Coming to Pittsburg State was never really a question of ‘if', but rather ‘when.' As the sixth member of my family to attend, the Stouts are Gorillas through and through. Now a senior majoring in marketing with a minor in leadership studies, there is one thing that I would have never predicted happening when I was planning out my college career, and that was the opportunity to study abroad.
I had never considered myself a "world traveler," though I had gone on a week-long trip to France my senior year through my high school. My interest in international studies began my freshman year in the dorms when I got to know a student from Taiwan, Tommy Jiang. As we both got to explore what Pittsburg had to offer, I couldn't help but marvel how he was up to trying and doing so many new things! That's when it hit me, this isn't just Tommy's attitude; this must be is the mentality of many other students who study abroad. To leave everything you knew and embrace an entirely new culture- that was something to envy!
My junior year in the business program, it was becoming more and more apparent to me that in today's global economy, the world is getting smaller every day. Tommy had already returned to Taiwan, but his impression stayed with me. So when Dr. Choong Lee, the coordinator of the trip, spoke about the Asia Pacific program to South Korea during class, I just knew I belonged on that trip. Everything felt right, and as a novice traveler, 2 weeks was just the right amount of time for me.
From the 15th of May through the 28th, I had the experience of a lifetime. To say that Eastern culture varies from Western would be the understatement of the century! I got to try so many new things, all while enjoying the hospitality of three most generous sister schools. It was the perfect balance of entertainment and cultural education. One of the things I found most surprising was the large population that actually spoke English. Not that I had to reveal my country of origin to them, my light brown hair was a dead giveaway!
It's been said time and time again that the best investment you can make is in yourself. Furthering your education at PSU is the first step in that direction, why not take advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity that this university has to offer? Whether you are studying business, engineering, or physical education, I encourage you to take on the explorer's attitude.
- Ashley Stout