As the weather gets colder and each day there’s more rain in Corvallis, we all want to go on a nice little trip to someplace sunny. At OSU there are some great opportunities to travel; most of which can provide other benefits too! Studying abroad, internships, club outings, and conferences are all great ways to go beyond Oregon and explore the United States and the world. I have compiled some travel experiences from a few of the CLA ambassadors in the hopes that you will all be inspired to take a trip!
“When I came to Oregon State I hadn’t planned on studying abroad at all. It wasn’t until my Junior year that I realized I had this huge craving to travel, and more specifically I wanted to find my way to Ireland. I started researching internships and study abroad options, eventually finding a 5 week program over the summer where I took two classes on Irish culture at a college just south of Dublin. I fell head over heels in love with the country, lived with the greatest host family I could have ever imagined, and now have friends all over the world. One night I even camped under the stars on the Aran Islands, right across from the Cliffs of Moher. I also backpacked throughout Europe by myself for 5 weeks after my stay in Ireland, seeing five additional countries and learned what it takes to take care of myself in a completely foreign environment. There’s nothing quite like waking up from a nap on a train in Switzerland all by yourself, seeing waterfalls and mountains that have only existed in fairy tales, now in your face as reality. Every detail of my experience abroad was magical, and it’s still hard for me to believe it actually happened. I am beyond grateful for everything I was able to experience, and I encourage anyone to go see the world from a new place!”
“Going to Chile for fall term was one of the most amazing, unforgettable experiences that I’ve ever had. I lived with a host family with a very sweet mom that helped me ease into the culture who gave me advice on customs and food. My professors were very quick to help when we were struggling in class, despite the minor language barrier. I met wonderful Chilean friends that I still talk to, even though it has been almost a year since my trip. I was able to travel the country and experience things that I had never done before, like going to a hot springs, or zip lining in the forest. I grew so much as an individual while learning a second language. I loved everything about my adventure to Chile, and if I could do it all over again I would in a heartbeat!”
“Last summer I was offered an amazing opportunity to work with Camp Adventure and travel to Italy to work with kids on a U.S. Military base. Working with the kids was an amazing experience. Living on base gave me a new perspective on another way of life and I gained a lot of respect for these families. I left being inspired by these children and with more passion for my future career (a history teacher). Of course I was also living in Italy which was AMAZING! I was able to travel on the weekends and see things I never thought I’d see. I went canyoning in Switzerland, saw an opera in Vienna, and rented a boat off the Italian island of Capri. I have now seen places that I have only ever read about in my history texts like the Coliseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Greece, and the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey. I was able to learn skills that I can apply to everyday life and I learned about other cultures. I cannot recommend studying or interning abroad enough!”
“Working in a psychology research lab has allowed me to travel to conferences and either hear from other researchers or present my own work. I have created a wide social network within the social psychology research field and plan to use this network when I apply to graduate school. The conferences are also a way to see the United States and what it has to offer. Each year our conference moves to a new state (usually somewhere warm). Last year I went to San Diego in January and was able to fit in lectures, poster sessions, shopping, and eating out! This January I plan to go to New Orleans where I will present a poster at the conference. The great thing is that Mardi Gras season will have just started and there are some great New Orleans traditions and cultures to experience firsthand!”
After hearing all of these travel stories, all I want to do is book a flight ASAP! Look into studying abroad or maybe an internship in your major. Perhaps your club has an annual get together or there is a conference you can attend in your field of study. If you are interested in study abroad, International Programs has first steps meetings every Monday through Friday at noon and at 4:00 pm in Heckart Lodge. Whatever it is you want to do, or wherever it is you want to travel, scratch it off your bucket list and think “YOLO”!