A passport, suitcase, map and a plane with the text ‘study abroad’

Why You Should Study Abroad

By Lauren Jurgemeyer
Web Content Contributor

Last week, Dr. Sandhya Rao and Harry Bowers offered prospective study abroad students an informational panel during Mass Comm Week.

The panel featured four past-study abroad students: Alexandra Briggs, Keeley Rubal, Paloma Gray and Sarah Juenke. All of the panelists studied abroad with the program in summer 2018 in London, England, and Geneva, Switzerland.

The panelists all offered their insights to their personal experiences studying abroad.

Four texas state students acting as panelists
Panelists: Paloma Gray, Alexandra Briggs, Keeley Rubal and Sarah Juenke discuss the study abroad program. Photo by Lauren Jurgemeyer.

This year, the School of Mass Communication and Journalism are offering three study abroad programs for summer 2019; the programs include London and Dublin, Barcelona and Madrid and Japan. This panel was specifically aimed at the London and Dublin study abroad opportunity.

Students will undertake a three-week course during the Summer I semester; one week of the course will be attended in San Marcos, Texas, while the rest of the course will finish out overseas. Each program offers an immersive experience with media as well as cultural visits to the cities, as well as six hours of undergraduate or graduate credit.

The panelists were first asked about how transformational the program was for them; Keeley Rubal explained her fear of airports, and how stepping out of her comfort zone by going on this trip helped her overcome the fear. Rubal said, “It gives you a different mindset of what you are comfortable with, and makes you step out of your boundaries.”

The following question pertained how the study abroad experience differed to that of a traditional classroom experience. Panelist, Sara Juenke, put into words her experience of seeing what she had studied applied in the professional world, and on top of that, a different culture. Juenke said, “I don’t think that is something we get here, because you are either from the same area or have Texas State in common, but then you go to a foreign country you really have to use your communication skills to figure out what you have in common that person.”

Paloma Gray, a graduate student, went off of Juenke’s statement, and said, “Just being able to communicate on a global and international level… I think is important.”

The selection process for the program begins Nov. 5 on the study abroad website. The student is required to pay a 200 dollar fee and submit a participation form that has been signed by a counselor or Harry Bowers. Once those steps are taken the student will be in the running to be selected for the programs. Bowers told the group that the goal is to have the students picked by the holiday season.

Alexandra Briggs encouraged the group to take the chance, and said, “If this is something you think you really want to do, just take that leap and do it.”

There are upcoming informational sessions for this trip on Oct. 31 in Old Main 320 at 3:30 and on Nov. 1 in the LBJ ballroom from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For further information, contact Harry Bowers at hb05@txstate.edu.

Featured photo by Lauren Jurgemeyer.

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