Tag Archives: Study abroad in the United States

You Studied Abroad…but what about ROI?

09_06_11_ROI_Abroad_v4-01

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South Africa’s Talent Gap


Meeting my cohort

Tonight was a farewell reception for the group going to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa for the semester. Its a good mix of first-year students, juniors, and seniors. There is also a wide mix of majors going (business, travel and leisure studies, psychology, elementary education, special education, and undecided. But, the group is 100% female!

I was surprised by this because the one group meeting I attended there was a guy there. Amy, who is the intern in the Multi-Cultural Student Services department helping to arrange all of our paperwork, said that study abroad is statistically 70% female. While universities are 60/40 split, study abroad sees a higher gender split. She sighted several studies, which attributed the lower rate for males studying abroad to such things as: risk, majors, and planning.

We did some icebreakers and talked about what we will miss (or what we think we will miss) while we are in South Africa. I’m not sure what I’ll miss because most of the things I will miss, I already miss because they are back in NC! I am looking forward to seafood! I do not think this fact can be overstated.

I still do not know where I will live while I’m in South Africa.  I do not think I will live with my fellow St. Cloud State University students, but  I wonder if I will be with other international students who are not studying abroad?  I’m not stressed about the situation, just curious.

50 days!!!


A step closer

Tickets have been booked! Today, I got an email notifying me that my reservations had been made for South Africa! I need to pick my seats on the plane and then I’m set. One step closer to leaving for the semester abroad. We are flying out of Minneapolis and connecting to our international flight at Dulles Airport in D.C. From there we fly into Joburg which is a 14 hour flight. I’m really excited because right now we are scheduled to spend a day in Joburg. Hopefully, all of our flights stay on schedule so we can keep the day of sight-seeing. I know previous groups have visited Soweto, Mandela‘s house, and other historical sites.

Before I left St. Cloud for winter break, I got a thick envelope from NMMU. It had my acceptance letter from the university, information about health insurance and other items that SCSU had already taken care of for us, and a thick orientation book for the university. Our first weekend in country we will gather with all of the other study abroad students at   I think this is such a great idea because we can meet other students before we are on-campus.  All of the SCSU students (other than me) are going to be enrolled in classes at NMMU; it’ll be interesting to see if there are any students from other schools doing internships this semester.

There are still some unknowns. Unknowns like: where will I live? Who am I going to be working with or for? You know little things like that.

But I am excited about the unknowns. They are all part of the discovery process!


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