When I first wrote for this blog during Fall 2012, I did so remotely while studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland. This year, I’ve returned to the office that made it all happen—this time, to work! I’m currently serving my second semester behind the student desk at the Office of Study Abroad, and it has only solidified how much I’ve valued my time in Scotland. For those who might consider traveling while at Pomona, I’ve compiled a list of school-specific bonuses that make the pursuit rewarding and easy to navigate.
1) Pomona offers a very wide range of countries in which you might study (31)! This includes countries from every single continent (excluding Antarctica). This year, many of my sponsees have gone abroad, and the diversity of their locations speak to the number of options that are available to Pomona students: they’ve spread to Israel, Hong Kong, Scotland, England, Spain, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Australia!
2) If this diversity isn’t enough, Pomona also offers the option for students to apply to a program almost anywhere in the world. For instance, although Pomona doesn’t officially offer a Korea program, my co-sponsor (and a handful of other Sagehens) have enjoyed their time in Seoul for a semester. If you’ve had your sights set on a particular country, it is likely yours for the travelling (given your strong study proposal)!
3) Any financial aid you regularly receive from Pomona is carried over to your abroad experience. In other words, study abroad should come at no greater cost to you than your normal studies. This was particularly helpful in that my plane ticket, meals abroad, and living accommodations were mystically taken care of for me (although, now that I work at OSA, the process is slightly less-mystic).
4) The Office of Study Abroad provides consulting and other resources to ensure you and your program are a good fit. Before applying, I was a little uncertain about which program might be best for me, and my advising session was what tipped the scale toward Edinburgh. Rhoda, the office’s director, was so passionate about the cultural and academic opportunities that awaited me, I felt compelled to give it a shot. In addition, the office houses a large library of resources and program evaluations of previous travelers.
5) Studying abroad may be objectively good for you. This exaggeration may be due to my own nostalgia—I add this caveat as this pursuit is, of course, not for everyone. However, it’s worth consideration given the benefits it might entail. Edinburgh served as a learning experience in ways I didn’t previously imagine, and I’m still bent on returning today!