Broaden Horizons: Study Abroad with MTSU


Story by Maddy Williams / Contributing Writer

Photo via Pexels

Studying abroad may seem intimidating for students, either out of fear of traveling outside the United States or because of the cost.

However, studying abroad provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences and opportunities, and scholarships and financial aid make it affordable for many students who take the time to apply and save. 

Middle Tennessee State University’s Abroad’s scholarship page lists many scholarships that are available for students to apply. These are offered through the study abroad office, various MTSU departments, the honors college, provider programs and an accumulation of outside scholarships. Financial aid is also offered for students, but this is determined on a student-by-student basis. Contact financial aid or MT One Stop with questions. 

Gabrielle Thornton, a senior at MTSU, studied abroad her sophomore year in March of 2020 in Mendoza, Argentina. In this program, she took the course “Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Leisure and Tourism”. She also plans to study abroad in Israel during the Summer of 2022 term. 

“My favorite experience was going to the open-air market at La Plaza de Independencia! At the market, my class met Josefina. Josefina is a local artist in Mendoza who makes and sells beautiful handmade jewelry,” stated Thornton. 

Thornton remains in contact today with Josefina through Instagram. They are learning one another’s languages, so Thornton speaks in Spanish and Josefina in English. 

“The world is rich with culture that I will never get to experience unless I give myself the opportunity to travel and immerse myself within these cultures and experiences,” said Thornton. 

Through studying abroad, students can enrich their learning opportunities by stepping outside of their comfort zones and traveling overseas. By traveling beyond United States’ borders, students can learn about different cultures interactively and tangibly. 

“The advisors can talk you through what options are out there for classes, trip length and financial aid. There truly is a program for you and a way for you to make it happen. You just have to take the first step,” stated Thornton. 

Professor Corey Perkins

The study abroad office is available by appointment or by walk-ins. Available appointments can be found on their website.

Corey Perkins, a Global Studies professor at MTSU, leads a Signature faculty-led study abroad program in Peru for the Summer of 2020 term. The three-hour course students take on this trip is GS 3200. Applications are still open. First, apply for pre-approval with the study abroad office. After you are pre-approved, contact Professor Perkins for the application. 

On the trip, students will travel to the cities of Lima and Cusco, and they will visit Manchu Pichu, one of the seven wonders of the world. In addition, students will have the opportunity to interact with Peruvian people and learn about their culture. 

“I’m super excited, and I invite you to apply to come with me and my class. By the way, if you don’t know what Machu Picchu is, just google it and once you see the picture, you’ll probably want to come with us,” said Perkins.

Perkins is an MTSU alumni, and during his time at MTSU he studied abroad in Japan. He was awarded multiple scholarships to help pay for his trip abroad.  

“I didn’t think I could afford it, but I went through the process anyway. I worked at a restaurant, saved as much money as possible, and applied for as many scholarships as I possibly could. Sure, this process takes a lot of time and effort, but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, right?” stated Perkins.

By applying for scholarships and saving money, studying abroad can become financially attainable for any interested student. Those wanting to travel abroad must be diligent and determined to save money and apply for scholarships. 

Perkins continued, “Studying abroad is truly life-changing. It sounds like I’m just saying another cliche, but in this case, it’s true. So, for students thinking of studying abroad, my advice to you is not to wait for the perfect situation and to do it now. A lot of students say things like, ‘I want to do it, but I’m waiting for my friend,’ or, ‘I’ll do it next semester’ or ‘next year.’ Guess what, most of those students never end up doing it.”

For students hesitant to study abroad in the upcoming terms, consider the many benefits of going abroad. It allows one to experience cultures outside of one’s own, learn outside of a traditional classroom setting and build resumes.

“If you’ve never traveled abroad, you don’t really even know what it is you’re missing and what else is out there. Sure, you can read about it and listen to others, but you don’t know from actual experience,” said Perkins. 

Studying abroad is an invaluable experience for students. Find the right program and apply!

To contact News Editor Toriana Williams, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News 

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