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OSU Abroad

Art in Athens: Part Two

November 24th, 2014 · No Comments · College of Liberal Arts, Returnee, study abroad

Madelaine Corbin is an Applied Visual Arts major in the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University. During Summer of 2014, she spent two weeks in Athens, Greece, through AHA International. She delighted in taking in the surroundings, learning about art and even learning more about herself. Below is a continuation of her artwork, as in her previous entry, along with excerpts from her blog that she wrote while still in Greece.

“Jack Kerouac’s writing brilliantly inspires people to adventure. One of his writings states, ‘there was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the stars.’ My goal in life is broad, but it is ultimately to go everywhere and do everything passionately with a fire inside.”

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“The city of Athens is buzzing with life. Millions of people meander the streets and go about their days embracing the sun and smiles that saturate the air.”

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 “Remember, stay hungry, value each of your moments, and just keep rolling under the stars.”

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Turning Point: Learning to Cha-Cha

November 21st, 2014 · No Comments · Chile, College of Liberal Arts, Returnee, Spanish, study abroad

Rhiannon Williams is a senior at Oregon State University. She is in the College of Liberal Arts studying Spanish with a minor in Psychology. She spent a semester with IFSA Butler in Valparaíso, Chile, improving her Spanish skills, taking literature, history and culture classes, and volunteering to care for animals affected by a forest fire. Here she tells us about her journey learning Spanish, and her path to realizing that fluency does not happen overnight.

Half way through my semester abroad in Valparaíso, Chile, I experienced an important turning point in my journey. My host mother sat me down and asked if I was happy with my living situation. I never felt completely comfortable living with my host parents during the first two months in Chile but I could not pinpoint the issue. My host mother helped me realize that I had been coming across as aloof. I knew I had been very reserved in the beginning as I became accustomed to the new culture. I realized that I had put up invisible walls and did not communicate enough with my host family. The issue was how to become accustomed to living at home with a family while going to university. I was very familiar with coming and going as I pleased at university in the U.S without having to answer to anyone. Even though I lost some independence that I had in the States, I gained two caring host parents.

After that moment, I interacted more with my host family which boosted my happiness and comfort. I know that my timidity is a part of who I am, and awkward silences are sometimes unavoidable. At first I was upset that I may have wasted the first two months of my study abroad journey. Then, I realized that it was an incredible learning experience. Since then, I have been livingRhiannon W Blog photo 3 by this quote: “Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a cha-cha”.

My constant struggle with the language Castellano (Chilean Spanish) closely ties with this. I would be so concerned about what to talk about in Spanish with my host family during meals that I would sit silently with thoughts whirling around in my head. I learned to just talk and not worry so much about making grammatical errors. Some days were easier than others and I could tell that my Spanish improved when I decided to just let things be.

I also had an internal struggle with English. I would feel guilty for conversing in English with my friends instead of practicing Spanish. I would then silently fight with myself instead of interacting with my friends. I put so much pressure on myself to reach a high level of fluency in Spanish while abroad. I realized that I would not magically become fluent and I needed to make peace with this. Every day I spoke Spanish, as well as English occasionally with friends. Although it was often difficult to see, my Spanish improved tremendously over the five months. It is most important to view the improvement from when I arrived to when I returned to the United States rather than compare myself to others, or wish that I were closer to fluency. So many people told me as I left the States that I would come back fluent in Spanish. I returned improved and more confident which is more important to me than the end goal. The journey is more important than the destination.Rhiannon W Blog photo 5

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Learning to Travel

November 19th, 2014 · No Comments · API, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Returnee, Spanish, study abroad

Annie Kornberg, a senior studying Human Development and Family Sciences in the college of Public Health and Human Sciences, spent Winter and Spring term of her Junior year living in Salamanca, Spain. She studied through Academic Programs International. However small the city may be, she found herself wrapped up in its magic. Upon returning to Oregon State University, she added a Spanish minor, and has started to consider making travel part of her future career.

