Good evening loyal readers, I write to you this evening from the bustling metropolis that is our nation's capitol. While I am sure many of you are scratching your heads and wondering what could have possibly possessed me to leave beautiful, sunny San Diego and travel to the frozen tundra of DC, fear not -- I shall explain.
As an upperclassman at PLNU (though this opportunity is also extended to sophomores) I was faced with the dilemma of if, where, when, and why I should study abroad. Obviously at this point you know the ending, but allow me to finish "Quentin Tarentino-ing" this point by detailing the body of the story. As I was saying, as an upperclassman at PLNU, study abroad is highly encouraged, unless you are an accounting or nunrsing major, in which case you have little to no free time to travel to Los Angeles, let alone Madrid. However, if you are NOT an accounting or nursing major and your evenings are not full of tear-stained reports on Apple's plummeting stocks or the respiratory system, you have the wonderful opportunity the explore the world.
Study abroad students at PLNU often go to European countries such as Spain, France, England, Italy, etc. However, the opportunity also is there for travels to more exotic places, such as Australia, Russia, or South America. The options are all but unlimited.
So, how did I end up in Washington, D.C.?
As an upperclassman journalism major at PLNU, I was presented with the opportunity to study abroad, or to study somewhere domestic, yet geographically different. It was not a decision made out of a lack of desire to go to Europe -- quite the opposite, in fact. Rather, the domestic studying I am doing in D.C. is accompanied and highlighted by an internship. In my case, it is with the Daily Caller -- one of the local D.C. publications. The program is available to a variety of writing-based majors, and other, similar programs are available for Political Science/Social Science, etc majors as well. Here, I stay in apartments on Capitol Hill, near the Capitol itself. I take 12 credits of classes in addition to a 4 credit internship, making a total of 16. All course value completely transfers for credit at PLNU.
One of the main reason's I'm here is that I felt this experience would look better on my law school applications than spending a month in Barcelona eating pescado, helado and chasing toros in las calles.
However, I want to pause for a moment and stress that my decision is in no way more "academically responsible" than studying abroad in Europe, or Australia. Your experiences are what you make of them, so if Europe is calling you and you feel it will be a good opportunity, take it. When it comes to studying abroad, don't fret over what you could be doing, rather, focus on what you want to be doing. I envy the students who went to Europe, or Australia, or who are sitting beachside in South America while I'm here trudging through snow in Washington.
Have your future goals in mind, but don't let this truly once in a lifetime opportunity pass you by altogether. Don't blind yourself to the present by only looking ahead to the future. I've never heard of anyone that has had a bad study abroad trip. There have been unfortunate moments, of course, but as a whole I have heard nothing but great stories, experiences, and life tales from those whoh have forsaken the familiarity of their domestic schools, traditions, and cultures and who dared take that courageous step into the unfamiliar, the unknown and the novel.
I hope over the next semester I can give you stories of equal caliber.