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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: New experiences through study abroad


How do I tell my family, friends and especially my sisters of the Zeta Phi Beta that I want to travel more than 9,000 miles away from home, all by myself, just to study abroad in Singapore?

This is the dilemma I faced before I studied abroad in Singapore during the fall semester, one semester before my spring graduation.

Eventually, my friends and family gave me their blessings and soon I was off to explore the Asian culture and the subjects of communication, branding and public relations.

I am a senior here at CMU studying integrative public relations with a double minor in legal studies and public affairs. Upon my arrival to Singapore, I felt like a bright-eyed girl who had fallen madly in love, except it was international academics that had stolen my heart.

The Nanyang Technological University Residence Hall 8 became my home for the next 4.5 months as I embarked on a journey that changed my life in the most positive manner.

Imagine living in a location where few people look like you and everyone thinks that you have a funny accent, but they still desire to learn more about you and where you are from.

I was an exchange student in Singapore and I was proud of it.

In addition to my class work, I had the opportunity to travel to Bali and Malaysia, both of which were experiences I will never forget.

Since completing my study abroad experience, I feel academically, professionally, emotionally and spiritually stronger. I have a greater sense of myself, both as a woman and a young professional preparing to enter the real world.

I now serve as a Peer Advisor for the office of study abroad. My mission is to inform students that studying abroad is a realistic option during their collegiate careers. I want to dispel myths and let students know that there are a multitude of scholarships to assist with financing these experiences.

In most cases, classes will transfer directly to CMU and the experience does not necessarily have to push back your graduation date.

I highly recommend that students spread their wings and fly to an international location at some point in their collegiate careers, and the Office of Study Abroad is ready and available to help a fellow Chippewa set their eyes on a wondrous international experience.

Natilie Williams

The Office of Study Abroad

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