Ellen Esterhay Photograph


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October 8, 2012   

A friend of mine today asked me for some advice. She is also a junior, and her original plan was to go abroad in Spring, but now is reconsidering. It is partially because she is worried about getting in all her credits, and she also started thinking she could just do something shorter over the summer instead.

To potential future Hamilton students reading this, I will tell you what I told my friend. This is my advice: STUDY ABROAD. DO IT. You will not regret it. This past June, I boarded a plane that would take me halfway across the globe, to go live for six months in a country with a vastly different culture and language. Worrying about that for a 13 hour plane trip with no one to keep you company but yourself is more than a little nerve-wracking.

Anyway, the point is, I am so glad I did it. And I know all of my friends in other countries are loving their experiences as well. There are those days when I experience some of China's less-than-ideal cultural differences and just want to come back to America. (For instance, small children pee on the street here…I will never, ever get used to seeing that.) But overall, living in China has been such an eye-opening experience in too many ways to list here. I am sure that the same can be said of any study abroad experience, regardless of where it is.

And, quite honestly, I'm attending a study abroad program that is considered by many to have one of the heaviest workloads, and I'm still having fun. Which means it would be very difficult to not enjoy your study abroad.

Speaking of that workload, I'm about to get a 6 day break! Though, unfortunately, one without internet access. ACC is taking us to Xi'an, in the Shaanxi Province. We are going to get to see the famous terracotta soldiers, and for the free time that we have, some friends and I are going to go climb Hua Mountain! Apparently China has turned me into a mountain-hiker, who could've guessed it? So see ya in a week!