Amidst everything else happening at Carleton, the off campus studies fair was today! The great hall was filled with many tables, each with students and professors available to ask questions about particular programs. It was so exciting to see the sheer variety and scope of the places I could go to study abroad. In particular, I was especially interested in two Carleton programs (which are directed by Carleton professors). These included “French Studies in Paris” and "Political Economy and Ecology in Southeast Asia."
The deadlines to apply to these programs for next year are actually coming up rather soon, so if I want to study abroad my sophomore year, I will have to decide by the beginning of spring term. While pretty daunting, it is also incredibly exciting what a real possibility these trips are for me. I definitely want to study abroad sometime during my four years here, but it is a little hard to think of leaving Carleton for a whole term.
When I asked questions about the Paris program, I was immediately greeted in French. It was really fun to be able to somewhat successfully carry out a normal conversation in French, and I’m sure if I go on this program this will be a glimpse of many more French conversations. Although the conversation was only brief it sounds like we would basically explore the culture of Paris, as well as go to Morocco for a week. (Since the info session for this trip isn’t until later, I haven’t learned as much information as I have learned about the following trip.)
The other trip which I mentioned previously, "Political Economy and Ecology in Southeast Asia", is being run by my wonderful international relations professor who I had last term! The information session for this trip happened to be today, so I went to it later in the day after the off campus studies fair. Given the presentation I just saw, It really seems like a once in a lifetime experience. Unlike the Paris trip, which involves actually going to some classes, this trip seems to be predominantly hands on. It sounds like we will be able to stay in different villages and interact with the local villagers. At one point students on the trip also get to go on a cruise on a river in Burma. Apparently there will also be opportunities to teach English at local schools and just in general opportunities to interact with the local students. Although two entirely different study abroad programs, they both seem equally intriguing for me!
When I woke up this morning, I was thinking about my upcoming class discussion discussing whether or not it was irrational to fear death. Now in addition to thoughts about this awesome class discussion, I am going to bed with thoughts of studying in rural villages or walking around the streets of Paris, speaking French!