Sharing Study Abroad

London provided intense learning experience for MSU Texas senior

Kaitlyn Stewart wanted to leave Texas and her comfort zone. And she wanted to learn a new language.

That made the MSU Texas Study Abroad program a perfect fit for her development. She loved it so much she had to try it twice as she participated in Study Abroad in London in 2019.

"It was my first time traveling overseas, the only time I'd been in a plane was to Houston when I was in high school," said Stewart, a senior from Richardson Pearce in the Dallas area. "But I definitely wanted to step out of my comfort zone and give it a shot. I thought, this is going to help you, not only grow as a future professional with this experience under your belt, but as an adult in learning how to look at research."

Stewart, a marketing and Spanish double major, plans to graduate from MSU in Spring 2020. She's seeking a career in entry-level event planning or as a social media coordinator or manager. She believes her Study Abroad experience was a building block for her future.

"The trips we took put into perspective on how to apply my education to future companies," Stewart said.

First, Stewart studied Spanish in Spain in 2018.

"It helped me to practice how I speak," Stewart said. "It helped me to be more fluent in how I pronounce my words."

Kaitlyn Stewart
MSU Texas student Kaitlyn Stewart crosses Abby Rd. in London.

 

She appreciated her opportunity to experience Spain while learning a key skill.

"Over there, I'm still in the culture and learning the language; I'm continuously learning every day," she said.

And she believes there are many life lessons, such as budgeting her resources, which are learned in Study Abroad.

"Do I want to go out to this fancy restaurant? Or do I want to take a trip to another country?" Stewart said. "You definitely need to settle down that first week and plan out how much you're going to spend on groceries, how much I'm going to spend when I go out to eat. A lot of life lessons. It was my first time getting a passport."

It was a challenge to leave her comfort zone, but Stewart said her family was happy to see her experience Study Abroad. "At the same time they're parents, and their only daughter is going away, my mom wasn't ready to let me go yet at the airport," Stewart said.

But it was worth it, she said. "I gained a lot from an adulting perspective. Spain really put me out of my element, and in London, that experience helped me narrow down what I wanted to do as a career."

Kaitlyn Stewart in Lisboa, Portugal.
MSU Texas student Kaitlyn Stewart in Lisboa, Portugal.

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION WEEK WITH MSU TEXAS STUDY ABROAD

This sharing Study Abroad series is in celebration of International Education Week.

The Study Abroad program at Midwestern State University has allowed hundreds of students to experience learning in a unique setting.

The program set a record with 146 students in 2019. The majority participated in classes in London (104), followed by Grenada (23), Spain (15), and France (4). Prague will be added in 2020.

The participation for London has surpassed 90 students in three of the last four years. The highest enrollment for Spain was 23 in 2018.

Dr. Michael Mills is the International Education Director at Midwestern State University.

MSU Texas offers students in all disciplines the opportunity to take advantage of academically based programs in France, Spain, and England. Language-based programs in Spain and France are available during summer I. The program in London during summer II offers numerous classes in a variety of academic disciplines. Students interested in the sciences can participate in a short course in Central America with a focus on biology, botany, and environmental science. Scholarships and financial aid are available for all programs.

Dr. Michael Mills with a group from MSU Texas Study Abroad
Dr. Michael Mills with a group from MSU Texas Study Abroad. (A J Lopez III, MSU Texas)

 

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