Study abroad is a great way for students to earn academic credit while experiencing another culture and gaining valuable skills to enhance their resume. The Center for Global Education offers a number of programs in different countries that can be short or long term and take place during fall or spring semester as well as between semesters.
We want to share a story from a current Mason student who has studied abroad to help you discuss the possibility of study abroad with your student. See below for more information about senior Weyem Kobrosly’s time in Seoul, South Korea:
My name is Weyem Kobrosly and I am a senior marketing major in the School of Business. During the 2014 spring semester I studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea at Yonsei University. I wanted to experience attending another university and living abroad, and have the chance to immerse myself in another culture. There is not a single thing I would change about my study abroad experience, I only wish I could have stayed longer! Since my return, I appreciate my education at Mason and I feel challenged and encouraged to think creatively. I would never have known how unique and diverse my academic environment is here at Mason if I had not studied abroad.
I also have a new appreciation for my family. I received unwavering support during my application process and my semester abroad. This was the first time I would be away from home for a long period of time but my families’ understanding and commitment to my goal of studying abroad gave me the strength to pursue this experience. When I was homesick they reassured me that time was going to pass so quickly so I needed to enjoy every minute. Like they said, just when I was getting settled in it was time to pack up and return home.
My return home was not seamless, which was to be expected after being on my own for 6 months in a foreign country. My mother noticed my new-found self-reliance. I now cook all my meals and clean the entire kitchen when I am home. I am more fiscally responsible and understand the value of money after budgeting for months. I know what I am capable of and when I need to ask for help. I have a deeper comprehension of cultural differences and a new perspective of global issues.
As you discuss study abroad with your student, you may have some concerns. My father was excited. He loved the idea of me traveling to Seoul and studying in a different academic environment. My mother was not as excited. She was nervous because I didn’t speak the language and because I had no friends or family abroad. The 12-hour time difference was also of concern as was how politically unstable the area is. However, we compromised – my father accompanied me to Seoul for the week before check-in and helped me settle-in, that way he could report back to my mother. Throughout the entire semester I called home once a day and we would talk via Skype twice a week. Facetime and apps like Viber and Skype made staying in contact with my parents seamless.
My parents were also apprehensive about my course work. Would this delay my graduation? With help from the Center for Global Education, I was reassured that all my classes would be taught in English by highly credentialed Korean faculty, and that I would be receiving credit towards my degree for every class I took. No delay!
If you want your student to grow both academically, personally, and prepare for the global workforce, send them abroad!
Center for Global Education
Application deadlines vary based on program, but the deadline to apply for a summer abroad is Friday, March 20. To learn more about study abroad opportunities, the application process and deadlines, visit http://globaled.gmu.edu/.
Center for Global Education