I hate to admit it but I’m one of those students. The ones who come back from a semester overseas and casually, but smugly, wear their elephant pants from Thailand while complaining about the lack of seasoning in American food. Yes, I’m recently back and better than ever from a semester abroad in Singapore. And no, I don’t plan on shutting up about it anytime soon.
Choosing to spend a semester abroad in Singapore was a very different experience, but one that has certainly broadened my perspective. The city is so modern and I found my iSchool major supplementing my traveling in plenty of unexpected ways. From going to an exhibit about big data to attending such a tech-prevalent school. The constant 80 degree weather and cheap flights to Cambodia, Bali, Vietnam, and Thailand were just an added bonus.
I’ve always been a firm believer that everybody should travel wherever they can as much as they can. Going abroad is a great opportunity to take advantage of traveling at such a prime time in your life. Although I can think of a million different reasons why students should spend a semester outside of the country, here’s why you should do it as an iSchool student:
Awesome programs are available!
Although SUAbroad is a nationally renowned program, if one of the eight destinations aren’t what you’re looking for, there are still some other fabulous opportunities. The world partner program through SUAbroad has four different universities around the world that align with the iSchool curriculum. This includes Singapore Management University, IT University Copenhagen, and Sungkyun Kwan University in South Korea.
Most abroad programs are in a city, and there’s nothing like a bustling city to breed startup culture. Immersing yourself in a city and being surrounded by people with such creative minds and entrepreneurial spirit is both inspiring and exciting. It’s easy to get involved with the startup scene if you want to, even as just a supporter. Programs available to students include some huge startup central cities including Beijing, London, and even Cape Town.
Explore other interests
Although your area of study tends to be what you love to do, there’s no time like being in a foreign country to find and pursue passions outside of the iSchool. Have a love for food? Try a dish you can’t pronounce. Take a cooking class. Visit museums. Watch live music. Volunteer. The opportunities are truly endless. It’s easy to forget when you’ve spent multiple hours in the windowless basement labs that there is more to life than coding.
Fulfill your Global Requirement
Each iSchool student has to fulfill a “Global Requirement.” This is to make sure each iSchooler comes out with some kind of knowledge in other cultures. You can complete this by taking specialized classes that fulfill this requirement through SU. You can also go on EuroTech or AsiaTech, which are a two-week immersive programs where you visit other countries and look at how they do tech. Also: EuroTech and AsiaTech are both SUAbroad programs. But of course the most adventurous and easily the most fun way to get this requirement done is by going on an study abroad program!
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It is clear we live in a world where the workplace exists in a global economy. Collaborations are occurring across oceans and borders, and companies and businesses are looking for people with the potential to be successful in an international environment. Going abroad not only shows future employers you have that potential, but also that you are independent, adventurous, and curious.
Obviously not everybody can go abroad for their own reasons, but I encourage you not to let nerves, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), or your major hold you back. There are so many options for iSchool students that make it easy to spend some time during your college career oversees. Remember, you get four (or so) years of college, but studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience.
Want to go study abroad next year? Find out how at the SUAbroad page.