Hello, I am Sydney Grace an Honors student at the University of Cincinnati. I am a second year Marketing major with a minor in Fashion Studies, and an emphasis on international business! I am still figuring college out, but I have learned many things about myself and how to succeed in college and I would like to share these bits of advice with you.
Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
When you leave home for college you essentially sail away from your safe harbor. I am here to tell you that you should sail even further then that. You have the ability to discover not only the culture of college, but also the vast array of cultures that make up the world around you. I have always loved to travel and quickly realized that college is the best time to do so. The resources are endless, with multitudes of scholarships, grants, exchange programs and more. Never again will you have access to this amount of resources, the second your done with college you will have to support the costs of traveling oversees by yourself, and if you do not know how much that is, look up plane tickets alone. You also have the ability to take entire semesters to go abroad, while taking classes, working at an internship, or providing service on a mission trip. Each experience will help you grow as a person, gain global literacy, and see how others live, work and go to school.
I knew I wanted to take advantage of these resources from the second I arrived at Cincinnati. I quickly applied for Honors Programs that would give me access to major grants for studying abroad, and made myself at home in the International office on campus. I went abroad the summer after my freshman year at college, and it was the best decision I ever made. I lived in Florence, Italy for a month and it was not long enough. I am now planning to study abroad for an entire semester in Barcelona, Spain. Each college is different on how they count classes for credit, however each opportunity has and will allow me to take many classes that will go towards my major and minor, and will also count as a language credits.
As a plus to everything I learned about the world, and myself, I also gained the best experiences to talk about in interviews. Once the interviewer sees that I have studied around the globe, they immediately ask about that, and since it is such an insightful experience you will never run out of great answers to every question related to going abroad.
It is never too early to study abroad and honestly the sooner the better, because I can guarantee you will love it and want to go again and again. You meet so many people who will become friends for life, and try foods that you never knew existed, while absorbing cultures that will begin to blend with your own. You learn the language easier when you are immersed in it, which is also a great way to differentiate yourself from students back home. This will make you stand out from the millions of students who go to college and never take advantage of these resources. So what I am saying is, explore, dream, discover the world, you won’t regret it.