I Came Back Early From Abroad — And That’s OK.

study abroad


I remember touring colleges as a senior in high school. Every tour guide and admissions counselor touted their colleges’ excellent study abroad programs. The statistics were off the charts–50% of juniors go abroad or nearly 80% of this year’s junior class studied off-campus. Great, I thought, Obviously I’ll do the same. Three years later, when it was finally time to make a decision as a sophomore at Kenyon, my thoughts were more or less the same. Everybody goes abroad. The people that don’t? Lame. Afraid. After all, I am a French literature, Anthropology double major. We are globally minded. We are supposed to do these types of things.

With these notions blindly leading the way, I set about choosing my program. Going to France as a French major? Psh. Typical. Europe was decidedly not for me. Having previously studied various parts and aspects of Africa with great interest (and keeping my language requirement in mind), I looked to the vast continent with a population of over a billion people for answers. I narrowed my options down to a program in Senegal and a program in Madagascar–two nations with French as an official language. I eventually dismissed the Senegal program after a friend referred to it as a “white kids in Africa kind of deal” due to its vague focus. Madagascar it was. Continue reading

Totally Legit OCS Application Tips

"Not all that glitters is gold. Not all who wander are lost." --Abe Lincoln (via seattlestravels.com)

“Not all that glitters is gold. Not all who wander are lost.” –Abe Lincoln (via seattlestravels.com)

Hey sophomores, I see that you’ve all missed Tuesday’s OCS Application meeting. No worries friends! I was there and am ready to coach you through the incredibly easy, thoughtless process of writing an Off-Campus Study application, question by question.

Question One: OCS Goals

  • Make sure to impress the committee with your wanderlust. You’ve reblogged a lot of graphics on Tumblr using the word. It’s time to show of your vocabulary and your love of  travel! And hostels! (With showers and no creeps.) Continue reading

Different Perspectives: Studying Off Campus

The world is a big place, be careful out there.

It’s the time of the year when most of the sophomore class is deciding whether or not they will be going abroad, where, and for how long. While we at the Thrill believe that Kenyon’s Off Campus Study office does an excellent job, there are somethings that no one seems to talk about when it comes to off campus study.  Our hope is to share the perspectives of studying away from Kenyon that rarely get mentioned. This post features Anna Sophia Ziton ’14, who spent an entire year in RussiaBen Jacoby ’14, who stayed in the United StatesKate Lindsay ’15, who is currently on the Kenyon-Exeter program, and Olivia  Grabar Sage ’14, who decided not to go abroad. 

Anna Sophia Ziton ’14 (St. Petersburg, Russia; both semesters):

Although St. Petersburg was rough, I appreciated my time there and, by second semester, I fell in love with it. I would go back in a heartbeat if I had the chance. Still, there are things I wish I had known. Whether or not it would have made a difference, I don’t know. But instead of presenting Study Abroad as nothing but a bouquet of roses, I would have appreciated knowing one or two of the following:

Continue reading

10 o’clock list: Study Abroad Programs I Wish They’d Make

Space: The Final Frontier (via npr.org).

Emails have started coming. Serious conversations with advisors have begun. Yes, for the sophomore class, the decision about whether or not to go on off-campus study looms close on the horizon. While seniors contemplate comps and first-years contemplate where in the Dickens is this place called Weaver, sophomores are poring over guides to study abroad programs and trying to make potentially life-changing decisions. Yet, some of these programs just seem so boring and a little outdated for the average fun-loving Kenyon student. Here are a few modest suggestions for the CGE to include in their thoughts as they flesh out next year’s choices.

1. The Renaissance Fair: Get some real-world experience while studying-off campus. In this program you will learn a detailed history of the Renaissance while simultaneously apprenticing with a number of different craftsmen. Travel around the United States and southern Canada while learning about the intricacies of European history. Learn such skills as cooking delicious turkey legs and building marshmallow-launching catapults, then learn the economics of running a small business. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to Game of Thrones this side of HBO. Recommended for History, Sociology, Economics and American Studies Majors.

Continue reading

Notes From Abroad: Cape Town, South Africa

For years, the Collegian has spotlighted the ups and downs of off-campus study in “Notes from Abroad.” This week, we’re borrowing our print-edition parent company’s regular feature to bring you Thea Kohout ’14’s account of life in Cape Town.

Thea sent us this JPG titled "TheaNoFace." Sounds appropriate.

Kohout sent us this snapshot titled “TheaNoFace.” Sounds about right.

My time in South Africa is quickly — too quickly, if you ask me — drawing to a close. I’m leaving in a week, after a four-month stint in this country at the bottom of the world, and I cannot even begin to wrap my head around the fact that I’ll be thrust into an Ohio winter in about a month. As I write this, I’m wearing a tank top, cut-offs and no shoes as a sultry South African summer is in full swing all around me. I can’t even remember what my winter coat looks like at this point. Continue reading