By Michelle Kersey, Learning Abroad peer advisor and communication major
“The first time I visited Busan, South Korea, was in November. I had been in my program for almost three months and decided last minute to go on a five-hour bus ride to the seaside city with some friends. On that trip, I was nervous to speak in Korean, so I let my friend do all the talking and I
just followed her around the city. I returned seven months later with my dad, brother and my brother’s girlfriend. This time I was the communicator, I made the reservations, spoke to the cab drivers and ordered our food. We went to one of my favorite spots in Busan— Gamcheon Culture Village, a peaceful hillside area full of art and colorful buildings that overlook the ocean. It felt strange to be there without my friends—the people I had spent the last 10 months of my life with. I sat in that spot overlooking the ocean and thought about my time abroad.
People always tell you before you go abroad that it will change you and open your eyes to the world. I didn’t know what to expect when I left for Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, for an academic year. I tried to go without any expectations, but what I ended up with definitely exceeded my expectations. I didn’t feel like I was changing, but sure enough change had occurred. It took me a while to realize how much my language skills had improved. I was more independent and was ready to attempt to take on life when I returned. As I sat on that hillside in Busan, I felt so completely content looking back. I was going to miss my friends and South Korea like crazy, but the memories I made kept me going forward. Learning Abroad was by far the best thing to happen to me during my time in college, and I’m proud to have had the courage to take the first step and apply.”
-Michelle Kersey, peer advisor at the Learning Abroad Office, University of Utah Communication Major
Have you ever had an interest in international travel? What if you could earn college credit in another country? The University of Utah’s Learning Abroad office offers over 700 programs in more than 50 countries around the world of all different durations, languages and fields of study.
These programs give students the chance to travel, experience new cultures, meet friends from all over the world and engage in learning opportunities to further themselves personally, professionally and academically.
“Not only did my study abroad program allow me to discover a passion for international marketing, but it opened up a whole new world of ideas that you just can’t find here in Utah,” says Madeline Liston, a marketing student who participated in an exchange program to Preston, England, in 2013. “I highly recommend getting a head start on studying abroad by exploring the different opportunities.”
The Global U Expo provides students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to explore the different programs by meeting with program representatives, past participants and learning about the various resources available.
Some of the participants of the expo include:
- The Bennion Center
- Career Services
- The Hinckley Institute
- Languages & Literature
- International & Area Studies
- Office of Undergraduate Research
- International Student & Scholarship Services
Additional opportunities will be available for returned Learning Abroad students to share their stories and learn about ways to further enhance their resumes and engage with the community.
Sponsored by Learning Abroad and the Office for Global Engagement, the Global U Expo will be held Oct. 7 in the A. Ray Olpin Union Ballroom from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The Learning Abroad Fall Film Festival, a showcase of short films created by students about their experiences abroad, will follow the Global U Expo from 6-8 p.m. in the Union Theater.