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 While getting ready to study abroad, I had a list of a few “must-sees” in Europe. I had a mediocre bucket list of things to do in Spain, a “Travel” Pinterest board, and even a journal entry describing what I wanted to experience while abroad. Within 10 minutes of actually being in Spain, I thought to myself: There goes the bucket list. It only took me that long to realize this adventure would be nothing like I had planned.

My host family was one of a kind. I lived in a three story upright apartment, with my “grandma” and “sister” on the first floor, my “aunt” and “cousins” on the second, and my “brother” and I on the third. We were the definition of unconventional, andsleepingwithsharks I loved every second of it. Between family nap-times, and three hour lunches where we laughed until we cried, I felt right at home. Instead of my perfect, list-oriented plan for my study abroad experience, I spent my days wandering from one interest to another. I would walk down the streets of Salamanca, Spain hopping in and out of every store, making small talk with every store clerk who seemed friendly enough to struggle through my broken Spanish. I spent my weekends taking nearly unplanned trips with friends to different countries, getting lost and following every recommendation of restaurant or sight to see. On one particular weekend, four friends and I traveled to the southeast of Spain, to a town called Valencia. Originally, we had no plans, except to see the festival called “Las Fallas”. On a whim, and also because it sounded so cool, we spent the night in a glass tunnel that cut through the middle of a shark tank. That definitely was not on my bucket list; however the experience and excitement of it all made me feel more alive than anything I had pinned to a Pinterest board or planned in advance.

The rest of my trip was pretty much the same; I traveled from one place to another seeing what I could see, and experiencing what I could experience. Somewhere in my five months abroad, I heard the quote “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see” by Gilbert K. PortugalChesterton. I realized that not only was I learning about culture, people, and practicing a new language, I was learning to be a traveler and not a tourist. No, that does not mean when I visited France, I avoided the Eiffel Tower, or that I never stepped foot in the Coliseum while in Rome. In fact, I loved visiting those places! Learning to be a traveler meant taking my time visiting a place and seeing what I could see, planned or unplanned. I learned to embrace cultures fully, to try new things and to be comfortable in new or unusual situations. Traveling the world does not stop when you’ve come home, either. Sometimes I still find myself wandering around Corvallis, seeing what I can see.

My advice to you? Never stop traveling.

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Managing Forest Resources and Ecosystem Services in Australia

November 14th, 2014 · No Comments · Australia, College of Forestry, Returnee, study abroad

Isaac Soper, is an Oregon State University student with a Natural Resources major in the College of Forestry. He spent two weeks last summer in Queensland, Australia. While traveling through the College of Forestry’s study abroad program focusing on managing forest resources and ecosystem services, he found many similarities between Australia and his homeland.

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Though the flight from Los Angeles to Sydney may be one of the longest flights in the world (clocking in at approximately 15 hours non-stop), Australia is similar in many ways to the US, and is also one of the safest and friendliest places to travel in the world.

Traveling with three professors and nine students, we hopped the pond over to the slightly strange and delightful country ofIsaac Soper - OSU COF Australia Su14 (5) Australia. Over the duration of two weeks, we toured the state of Queensland in northeastern Australia, so as to gain an understanding of the various aspects of ecological management in the country. Focusing on both nature-based recreation and wood science, we took numerous enjoyable and educational excursions. Ranging from an off-road bus tour of Fraser Island (the world’s largest sand island) to a recycled hardwood mill, we were able to grasp that although Australia may be the country which is farthest from North America and has many unique aspects, the management of its precious resources are very similar to those used in the United States.

Thanks to our in-depth look at the natural resource management strategies in Oz (as Australians often call their home), we gained a greater understanding as to how we might manage our ecosystems in our later careers. After returning home to Oregon, I for one cannot wait to travel back to Australia again, as two weeks, though completely worthwhile, is not nearly enough time to explore the amazing Australian continent.

For students seeking to understand some of the management strategies regarding recreation and timber harvest, this College of Forestry study abroad is a fantastic opportunity. Being a short-term study abroad program, Managing Forest Resources and Ecosystem Services in Australia is a great program for College of Forestry students who are seeking to study abroad and still be able to take classes on campus during the summer. It is also a great program for those who have summer jobs or internships lined up for later in the summer.

