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March 27, 07

NEWS / Prior personal planning: a key to study abroad success

Intern Sports Reporter

Planning, planning and more planning.

???That??ôs the most important thing for students to do who are looking to go study abroad,??? International Programs Program Director Nancy W. Wells said.

For years, the Office of International Education and Development at Appalachian State University has provided opportunities for students to go out, see the world and embrace other cultures.

Special to The Appalachian
Students enjoyed a two-week visit to Queenstown, Ireland on a study abroad trip last summer to learn about Irish traditional music, its creative process, the cultural aspects of Ireland, and its influence on music. The study abroad program recommends planning in advance for study abroad trips.

However, not being prepared for what could lie ahead may hurt that experience.

???The program here provides great opportunities for any student,??? Wells said. ???But they must do their own homework before going to study in another country.???

Doing your homework is the most important part for any student to enjoy a great experience.

Anne K. Archer, a sophomore philosophy and religion major, realized early on that studying abroad
would take some time to plan.

???It took me about four months to get everything planned,??? Archer said.

Archer, who has looked forward to studying abroad since arriving at Appalachian State, believes all the planning was worth it.

CLICK HERE for an interactive graphic on studying abroad

???I always could see myself studying abroad,??? Archer said. ???I always looked forward to going to college so that I would have the opportunity to study abroad.???

Wells said students need to know where they stand academically, if their credits transfer back to Appalachian, and if they handle the culture change when in another country.

???When you??ôre in another country, you learn about their culture and their education system,??? Wells said.
Chris C. Houska, a senior international business major, spent a semester studying abroad in Mexico.

Houska said studying abroad is rewarding for people looking to enrich their education, as well as learn about another culture.

The most important issue for students who look to study abroad is making sure the university you are considering carries your major.

???That??ôs the first thing students need to figure out,??? Wells said. ???Their advisor and the abroad program here can help a student figure out what universities will offer their major and which ones do not.???

With such a diverse world, the office of international education opens many students??ô eyes to different political, global and diverse issues that appear in other countries.

???The best part of studying abroad was being around people for different backgrounds and cultures,??? Houska said. ???I learned a lot from my roommates, who were Hispanic. They showed me many
interesting things about their culture.???

The best way for students to adapt and understand another culture is to not be around other American
students who are over there, Houska said.

???If you don??ôt go out and meet new people from that culture, you will miss out on the whole experience,???
Houska said.

Tags: international business,


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