Study Abroad Sound-Off

The deadline for the OCS application is coming up in just a few short days. If you’ve been undecided/confused/lost about the process, have no fear; the upperclassmen of the Thrill staff are here to save you! Below are just a few stories. Their sample size does not in any way represent each and every perspective, but regardless hopefully this helps clear some things up.

Claire (’16) : Going off-campus was the best decision I could have made for myself. I didn’t go abroad, instead I did the Newberry Seminar in Chicago. It was my favorite semester of my college experience. I worked hard and came out with a paper that I’m incredibly proud of and made incredible friends. I remember walking around the city one day and thinking to myself, “My life is never going to get better than this.” It also made me realize how crappy a time I’d been having at Kenyon and made it really hard to come back. I do encourage all students to do the Newberry program — it’s cheaper than going abroad, great for someone with social anxiety (like myself), and an overall really rewarding experience. Plus, I could go home and do my laundry.

Brooke (’17): I decided to stay at Kenyon because eight semesters isn’t that much time, and there are still so many classes I want to take! I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity, educational and otherwise, that Kenyon has to offer, and I felt that the best way to do that was to stay. As a compromise, I went abroad during the summer. Of course, this is an additional expense to an already expensive education, so I feel lucky that I was able to do that. But if you’re on the fence, don’t rule it out! There are certainly scholarship opportunities for summer programs, and I feel like I had the best of both worlds by studying in the summer.

Natasha (’17): I originally had planned to go abroad and even had been accepted to an incredible drama program in London. My mom called me after several of the attacks last fall very worried for my upcoming semester, and while these events did not cause me to not go abroad they made me reevaluate my decision and I realized there we other reasons why this was not the right decision for me. Ultimately, I felt like going abroad was the thing everyone had to do but for me it didn’t feel like the right decision. I realized that have the rest of my life to study acting and plan to do so, but only so many semesters to take classes in any topic I wish. I also wanted to complete a dance minor, which has been one of my goals for awhile and was something I would have to forego if I left for a semester. I also have already participated in summer intensive acting programs which gave me a more intense study in what I want to do. In the end I stuck to my gut feeling about this decision and with the help of the OCS office and advisors was able to change my decision to the one that was right for me in this time of my life.
Elizabeth (’16): I had a lot of misunderstandings in my application process that lead to me attending an entirely different program in a different country than the one for which I originally applied, but I’m really glad I went! I had just finished a really rough semester, and going abroad gave me a chance to really clear my head and focus on what was important to me. I met incredible people who I’m still friends with and got the opportunity to learn techniques and media that Kenyon doesn’t have the facilities to support, while exploring a beautiful city and experiencing a different culture. It wasn’t easy and I didn’t like every part of it, but it was a really important change of pace that I think has made my remaining time at Kenyon all the more special and productive!

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