 

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Cymru Am Byth: Wales is Forever

November 5th, 2014 · No Comments · College of Science, Exchange, Returnee, study abroad

Kristyn Decker is a Junior studying Biology in the College of Science at Oregon State University. She spent an academic year studying at Bangor University in Wales, through OSU’s exchange program. The experience challenged her to push herself out of her comfort zone, and take risks. Studying abroad has inspired her to travel more, and next she is hoping to travel to Africa to research endangered species.

“Alright, mate?” is a common greeting that at first completely confused me, but quickly became part of my daily vocabulary upon living in Wales. Before I left for my year abroad in Bangor, Wales, I knew that I IMG_2306would be lost in a world of words I wouldn’t understand, but I assumed it would be the Welsh language that tripped me up, not the English slang like this greeting. Walking around the small town I saw the intimidating Welsh words full of consonants written above their English translation, and heard obscure slang in numerous accents all around me. It truly was a new world. My “new world” consisted of narrow streets, beautiful green fields, castles, and a surprising number of sheep. One of my favorite running routes started at the small town of Bangor, went over the Menai Straight, through fields, and into a nearby town, that even many local Welsh citizens have a hard time pronouncing (a word so long it gets its own line);
“Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.”

I chose to delve even deeper into the unknown by joining the women’s field hockey team. I had never played before, let alone seen a match, but this was one of the highlights of my time abroad.  My teammates were very supportive and welcomed me fondly. Through practices, matches, and weekly socials I quickly became close friends with many of them. The socials always had themes, so every week I1743535_10151821097492493_922523909_n would end up walking through town with a group of teammates dressed in costume or “fancy dress” as they called it. The costumes varied widely; from golf players and Pokémon to a three legged race team. At the end of the year we went on a hockey tour to Spain.  We spent a full day on a bus driving through Wales, England, France, and finally to a town near Barcelona where we spent five days playing hockey, sun bathing, and experiencing Spanish culture. If I had never chosen to go abroad or join the field hockey team I would never have had this amazing experience.

Every day that I was there felt like a new adventure. I was in a world where I was learning new things daily, and by the end of my 9 months there I felt at home. I knew the quickest way to walk to class, I was no longer afraid of the Welsh language, I knew the rules of hockey (even if I couldn’t play very well), and even began to drink tea, watch footie, and knew to refuse when someone offered me black pudding. Each day that passed, and all the experiences I was having, added together and slowly changed my view of the world and my aspirations. Everything I learned and underwent in that year will remain a treasured memory of an incredible experience. The country’s motto couldn’t be any truer: Cymru am Byth, Wales is forever.

Countryside in Wales l Kristyn Decker

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Lost in Translation in Paris

October 29th, 2014 · No Comments · API, France, Returnee, study abroad

Hannah Goelzer, a third year Biochemistry and Biophysics major, spent five weeks of her summer exploring Paris, France. Upon returning to Oregon State, she decided to add on an International Degree in hopes of working abroad in the future. Here, she tells us about her study abroad experience with  Academic Programs International.

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Adrenaline rushed through me as I boarded my flight for Paris, France. I was so excited to cross the Atlantic Ocean for the first time that I sat at the edge of my seat for the first few hours of the flight. However, as you may know, the daunting and lengthy flight to Europe from the west coast of the United States cannot be simplified as “a flight over the big blue ocean.” After many hours of layovers and airplane food, I was just ready to lie down on any flat horizontal surface and take a nap. When the airline attendant let us know that we were preparing for descent into the Charles de Gaulle Airport, I was over-joyed with excitement until it truly hit me: I was about to live in a country whose language I had never even heard spoken before.

Many people choose to go abroad to immerse themselves into a language or culture that they have studied throughout theirHannah with Friends in Paris l Hannah Goelzer educational career; however, I took on the challenge of going to France completely blind. I met the other American students who would be in the program with me, they had all studied French for 3-7 years, and they commended my adventurous nature in taking on this challenge. The first thing we all did after landing in Paris and meeting our program leaders was have a huge Parisian dinner, which typically consists of up to seven courses and lasts a couple of hours. My peers thought it would help give me practice if I tried to order in French. I started to think they just wanted a good laugh, considering we had been traveling for the last 20 hours. The waiter found humor in my terrible accent, and soon just told me what I was trying to say. At this point, I could not wait to start my French intensive language course.

