On the 4th of April, I attended the first Global Engagement Day event which focused on studying abroad independently. The event was guided by study abroad advisor, Monica Goodwin, and a Global Engagement Fellowship fellow who in the previous years has studied abroad independently.
Monica Goodwin gave insight to the five study abroad options that the University of Oklahoma gives to its students, as well as a snapshot of what it would be like if a student were to travel independently. She talked to us about the positives aspects of going through an OU program: the credits transfer back easier, more students have experienced the program which allows for you to understand them more, there are more OU students abroad, and you would be taking OU courses. Although it is more comforting traveling through an OU program, I find it interesting to travel independently which is what drew me to attend this event.
To me, the most interesting part of the event was the Global Engagement Fellow speaking about his independent study abroad in Morocco. He spoke about the difficulties which came with studying independently and was straightforward about what he had to accomplish in order to be able to successfully do this program. He had accidentally missed the deadline for the Arabic flagship program, which caused him to do more research and he was able to find a program in Morocco which would help him learn Arabic and receive credit. He highlighted how the founder of the Global Engagement Fellowship program, Jaci Gandenberger, had previously done her study abroad in Morocco within the same program. This was a big help to him, and he was able to learn more about it through Jaci. He said he spent three months in Morocco and loved every second of it. He recommended traveling independently.
I do see myself studying abroad independently in the future. I hope to do a legal internship in Spain or Prague in the summer of 2019. This event motivated me to look into the options that OU gives to its students, but to also look into other programs which will fit my wants and study requirements.