“My name is Mari and I’m a junior studying Digital Media Management at St. Edward’s University. During my time here, I’ve witnessed first hand how our school’s motto Take On Your World is applied throughout our campus community. Since my freshman orientation, St. Edward’s has been very encouraging of study abroad and international student culture.
I’ve partaken in two study abroad programs to the UK and to Japan in the past three years. When I was a freshman, I took an study abroad embedded course based on my Human Experience CULF credit and I got to go to London for two weeks. The program cost $1,000 BUT it included hotel for the entirety of the trip, transportation within the city, some but not all meals, and entrance to all excursions we attended as a class.
And when I say excursions, I don’t mean boring museum tours or lectures, I’m talking about seeing Wicked on the famous Piccadilly Circus square or seeing a Shakespearean play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater or even a private tour of the Tower of London where they keep The Queen’s crown and her most valuable jewels and touring a medieval castle ruins. And on my spare time, I even had the opportunity to go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour where I got to see the original sets and props used throughout the films.
In Japan, we got to visit one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the world, got to meditate with a monk that would smack you upside the head if you lost concentration, attended a traditional tea ceremony and ate sushi served on a conveyor belt.
All of these amazing experiences I had were possible because I was able to use the extra financial aid I had, and even if you don’t have extra aid to spare, St. Edward’s offer programs of varying price ranges; some programs can be as cheap as $300.
Some of my bestest friends I’ve made here at SEU, I met through my study abroad courses. Some I met while abroad, and now, I have friends from all around the world that wouldn’t mind if I crashed on their couch if I ever decided to travel the world out of my own pocket.
From personal experience, I can say that study abroad really was life changing and it really did help me grow as a person and as a student. When I returned from both trips, I felt so much more confident about the person that I was and had such a better understanding not only of the cultures I had been submerged in, but of my own as well. So please, consider studying abroad, because once we’re all out in the real world with full time jobs it’ll be a lot more difficult (and not to mention expensive) to just take off somewhere for a semester. So for those you that still have quite a bit of time left here on the Hilltop, I really encourage you to Take On Your World. I promise you won’t regret it.”