Students and faculty shared their experiences from a recent study abroad trip to China at the International Student Cultural Organization (ISCO)’s second meeting of the semester last Thursday for Study Abroad night.
The presenters discussed many advantages to studying abroad.
“Immersing yourself in other cultures only makes you empathetic, sympathetic, as well as knowledgeable,” said Lauren Post, a senior english major from Troy, in her speech about why studying abroad is important for students.
Post was one of 10 students who studied abroad in China this summer. She said the trip changed her outlook toward international students currently studying in Troy.
“When international students talk about feeling shy or nervous to speak English, I get that now,” Post said. “It takes a lot of bravery to study abroad.”
Post encouraged students to expand their worldview through traveling.
“It is easy for us to think that the whole world is just Troy, Alabama, and it’s not.”
Joe McCall, senior lecturer of history and one of three faculty members on the journey, expressed how studying abroad changes your perspective.
“When we travel, it creates a special space and a lot of our ideas get suspended,” McCall said. “In that suspended space, we can explore new identity, we can learn about other cultures better because we are out of your normal culture.”
Matthew Knopps, a junior accounting major from Birmingham, said he will go back to China after graduating. Knopps also urged interested students to attend ISCO country nights to see what it’s like to study abroad before they get the chance to travel.
Eligible students can apply for the Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness which is a $1,000 scholarship for studying abroad.
ISCO meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. in Patterson 214 for executive board meetings and later in Hawkins Adams Long Hall of Honor (HAL Hall) at 7 p.m. for country nights. All are welcome to join the board. Students can follow the Troy University ISCO page on Facebook for regular updates.
Jay Valentine, assistant professor of philosophy, talked about the upcoming study abroad trip to Nepal, set to take place summer of 2019. Valentine encouraged the aspiring travelers to contact him for more information. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.