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Academic Programs Abroad
My daughter Bayley decided to study abroad in Argentina in the
Fall of her Sophomore year, a lot of emotion sets in when your little girl tells
you that she wants to go spend four months half way around the world by herself.
My mother said, “if she doesn’t do it while she is young she may never have this
chance again”.Bayley talked with
the people in the office of Study Abroad and got things rolling.
We went to the Departure meeting together which was very
helpful, they explained about all of the different emotions a person may go
through, excitement, nervous, apprehension, worry and even homesick.
The meeting helped because I believe we both went through all
of those emotions and more just on the way to the Airport.
We said our good-byes and she was off.
The next time we had contact she sent a text message that
said “ its cold rainy and this is going to be harder than she thought”.Well that got me worried OH NO this isn’t going to work. I talked with
Janis in the Study Abroad office the next day she helped calm me down and she
said she would check to make sure everything was fine in Argentina, that it was
probably a case of nerves and fatigue.
Well as time went on Bayley’s messages went from
apprehensive to its okay, to its getting better.We would Skype about once a week, which helped both of us; I could at
least see her and see that things were all right.
She ended up finishing the program and stayed an extra two
weeks traveling the country, she is a much more confident person than before and
has grown in so many ways I never thought possible.
I believe that the Study Abroad Program will be one of
Bayley’s most remembered and talked about college experiences.
Randy E. Hall, Father of
Bayley R. Hall
When Marah first told me that she was going to study abroad in Italy; I have to
admit that I was very apprehensive about the whole thing. I had mixed feelings
about her being so far away from home. Knowing that this would be a "once in a
lifetime experience" for her and knowing how excited she was about going, were
I am an overly protective mother. The thought of sending my youngest daughter
to a foreign country where she knew no one, could not speak the language and I
could not quickly get to if an emergency were to happen; frankly scared me.
Thankfully, there is Skype; an internet based calling program. With the use of
a webcam and a microphone; I could not only speak to Marah, I could see her as
well and it was all at no cost to either one of us. This was my "lifesaver"!
For me personally, almost daily conversations with her is what made Marah's
study abroad experience much more bearable for me. Marah introduced me to her
room mates, I was able to see the apartment that she was staying in but most
importantly I could see Marah and see the excitement in her face when she was
telling me about all of her adventures while studying/traveling abroad.
Our daughter approached us during the first
semester of her sophomore year to study abroad in
Our first reaction was absolutely not.
We were very apprehensive, but said she could present her case to us and we
would look into it and give her our decision. At
that time we started researching Costa Rica
on the Internet and gathering any other information we could find.
This proved to be helpful.
Then the three of us met with Janis Halpern from
ISU and discussed the cost, safety, the credits our daughter would earn, her
accommodations in Costa Rica,
and the benefits of her studying abroad.
After this meeting we felt a little better, but then Janis held a parent
predeparture orientation meeting and presented us with much information and many
materials that helped to ease our apprehension very much.
At this meeting we got to meet a student that had studied abroad and we met with
other students getting ready to study abroad and their parents.
With all of the technology today it is easy to
let your child study abroad, because you can stay in touch with them so easily.
In Costa Rica,
our daughter can use her computer with a very inexpensive camera and microphone
and talk to us and we are able to see her and hear her and she can see and hear
us. It costs her about a dollar an
hour to do this. We also
communicate by email daily.
As I am writing this as we are here in
Costa Rica visiting her.
What a surprise we received when we got here.
Her Spanish has improved immensely.
Since we do not speak Spanish she has been our interpreter this week.
It has been amazing to see what she has learned. Janis
told us for our daughter to really grasp the language she needed to live in a
Spanish speaking country and this is absolutely the truth.
Also, the maturity and independence that our daughter has gained is invaluable,
not to mention the friends she has made.
She also has learned to accept people whom are different than she is very
readily. This has been an amazing
experience for her. The family she
is staying with are wonderful. I
cannot express how loving they are to her....she truly has become one of their
family. They also have been very
gracious to us this week and made us feel like their family.
It was a very hard decision to make, but we can
say it was definitely, without any hesitation, the right decision.
I hope our experience can be of some help to
others contemplating studying abroad.
My son, Silas, is a third year Network Scholar in the
of Business.When he applied for the scholarship his senior year of high school, we
were told that the group encouraged overseas travel.My husband and I were excited at the possibilities!Then during freshman orientation for
IndianaState, Silas and I sat
through a presentation by the study abroad program.The enthusiasm of Janis Halpern made me want to take a class in another
country!In the fall of 2007, Silas
approached my husband and me with the idea of studying abroad the summer of
2008.Even though I had been so
excited before, I was suddenly apprehensive.I knew nothing of what we needed to do to make this happen.Janis Halpern was very helpful and patient with all the questions, and
there were many, that Silas had.
