Name: Ashley Stout
Preferred e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Expected graduation date: May of 2012
Study Abroad Program and dates: Asia Pacific Program (South Korea) May 15th-May 28th 2011
Why do you want to serve as a Study Abroad E-bassador at Pittsburg State University?
Studying abroad was something I had not even considered when I started college, it was such a great experience and I would love to encourage others to participate as well.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
My freshman year I became really good friends with a student from Taiwan and that sparked my interest in Asian culture. Then spring semester of my junior year I took a class from Dr. Choong Lee, the coordinator of the trip, and he spoke about last year's program. After that I just knew I belonged on that trip! With the stipend available to all students, it was a very reasonable price and it was also the perfect time length for a novice traveler like myself.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experience and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
I would say my defining moment from this trip took place before we even reached our first destination. As we drove from place to place I was breath taken by the beauty and attention to their surroundings. From the bus window I could make out the intricate detail of the buildings, especially at their historical sites. Even the farmland was perfectly landscaped! It was all so completely different than what I had ever seen expressed in Western culture; that's one thing I really miss about Korea.
What advice, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?
Although Dr. Lee did a wonderful job of preparing all of the students on this trip, one piece of advice that I would offer to students considering studying abroad is learning just a few basic phrases from the language. Before we left I glanced over a couple words, though I was pretty distracted by finals and preparing for other aspects of the trip. I wouldn't say this is by any means crucial, but the Koreans I spoke to were always impressed when the other students and myself were able to say a couple phrases.