In my beginner French class there were many students from all over the world. This meant that the instructor could not speak any Hannah-in-Paris-colorEnglish because it was not assumed that we all have English as a common language. Learning how to speak French in a class where the instructor only speaks French may sound very difficult and, to be honest, it was intimidating on the first day. However, after the first week of class, my learning took off and improved exponentially. By never translating any word into English, I was able to learn the French words not by translation but by context. I had a different understanding of every word I learned that, in a way, my peers did not have. After the intensive language course was over, I had better listening skills than the other American students because I never had the crutch of an instructor with an American accent. It changed my perspective on both language and culture. There are many words that do not have an English translation, and that is what makes it so beautiful.

Speaking French is like singing a song. It is poetic in its nature, and the French love to remind everyone of its beauty. Sometimes in the language there will appear to be a random letter in between two words, and that is because there is. The French have worked very intentionally to create a language that flows with a beautiful rhythm. I will never lose the passion I have gained for the language. Still, to this day, I like to sit with an espresso, croissant, and orange juice for breakfast and email all of my French friends as if I were back in Paris.

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Art in Athens: Discovering Greece Through the Eyes of a Painter

October 22nd, 2014 · No Comments · College of Liberal Arts, Returnee, study abroad

Madelaine Corbin is an Applied Visual Arts major in the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University. During Summer of 2014, she spent two weeks in Athens, Greece, through AHA International. She delighted in taking in the surroundings, learning about art and even learning more about herself. Below is some of the artwork she created while abroad, along with excerpts from her blog that she wrote while still in Greece.

“The bright natural light mixed with the native plants, friendly faces, and thoughtful architecture is the perfect environment for inducing creativity and happiness (as they are nearly synonymous).”

Artwork One l Madelaine Corbin

  “Greece may use the Euro as its currency and kilometers per hour to measure speed, but the true measure of currency and efficiency is in the grace of a smile. We travel at a smile a minute, and true payment comes in the form of the well-received curvature of the edges of our lips.”

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“Outside our apartment window is the most pleasant of balconies, where I am currently sitting in fact. There is a small fenced railing where my resting feet can just peer over the edge. Beyond the tips of my toes lies the never-ending city of Athens. There are beautiful surrounding hills that lead to the sea of buildings. The Parthenon sits atop the Acropolis; it is true too, you can see the Acropolis from almost any point of the city. It’s hard to get lost when you can always orient yourself with such a monument, thank goodness.”

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“If home is where the heart is, then Athens is my home. Upon arrival yesterday afternoon, with messy hair and a thirsty heart, I made my way through the Athens airport and took a taxi to the apartment I now call home. I share the apartment with two lovely girls, just as easer for adventure and excited about art as I am. We took a little time to breathe after traveling and then immediately headed out into the beautiful landscape of the city to get to know both this new home and each other.”

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“Athens cannot be put into words, and I am so grateful this is my home for the next three weeks and to be learning about art.”

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IE3 Internship confirms student’s passions & future aspirations

September 17th, 2014 · No Comments · College of Public Health and Human Sciences, IE3 Global Internships, India, Returnee

Recent OSU graduate, Charles Baugh, completed his undergraduate career by participating in the IE3 Global Internship program. A Nutrition major with pre-med option, Charles interned in India through CFHI International.

Whether it was shadowing medical professionals, visiting local non-profits or fulfilling his childhood dream of visiting the Taj Mahal, Nutrition student Charles Baugh’s internship abroad experience in India is one he’ll never forget.

“My favorite aspect is getting to have conversations with doctors about patients we have seen during the day and hearing their take on current public health issues,” he says. “There are so many brilliant people to learn from here, and I have had a wonderful time being their observer and becoming their friend.”

For the majority of the internship, Charles shadowed doctors across India working in traditional and Western medicine specializing in naturopathy, Ayurveda, homeopathy, pediatrics, gynecology, emergency medicine and family practice.

