Dear Gettysburg parents,
Your student is considering studying abroad and asks your opinion. Without a moment's hesitation, you reply unequivocally, “Absolutely! Just do it.” “Where?” is not the important question; the answer is “Anywhere!”
My son and daughter both had the desire and opportunity to study abroad. My son spent a summer in Oviedo, Spain. My daughter, Annalise Margherita ’13, a Psychology and Organizational and Management Studies double major at Gettysburg, spent a summer in Florence, Italy and the spring semester of her junior year at University of Melbourne, Australia.
During spring break of Annalise’s senior year, she and I traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark. While she was visiting with friends and exploring the city, I had the opportunity to participate in the International Educators Workshop at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, where I met students from Gettysburg as well as others from a variety of colleges in the U.S.
Each of the four study abroad programs, in Spain, Italy, Australia, and Denmark, is unique and has an important, lasting impact on students.
Encourage your students to immerse themselves completely in the language, culture, literature, history, and current politics of whichever country they choose. Help them to see the benefits of staying with a host family; if host families are not an option, encourage them to meet as many local people as possible. Get them excited about engaging with the local community by participating in activities and volunteering. Share the possibility of exciting experiences that come from travel within the country and to other places in the region.
My advice is for you to tell your students to “go,” and to “go big!” By leaving the Gettysburg bubble, students broaden their horizons and enrich the entire campus community upon returning.
Karen Scheible P’13