EAPA Spotlight: Why you should study abroad Q&A!

Macy 6

Education abroad peer ambassador Abby King is a senior here at UK studying history with a classics/international studies minor. Abby went on an external program with the Fulbright Institute at Durham University in Durham, England during the summer of 2016.

EAPA, Rodney Furman, is a senior business major focusing on management and international studies. Rodney went on an ISA sponsored program in Florianopolis, Brazil during the fall 2016 semester.

Here are a couple questions and advice I got from these two EAPA’s!

Why did you choose your program?

Abby: I chose the program because it focused on archeology and history of ancient Roman forts and the Middle Ages, which fits very well with my studies at UK. Also, it is a nationally competitive award that I feel honored to have gotten.

Rodney: I chose this program for multiple reasons. The first being because of my huge interest in the Brazilian culture and wanting to visit there since I was a child hearing their music and seeing their beaches. I also got a high recommendation from my college advisor about the specific program that I went on since I told her how interested I was in going to Brazil one day. After showing me the city as well as how relatively cheap the program was compared to UK’s tuition, it was an opportunity that I had to take advantage of!

What did you study/do abroad that made your experience different than studying here at UK? 

Abby: I got to have hands-on interaction with medieval documents, conserve ancient Roman coins, and have an archeological dig on the grounds of a palace, which I would never have been able to do at UK.

Rodney: The main thing that I felt made my experience abroad different from staying at UK was the entirely different culture. Everything there was different, the language, the music, the parties, and it was this difference that made me so curious about the rest of the world. Immersing yourself in a culture that is totally different from your own is how you learn not only about how people are outside of the US, but it’s also a way to learn about yourself. Being away from home so long and adapting to something different teaches you a lot about yourself and your place in the world. These are key values that I know for a fact I wouldn’t have gotten had I stayed in Kentucky for another semester.

What advice would you have for someone thinking about studying abroad?

Abby: My advice to people is to take as many pictures as humanly possible, even if they’re poor quality or of something seemingly boring. I wasn’t much of a picture taker before but I am glad I preserved the memories that I did. Also, try to keep a journal or a blog to write about the little details you may forget one day, like if your local friend makes an excellent joke or a little shop you had good food at.

Rodney: I would tell them to think about doing it for the right reasons, and to not look at it as a vacation. Studying abroad is a chance to stop looking from the outside in of a culture for once, and to actually become a part of it and adapt to their way of life. I would also tell them to think deep about where they want to go, and to have a solid reason for going to the place to they choose. Look at it as a learning experience, and a chance to see people on a different level.

Abby advises in the resources center on Monday’s from 1-2pm, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 11am-1pm. And Rodney is in the office on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 9-11am. Come to 315 Bradley Hall to chat with these EAPA’s about their experiences abroad!

Macy is a junior studying Accounting and Marketing with an International Business minor at the University of Kentucky. She studied abroad at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus in the fall of 2016.