OSU Abroad

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OSU Abroad

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.

Paris Skyline l API Paris

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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Bat Habitat Down Under

July 11th, 2014 · No Comments · Australia, College of Agricultural Sciences, IE3 Global Internships, Returnee

Sarah Proffitt is a recent graduate of Oregon State University, where she studied Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences through the College of Agricultural Sciences. Sarah interned at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia through IE3 Global Internships during summer 2013 and served as an IE3 Global Internships Student Ambassador after returning to the States.

Many of us have heard the phrase “everything in Australia is trying to kill you,” but I would argue just the opposite—that everything Sarah Proffitt l IE3 James Cook, Australia l Bat Carein Australia made me feel alive! In the summer of 2013 I ventured to the Northeast coast of Australia for an IE3 internship working with several species of bats.

As a wildlife science major, I had been training for the past three years to conduct my own research and decided on a behavioral project observing a colony in Cairns. Each day I would sit in front of the colony, which consisted of about 700 large fruit bats, and observe them for 6 hours. I wrote down aggression behaviors, grooming, sleeping, etc. The idea was to find out Sarah Proffitt l IE3 James Cook, Australia l Bat Colonywhat these bats were doing all day. As a nocturnal species I expected to observe sleeping bats all day but I found they were much more active and took intermittent naps throughout the day.

When I wasn’t at the colony I took part in other studies such as mist netting for small  blossom bats to determine diet and volunteering at a local bat rehabilitation center. Each experience had its own challenges but with every challenge comes a great reward. The experiences I gained from my IE3 internship have led me to my first job as a college graduate. AsSarah Proffitt l IE3 James Cook, Australia l Bottlefed Blossom Bat of May 2014, I have been working for the Forest Service as a bat surveyor in the Missouri Ozarks. Without my IE3 internship I wouldn’t have even been a candidate for this job.  My future boss was impressed with my experience and told me I was her first choice, right off the bat (no pun intended).

Now that I’ve graduated, I would eventually like to go back to school to pursue a Master’s degree. As for now, I am planning on taking a few years to work in my field.  Maybe I will find new inspiration or maybe I will find myself abroad again. That’s what is so great about the future…it is life’s greatest mystery.

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Resource Conservation in Costa Rica- Apply Now!

July 1st, 2014 · No Comments · College of Forestry, Costa Rica, Returnee, study abroad

Still looking for a way to satisfy your Contemporary Global Issues requirement and expand your horizons with international travel? OSU’s College of Forestry offers a unique program that may be just the fit for you. FES 365: Issues in Natural Resources Conservation is a two-part learning experience that consists of a 9-week E-campus course, followed by 10 days of experiential learning in Costa Rica. Offered each fall, this course allows students to develop a well-rounded understanding of natural resource use in Central America

There’s still time to apply! The deadline to apply for Fall 2014 (Dec. 11-21, 2014 in Costa Rica) is July 8.  Interested? See the program page or contact the instructor Ron Reuter at ron.reuter@oregonstate.edu for details.

Wendy LaRue, a 2013 program participant, encourages students to take advantage of this course:

This particular Forestry course (FES 365) being offered online through Oregon State is an educational and life altering experience I Wendy LaRue l FES 365 Costa Rica wish all students could participate in. Dr. Reuter is dedicated to providing distance learners an opportunity to connect with an academic experience while looking through the eyes of another culture. Reuter’s dedication to the students and the class trip to Costa Rica is top notch. His attention to details encompassing the real world along with the educational aspects of visiting a country which leads the world in sustainable practices made the trip one that I will remember for a lifetime. We not only learned about the sustainable practices of this nation we lived them also. We ate, slept and hiked in places that most visitors would not be able to find on their own. If you are looking for a high-end resort style trip, this one is not for you. If you are looking to really get a feel for the people and a country as wonderful as Costa Rica, then consider this class one that will give you a feeling that you connected with another culture in a positive way. Pura Vida!

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Reflecting Before the End

June 26th, 2014 · No Comments · College of Liberal Arts, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Ecuador, IE3 Global Internships, Returnee, Scholarships, Spanish

Oregon State University graduate Rebekah Smith majored in Public Health and minored in Psychology. As spring term was coming to a close in Corvallis, Rebekah was nearing the end of her internship in Quito, Ecuador with Child Family Health International (CFHI). As an IE3 Global Internships scholarship recipient, Rebekah participated in an internship involving medical rotations, and was able to reflect on her experience while still abroad.

