, seeing what classes were available at each location, and then considering each city and country, I decided the Czech Republic was the perfect place for me.”
Out of the three programs available, Franklin chose the third-party option, which, he says, has helped along the way, while going through the process.
“My third party assigned me what they call a site specialist, who works as my advisor, and helps me out with the entire abroad process in Prague,” Franklin said.
Franklin explains that after putting together the required documentation for the study abroad process ahead of time, getting accepted to one of these programs is easier than what people think.
“It wasn’t too difficult to get accepted, you just have to meet the requirement of a 2.7 GPA or higher, then you should get accepted,” he added.
Franklin did not just want to study abroad for the academic experience. He has “always wanted to travel the world,” and this study abroad program offers him the opportunity to do so.
“I wanted to take the chance to experience going to different countries, experiencing new things and new cultures, all while going to college,” Franklin added. “This is one of those opportunities that I knew I had to take. Living in Europe for a few months in an apartment with a group of friends is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The Norwich exchange programs accommodate a wide range of options for how long students want to study abroad, from an entire semester to much shorter periods.
By applying for a “Maymester,” students can study abroad during the month of May, which is the option chosen by one senior mechanical engineering major at Norwich.
“I studied oversea in Berlin (Germany), for about the entire month of May,” said Kaylynn Butchko, 21, who hails from Las Vegas, Nev. “To me it was the perfect amount of time to be abroad, I wouldn’t want to do a full semester.”
Butchko utilized her classroom professors as an asset to learn about her study abroad opportunities. When she heard of the City Lab program in class, she began to do her research, and used her professor as a “middle man” between her and the international center, making sure to apply to the proper program.
“I was studying engineering at the City Lab Berlin. My teacher, professor Finauer, was great and actually helped getting me interested in the program last year, during class,” Butchko said.
Just like Franklin, Butchko planned on taking advantage of the opportunity to do some traveling during her month oversea. “I traveled a bit around Germany with the time I had, Copenhagen is my absolute favorite place I went to. There’s so much to do, and lots of cool bars and restaurants,” Butchko said.
Maymester can serve as a chance to get the study abroad experience in a shorter amount of time. “I loved it, the Maymester is the perfect amount of time,” Butchko explained. “If I had to put it on a scale, I would say ten out of ten I would recommend studying abroad.”
Thomas Blood believes that the study abroad programs serve as more than just a chance to study in a different environment; indeed, there is also much to gain as a person.
“A lot of times you will hear that it’s a small world, but it’s much bigger than we think. We are offering students a chance to see how big it can be,” Blood said.

Comments

  1. It is a great opportunity for the young generation to study abroad. Explore more options. Nice post. If you are planning to go abroad for higher studies, speak to an expert study abroad consultants who will assist you with university application documentation and processing.

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