He spent the remainder of the internship visiting non-governmental organizations, non-profits and government-funded public health organizations.

Charles-Baugh-Synergies“India has many domestic public health issues they are battling such as general sanitation, population issues and access to health care,” he says. “Through this internship, I have learned that I want to pursue a career as a medical doctor and work on improving access to health care for minorities and financially insecure populations.”

To read the full story, visit the Synergies website by College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

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A Home Away From Home

August 19th, 2014 · No Comments · IE3 Global Internships

Recent OSU graduate Lauren Thomas took advantage of the opportunity to fulfill the internship requirement for her Public Health degree through IE3 Global Internships during Winter 2014. Interning with the Center for Social Medicine in India, Lauren gained both valuable professional and personal experience, and wrote this reflective entry while still overseas.

The hospitality in India is something that I really admire about the culture and I already know that one of the things I will miss most Lauren Thomas l Center for Social Medicine l IE3 Global Internshipswhen I return home is how welcoming everyone here is – it is unlike anything I have ever experienced. From day one we were invited into all aspects of people’s lives – their school, their hospitals, and their homes. Everyone has been so accepting, understanding, and excited to teach us all that they can about the culture and the language. They are also very proud, always making sure to mention how much they love the Indian culture.

This blog was originally published on the IE3 Field Notes Blog. For a link to the original entry, click here.

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Life’s a Circus

July 23rd, 2014 · No Comments · Chile, College of Agricultural Sciences, Returnee, SFS, Tanzania

Recent College of Agricultural Science graduate Kasey Moore not only received a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from OSU, but also had the opportunity to study abroad twice during her college career. As a sophomore, Kasey traveled to Valdivia, Chile to study at La Universidad Austral de Chile for a term, and during fall of her senior year Kasey hopped on a plane again, but this time to Africa to participate in the School for Field Studies’ Wildlife Management Studies program. Now, having explored the world as an undergraduate, Kasey is embarking on her grandest adventure yet—traveling the world with Cavalia.

Most people find a job within their related field of study after they graduate from college. This is how I imagined my life after college would go, but things took an unexpected turn a couple of months prior to graduation. Instead of moving straight into a job within the field of fisheries and wildlife science, I will be running away and joining the traveling circuCavalia Performances.

The show is called “Cavalia” and was created by Normand Latourelle, who was also one of the original co-founders and managing director of Cirque du Soleil. Cavalia is very similar to many of the other Cirque du Soleil shows, except for the fact that there are horses as well as acrobats in the performances. The main idea behind the show is to give tribute to the relationship between horses and humans and to document their place in history through an artistic and visually stunning performance.

I first heard about this job opportunity through an old friend of mine who I grew up riding with in the United States Pony Club. She is currently on tour with Cavalia and working as one of the team’s veterinary technicians, and in April she sent a post out on the Oregon Region’s Pony Club Facebook page advertising the position opening. This seemed like the perfect fit for me, as it incorporated the two things I am most passionate about: traveling and horses. I have spent most of my life around horses and involved in the world of 3-day eventing and dressage. My 13 years of involvement with Pony Club has allowed me to achieve all 10 certifications within the organization, and given me countless valuable skills for working in the horse industry. I have also been lucky enough to participate in two study abroad programs during my four years at Oregon State. The first was in Chile during my sophomore year, and the second was a program through the School for Field Studies in Kenya and Tanzania during my senior year.

Both my horse and travel experiences helped me to obtain this position within Cavalia, and now everything is becoming very real. I will be leaving for Brussels, Belgium two days after OSU’s spring commencement ceremony and begin my journey working for this incredible show! I will be working as a groom, meaning I will be taking care of the 47 horses that Cavalia has as they tour the world. Daily routines will include basic barn chores, exercising and warming up some of the horses before each show, and getting the horses ready for each of their evening performances. After the show ends in Belgium, our next stop will be Singapore, and then other major cities throughout Asia for the remainder of the year. Needless to say, I am extremely excited for this opportunity and to work with these talented horses and tour the world at the same time!

For more information on Cavalia and their touring schedule, visit: http://www.cavalia.net/en

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