In 2007 I decided to serve an LDS mission where I spent 18 months in Southern Argentina. For the first time I was completely immersed in a whole new language and culture. I saw things like one man with four kids on a bicycle, a dog that rides on top of the car (and barks at people), penguins that walk around your feet, and huge whales alongside the dock. Argentina became a second home to me. Upon my return I determined that just visiting a foreign land isn’t as amazing as living in one. This experience later led to studying abroad at Macquarie University in Australia, and completing an IE3 Global Internship experience with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, Africa. It is safe to say that I am completely addicted to traveling abroad.
Now as an International Ambassador and IE3 Peer Mentor for OSU I have the opportunity to help other students prepare themselves to go abroad as well. As I talk to other students about where they want to go, applying, preparing, and everything else to travel abroad, I want to make sure their experience is as spectacular as possible. Traveling doesn’t have to empty your bank account, be a frightening experience, or ruin your plans for getting a degree.
Being an Animal Behavior and Psychology major I had no clue how much traveling abroad would actually help me with the my hopes for a future career. I was able to take classes specifically on animal communication in Australia that isn’t offered here at OSU.
Later I had hands on experience doing research with cheetahs in Africa.
Working with the International Programs is like the dream job for me because I frequently get to talk about my experience during the First Steps Meeting, help others make a plan for their own experience, and learn about all the amazing programs offered at OSU. The only unfortunate part is that I hear about so many amazing programs I just want to go abroad every second! Going abroad really is the experience of a lifetime.