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Why should I consider study abroad?

| Claire Arneson

We feel that the best version of a student experience is told in their own words. Read one student's account of study abroad, and be inspired!

A semester in Aberdeen, Scotland, spring '16

My experience abroad has, more than anything else, taught me how to adapt to new, confusing, and often overwhelming situations with a level head and open mind. This experience will benefit both my Blugold experience and my future studies in physics.

For example, while at Aberdeen I learned to adjust to a new academic system- one based almost entirely on the final exam grade with very few other assessments. In this case, I had no choice but to accept this change and, as a result, I feel more confident moving forward to upper level classes now that I know I can adapt to new teaching styles and environments. I have also learned to work with peers from around the world.

Not only has this introduced me to different perspectives and ideas, but also taught me to adjust to small differences, like how people in Scotland say "zed" when referring to the letter z and always cross their 7's. On a more personal level, my semester abroad and travels have taught me to be a flexible person and that "disasters" can usually be solved by thinking clearly about the problem and fixing it the best that you can. I have learned to balance my life in Aberdeen with my life back home, and I have become a more independent individual along the way.

To incoming students: both studying physics and studying abroad will leave you with valuable skills, applicable both in academics and in real life. My studies of physics and my studies in Aberdeen have made me a better problem solver; instead of shying away from challenges or difficult problems, I have learned to face them head-on.

There are similarities between physics and taking a semester abroad- both can seem challenging and possibly scary, but both are extremely rewarding. As far as physics and study abroad at UWEC, I cannot say enough good things about both programs. The faculty are invested in your personal experience and will work to ensure that it is the best it can be, whether you are across the hall in Phillips, or across the pond in Scotland.

Claire Arneson
2018 | Physics | Mathematics
Campus Ambassador | Materials Science Research University Honors | Blugold Fellowship