To many, the process of picking a study abroad program can seem daunting, as it requires planning, commitment, and self-exploration. However, as a student who not only took part in Skidmore’s London First-Year Experience but who is also aware of Skidmore’s well-developed, expansive Off-Campus Study and Exchanges department, I am certain that I want to study abroad for as long as possible. To begin this process, I had to decide on my major and minors, and meet with my academic advisor to discuss my remaining requirements. This may sound like a standard, dry start to such an incredible journey, but you would be surprised how exciting it is to have what you need to complete to graduate laid out in front of you. Once I had planned out which courses I needed to take and during which semesters I needed to take them, I began to explore which study abroad programs would allow me to meet the Junior year requirements that I had set for myself. I did this by searching through the MyOCSE portal, by looking at the courses offered through approved programs, and by beginning advising with Skidmore’s OCSE Program Managers.
As soon as I found the DIS Copenhagen program, I was sure that I could fulfill my major requirements while engaging in new, interesting course material and travel opportunities by participating in this program for the Fall semester of my Junior year. The center-based program is about half the size of Skidmore with an extensive course list for my major, including a core course that incorporates international travel. For the Spring semester of my Junior year, I know that I do not need to fulfill any remaining course requirements, but I know that I want to participate in a program capitalizing on an immersive, global experience. The SIT/IHP programs had been highly recommended to me by others who had participated in them, so I began to investigate them further. Upon doing so, I became invested in the Health and Community program that travels to three different countries in Asia, Africa, and South America, and that focuses on globalization, culture, and care concerning global health. As someone who wishes to enter the health sector and firmly believes in the value of global perspectives, I am confident that this program will also be the right fit for me. This process of choosing in which study abroad programs I wish to participate has been filled with introspection and fluctuation between programs, but I am confident in my choices thanks to the OCSE office’s support.