always knew that I wanted to study abroad, but I was not always interested in a world outside of the United States. In fact, when I was younger I rarely saw the purpose in learning about history or events that happened abroad. I could blame this on the TERRIBLE history teachers that plagued our public school system or the disgusting whitewashing of our history that is so obviously illustrated in our textbooks, but the truth is I couldn’t really blame anyone but myself.
My eyes weren’t open to much more than boys and sports…A narrow focus that, admittedly, limited my intelligence, or attempts at exploring and developing the brainpower that I did have, and always have had (though it might not have seemed like it). Sure, I was blessed with countless opportunities to visit various states throughout the U.S., and even ventured on over to Canada a few times to let the vigorous mist of the beautiful yet cold Niagara falls spray my face while I cheerfully stood atop the notorious Maid of the Mist. Unfortunately, this was about the limit of my understanding or care about what went on outside of the basketball courts, volleyball courts and softball fields decorating my hometown.
Now, I don’t mean to make it sound like sports are negative, as they truly kept me on the right path through elementary, middle school and high school. I am, however, grateful that my lens of life has widened and my interests and care have extended past that of high school…but, I digress…In middle and high school I took French classes which created a fire within me to explore France and travel to another country. Unfortunately, I was unable to afford the cost of the trip to France that was organized by our French
teacher in high school. Fortunately, my internal need to go abroad (more specifically to France) continued burning as I approached my freshman year of college. During my first year at Ohio University, I decided that studying abroad wasn’t going to be just a potential option for me – I was going to make it happen at least once, one way or another.
I attended study abroad fairs, study abroad informational sessions and kept my eyes glued on future prospects for semester abroad programs – particularly to France. Randomly, out of the deep blue kai (sea), I received an email regarding an upcoming winter break study abroad trip to Ecuador. The excursion would primarily entail creating a documentary film from scratch and included media credits that I could use toward my journalism specialization. It seemed perfect – though perfectly arbitrary I must say – and before I knew it I was submitting my application, crossing my fingers AND toes with hope that I would be approved and accepted into the program. From this point forward, as can be rightfully assumed, the rest was history.
2013 was quite an imperative year for me and my future, as it was the year I was accepted into my first study abroad program, traveled for the first time to a country outside of the United States and Canada, and declared a second major in global studies. Before I knew it, I actually developed a passion for all things international that, admittedly, far surpassed my love for journalism and reporting. The two combined naturally – almost flawlessly, truly – as I continued to take classes to fulfill my degrees in journalism and global studies.