Together Silas and I attended a meeting for all students planning on studying
abroad in 2008.I felt overwhelmed
by all the information given that night, but comforted too by the knowledge
Janis has on all the different schools and countries the students were to
travel.Silas spent the 2008 summer
semester in Rome,
Italy.It was hard putting him on that plane by himself knowing he had never
truly traveled on his own before let alone to a non-English speaking country.The trip over and back had a few bugs but Silas kept in mind Janis’s
motto of keep a sense of humor.With
today’s technology, we were able to text or email almost daily which helped me a
lot!He traveled to many exciting
places and made some new friends.It
was an unbelievable experience for him, and I’m grateful to Indiana State and
Networks for helping to provide him with the opportunity.
My daughter, Emily Stites, is currently a
junior at ISU, studying Finance, Marketing, and Business Administration. We were
first introduced to the possibility of her studying abroad when we attended the
Networks Financial Development Program Interviews. Janice spoke very
enthusiastically about the program and had a couple of students there to talk
with the parents also. On the way home, Emily offered up the information that
she would like to study abroad. I was open to the idea but was unsure about the
details: classes that counted for school, where would she live, who would she
live with, etc. As time passed, Emily brought up the idea several times to me,
always telling me she was going somewhere else. It became a bit of a joke; What
country are you going to this week? I do believe she would like to go to them
all. Eventually, after she talked with Janis, she choose to go to Greece. We
had money changed for her in the US, a bit of a pain as she had to open a
savings account at a different bank because our credit union doesn't deal in
Euros. The next challenge was packing; two seasons worth of clothes in two
suitcases that weigh under 50 pounds each. Emily is a girly-girl and sometimes
wears two different outfits a day. As you can imagine, that changed. Finally the
time arrived and she left for Greece, much more difficult for me to put her on a
plane to a different country than to drive her to school three hours away. I got
a passport also, just in case something happened to her over there and I needed
to go. We stayed in touch by webcam, new to me but it worked out wonderfully. We
arranged different times depending on her school schedule and my work
schedule. The next big hurdle was her roommate. She called upset, to put it
mildly, that her roommate was drinking heavily and using drugs. At this point I
began to question my judgment to let her go abroad. What if the police became
involved, what if she was put in jail; every movie I had ever seen about jail in
another country came back to haunt me. However, Em got in touch with Janice, who
had her contact the coordinator in Greece, Efi. This very special lady was able
to help Emily secure different housing and a much safer environment. She stayed
in contact with Emily almost daily to assure that she was doing well. That type
of communication and caring reassured me immeasurably, Janis watches out
for these students very carefully, like they were her own; which as a parent is
comforting. Emily was able to travel outside of Greece also. The travel is
fairly cheap and she was able to meet with several other study abroad students
from ISU and see the sites. Studying abroad for her was not only extremely
educational but also a wonderful, one of a kind adventure.
She is planning to try to go to China or Japan soon or perhaps...who knows
where. Where ever it is, I will give her my blessing and encourage her to go on
a new adventure.
When April first interviewed for the Networks
scholarship, she said she was not interested
in studying abroad. As her parents, we too had concerns of
our daughter traveling abroad...namely for her safety during travels with
all the news concerning terrorism in our world.
However, she accepted the challenge to this
opportunity. It probably helped us when, in the previous
year, she traveled to France. For the following year, in traveling abroad,
she chose to study in Switzerland. It was also a comfort that she traveled
abroad with a cousin.
experiences were memorable for us. She emailed some beautiful
pictures of her travels. Of course, we prayed for her daily while she was
there. The most fearful experience was when she lost her passport. It was
fortunate that the contacts were nearby which allowed her to make
connections to get a temporary passport.
We were glad
to see here again, when she arrived back in Chicago. The
souvenir, especially the Swiss chocolate, was worth the memories.
My son, Tyler Musgrave, just began his last semester at ISU. He will graduate in May with a degree in Operations Management.
I was just sitting here remembering that a year ago he was just a few days into a semester studying overseas in Finland, of all places! One
of the hardest things I've done in my life was see him off at the airport; little else even comes close.
But I got through it and he did, too! Tyler enjoyed so many aspects of the time in Finland and I'm sure he's talked to you about it. I just
wanted to let you know how much I appreciated all you did for him to make this experience productive, safe and memorable. A Southern
Indiana boy has a whole new perspective on just how big the world really is! He's made friends he still talks to routinely.I'd encourage more students to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad. The cost was reasonable and really would have been more
so had we planned ahead far enough in advance to avoid a lease commitment in Terre Haute during that same semester. My husband and I
took advantage of the chance to visit Tyler while he was there. The trip was expensive (foreign exchange) and exhausting (all the walking)
and worth every dime! We took our younger son with us and our older son went later to visit also. Never in my life would I have imagined
that I would visit Finland and Sweden. Seeing Tyler was the highpoint, obviously, but seeing all the things he wanted to show us and tell us
about was priceless. Tyler's semester abroad turned out to be an educational experience for the entire family.