Lia Hillman, Features Editor
Living in a different country and experiencing a new culture is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Oklahoma Baptist University has a study abroad program that can help students experience this opportunity.
“Studying abroad is an option for everyone,” senior music major Mary Howington said.
“The benefits of studying abroad are countless.”
Howington is a student worker for the OBU Study Abroad Program.
“This year, we’re rebranding the Study Abroad Program,” Howington said.
Before, people were unsure of how studying abroad worked.
“Plenty of people at OBU are interested in studying abroad, but they don’t know the step-by-step process,” Howington said.
“There hasn’t been an established process.”
Howington has been researching other university’s successful study abroad programs and working towards modeling OBU’s program after them.
“I’ve been working with Dr. [Joy] Turner, which I think has been good for both of us,” she said. “I’ve been able to do some research on my own, and get better at trying to understand what international education is.”
Last month, the OBU Study Abroad Program held an informational meeting for students interested in spending a semester abroad.
The next meeting is Tuesday, November 15 at 3:30pm in Montgomery Hall.
Students can also pick up an informational packet in Montgomery Hall.
“Whenever you decide to study abroad, you learn that there is so many different program providers,” Howington said. “Part of my job is to answer these questions that students have about these programs.”
Howington had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England in the 2015 fall semester.
“I know a lot of the questions that people will have,” she said. “Even if they don’t have them yet.”
She said she is able to relate with students concerns about spending a semester abroad.
“In three months, I went to six different countries and only spent about 500 dollars,” Howington said. “I did it, I did it recently and I did it as a college student.”
Other students who had the opportunity to study abroad last academic year include senior English major Elyse Kusakabe and senior theater major Nina Longhofer.
“I would definitely recommend studying abroad to other students,” Kusakabe said.
Kusakabe had the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
“It’s an academic challenge, for sure,” she said. “But it also stretches you [socially] and spiritually.”
Longhofer studied at the Univeristy of Roehampton in Londan, England.
“Only one percent of students actually study abroad, and believe me – it’s incredible,” Longhofer said.
Howington said she would like to see the students in OBU Study Abroad Program feel comfortable about leaving the OBU Campus.
“These students are going out for three months at a time,” she said. “We want them to know that we are still with them.”