Every time I have told some of my friends or family members that I want to study abroad, they always laughed. “Traveling is too expensive… where are you going to find that kind of money?” or “You’re too young to be going abroad alone.”
To say I would get frustrated with these responses would be an understatement. I knew from a young age that I wanted to travel, and from researching, college would be the ideal time for me. I can still get my education while in different countries and on different continents.
What many people don’t realize is that sometimes, it is cheaper to study abroad in a different country than at your home university. It’s a big stereotype that studying abroad is way more expensive than staying at your university. Now, there are some places where it is more expensive, and there are certain programs that are more expensive. If you are like me at all, you are going to heavily research different programs and talk with a study abroad advisor to get the best deal.
Some of the places I have wanted to travel to and plan to travel to during my undergraduate study are Spain, Ireland, and Mexico. Spain and Mexico have been on my list ever since I gained an interest in the Spanish language. After taking several years in high school, I grew to really enjoy learning the language and the Hispanic culture. My love has grown so much that one of my minors is Spanish.
With the University of Oklahoma, I want to spend a semester in Mexico, as we have a study center in Puebla. The thing I like about the study centers is that it is a center in a different country but with OU professors, OU students, and I’m paying OU for everything. I want to study abroad with other OU students because even if I don’t know them, we can still bond over the fact that we are both studying abroad and attend OU. The other nice thing about the Puebla study center is that they partner with a local university where we can also take classes. With my Spanish minor, I can complete it in Puebla at the study center with the two final language classes I will need for it.
I want to visit Ireland mainly for the landscape. My mom and I have always dreamed of traveling to Ireland; she loves how the country looks and wants to explore our Irish heritage more. Ideally, I would be able to do a short-term study abroad in Ireland, and my mom could visit for a couple of days. That may be wishful thinking, but I still want to visit Ireland, and if I do, go back one day after my graduate study with my mom.
Even though I am wanting to visit different countries for different reasons, I still think that each experience will hold importance in my life. Whether I know it or not now, I will learn something in each location. While I am super nervous about traveling on a plane (I’ve never flown before) and being in a foreign country without my mom, I know the experiences will be amazing.