As current students scurry to complete off-campus program applications for 2016-2017 Ocean Classroom, Mountain Classroom, European Art Classroom, Proctor en Segovia, and Proctor in Costa Rica, we hear what Proctor en Segovia's Ryan Graumann and Mikaela Buldoc, and European Art Classroom's David and Jennifer Fleming believe are the top five benefits to studying off-campus or abroad while in high school!
1) You Develop Personal Strength and Self-Reliance
Jennifer Fleming: “I was an exchange student myself in high school. My life has been defined by my year abroad. I gained so much confidence in knowing that I can do things I never thought possible on my own and this has translated to every facet of my life.”
David Fleming: “Studying abroad is an arena of rigor towards self-discovery and self-expression. Students come to know who they are through the intense self-reflection demanded by a study abroad experience.”
2) You Gain Valuable Perspective on the World
Jennifer Fleming: “By personally LIVING other cultures, you add dimensions to your life and develop an ability to understand what it means to be an ‘underdog’. You develop compassion for others who are underrepresented and living in minority situations because you are doing so yourself. You gain a real sense of appreciation for those that take the time to help you and this is an invaluable perspective to have in life.”
Ryan Graumann: “Through culture shock, students realize, perhaps for the first time, they have cultural and societal expectations from their ‘home’ environment. Watching them develop the ability to suspend judgment of other cultures and think critically about this new culture is powerful as stereotypes are broken down and students begin to rethink their worldview.”
3) You Become a Leader
Ryan Graumann: “Students who have studied abroad are provided freedom and are trusted to learn in an uncomfortable setting. In doing so, they develop qualities essential to being a leader as they become proficient critical thinkers, are self-sufficient, self-advocates, and creative problem solvers. This process of self-discovery, understanding who they are, what drives them and what their passions are, fuels them to return to campus energized and poised to seek out leadership roles.
4) You Develop Cross-Cultural Communication Skills
Jennifer Fleming: “Realizing the natural need to communicate on a deeper level motivates language acquisition in a way that no classroom ever can.”
Ryan Graumann: “Studying history, art, language, cuisine, music, politics and economics provides students the ability to navigate between cultures with ease. In a global economy, whether you are working in the corporate, nonprofit, or education sector, you will work closely with people from around the world. Understanding other cultures becomes important to solve problems and to work through issues in an increasingly globalized world.”
5) You Become an Expert in Collaboration
David Fleming: “Our program is an intense experience studying what you will see and eventually traveling to see what you studied alongside a group of nine other students and two faculty. It is a program of very real group living dynamics with all its attackable barriers. Living, learning, traveling, and studying in a small group has challenges, but teaches students how to appreciate, understand, and utilize the skills of the group; a tremendous lesson in collaboration.”
Are you ready to join one of Proctor’s off-campus programs? If you’re a current student, be sure to complete your application on time! If you’re just looking at Proctor for the first time, learn more about Proctor’s off-campus programs by clicking the link below!