I am now ending my seventh week in Quito, Ecuador. I have three more weeks in this amazing country and am in no way prepared to leave. To provide some insight into how huge of a development this trip has been for me, let me explain just how new international travel was to me just seven weeks ago. Prior to this trip, I had never left the United States, nor Rebekah Smith l CFHI Ecuador l Alpacaseven had a passport of my own before applying to intern with CFHI and IE3. Understandably, these factors led me to have a ton of anxiety, which combined with the fact that I did not speak any Spanish. Despite the many “firsts” I’ve tackled recently, I have grown not only comfortable overseas, but have developed a huge passion for traveling and experiencing other cultures.

My internship involves attending clinical rotations and taking Spanish classes with incredible instructors in Quito on weekdays. I’ve found that having some responsibilities in the city makes me feel as though I have a purpose here and am bettering myself professionally. My biggest words of wisdom when spending time in another country’s healthcare system would be to remember why you are there. This can be very difficult, especially with regards to healthcare because systems can vary so greatly between countries. Remembering that you are solely there to learn will help when experiencing things completely different from the U.S. It will only cause stress to think that you are there to fix issues or judge another country’s healthcare system. Our purpose as interns is to act like sponges, learn everything we can, and return to the U.S. with a better perspective and deeper compassion for health care. This concept will help you in all areas of interning with this program. When I was volunteering in the schools I also had to remember this because they teach different subjects and use different techniques than we do in the states.

On the weekends, I am TRAVELING! Traveling has been such a huge aspect of my experience here and has taught me about the culture and countRebekah Smith l CFHI Ecuador l Ecuadorian Localsry just as much as the program itself has. Traveling to the different Ecuadorian cities is such an incredible experience because within a few hours you can be in the Andes Mountains, on the beautiful coast, or deep in the jungle. Traveling forces you to practice Spanish and allows you to meet an outstanding amount of people, both foreign and local. I have traveled to a cloud forest in Mindo, the sunny beach in Montanita and Canoa, and am soon traveling to a gorgeous volcano in Cotopaxi. I also have plans to yonder on to an adventure-filled town called Banos, as well as the jungle in Tena. Traveling around is affordable and easy, as well as gives you opportunity to develop a great sense of independence and cultural competency. Traveling is also the way to make everlasting memories with other students in your program! You are stuck on buses together, staying in amazing hostels and going through both stressful and exciting times together.

Being abroad in Ecuador has taught me many things so far. One of the most impactful things I have learned is patience. America is very “Type A” and extremely punctual, these things are not a priority in Ecuador. I have waited over an hour for one of my preceptors to arrive at a meeting, I have had doctors show up twenty minutes late to appointments and many other experiences. You are also very commonly juggling your wants and needs with those of the other students who you are working with, and this requires a large amount off adaptability and patience. These experiences have taught me patience, and how to adjust to other cultures. For example, I don’t go anywhere without a book here! It is your job to adjust to them, the entire Rebekah Smith l CFHI Ecuador l Natureculture does not need to adjust to you, so learn to adapt! It’s been nothing but beneficial because I have finished two books just traveling and waiting for meetings, It’s GREAT!

Some final advice I have is, to bring more money than you expect. You will never be able to be totally prepared for traveling abroad or be able to know what you will be doing. Having money hold you back from being able to engage in a great opportunity would be upsetting so just budget extra! I also advise to release any expectations you have or restrictions you have in the U.S. For example, two of the guys in the program were vegetarians for ethical reasons in America and came to find that it restricted them so much here in Ecuador, and they wanted to be able to experience the culture so they put their expectations aside and decided to return to being vegetarian when they returned home. I really respected their choices because they fully immersed themselves in the culture and benefited from it greatly. As far as avoiding cultural mistakes, I was so lucky to have a friend who had been here for a long time before I arrived, and I was constantly asking her questions and observing how she interacted with locals. This was really helpful for me because I was able to learn polite mannerisms and safe tactics while in Ecuador.

This experience has been life-changing. As cliche as that may be, it truly has been an experience that has helped me grow and develop my independence and cultural competency. I only want to continue the experience, I am NOT ready to go home in three weeks!

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

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