Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

New Dawg Pound President, Corey Crombar, stands next to former Dawg Pound President,
Dylan Chambers April 13, 2024 at Saluki Stadium Suite in Carbondale, Illinois.
Corey Crombar named Dawg Pound president 
By Carly Gist, Staff Reporter • April 15, 2024

A new era is beginning for Saluki Athletics. With current Dawg Pound president Dylan Chambers graduating, the group has found its next leader:...

The solar eclipse reached its totality at 1:59pm in southern Illinois April 8, 2024 in Carbondale, Illinois.
Looking Down: Observing the solar eclipse through shadows
By Mo Collar, Staff Reporter • April 10, 2024

Rather than looking up at the sun through glasses, many could observe the progress to totality through shadows on the ground. A solar eclipse...

The band Lone Howl plays on stage together during the Total Solar Eclipse Festival.
Shawnee Cave hosts music festival in celebration of total solar eclipse
By Carly Gist, Staff Reporter • April 10, 2024

One hundred feet under the highway, live music blared so loud concertgoers could feel it in their chests. Surrounded by a lawn of fake grass...

Study abroad program offers a world of opportunity

March 1 is the deadline to apply
The+Center+for+International+Education+makes+its+home+at+Woody+Hall.
Ethan Holder
The Center for International Education makes its home at Woody Hall.

A sea of skyscrapers. Night markets packed with vendors and customers alike. Neon signs filled with the traditional characters of Mandarin Chinese illuminating the streets. This was the life of SIU student Taegan Carpenter. 

Carpenter is a junior majoring in anthropology and language, cultures, and international studies with a focus in East Asia. She spent nearly a year in Taipei, Taiwan, from August 2022 to July 2023. This was just one of the many different study abroad opportunities that SIU has to offer.

While in Taipei, Carpenter learned how to speak and write in Mandarin Chinese and about the culture of Taiwan. The classes took up 20 hours during the week but she says the workload wasn’t very daunting.

Advertisement

“Think about all the time during your undergrad you are in class. That is already 18 hours per week and you’re studying five or six different things. Versus when I was in class doing all the same homework, all the same tests, it’s one class that you are learning all of this in,” Carpenter said.

A less demanding workload also meant more free time. Carpenter utilized this to experience what the country had to offer.

“There would be times I would wake up early in the morning and take the train to the northeastern seaside and go surfing before my classes in the afternoon,” Carpenter said. “That was my life and it was pretty cool.” 

The workload wasn’t the only difference that she experienced while overseas. Her apartment didn’t have a kitchen sink, the college did not have any dining halls, and the streets were packed with diverse people unlike in Southern Illinois. Even with all of this, Carpenter says one of the most surprising differences was the quality of 7/11s. 

“The 7/11’s over there are way more functional than the ones we have here. You can buy real, hot food, as well as send mail, get a taxi, pick up mail and pay your bills. All of those things and more you can do in a 7/11 which is really cool,” Carpenter said. 

The food and scenery made her trip one she will never forget but her time there was not always easy. Her first couple months across the world, knowing no one, made for a grueling experience.

“The first three or four months, everything was just very uncomfortable. You miss home. The food is weird. When I first got there it was so hot, I was like ‘This is terrible.’ I don’t have any friends, I miss people who speak English. You are just trying to find your footing,” Carpenter said.

Advertisement*

She says this happens to everyone traveling alone. However, Carpenter says the harder times early on should not keep anyone from studying abroad.   

“Once you get there, you will find that you are more resilient than you really are and more creative. You will find ways to make money and sustain yourself and make friends. I would just say go for it,” Carpenter said. 

Fear can hold many people back but this will also keep them from gaining the benefits. Stephanie Mueller, the director of the Study Abroad Department at SIU, says there are benefits from studying abroad that will help students beyond their college years.

“It’s a great professional builder for our students. It’s something they can add to their resume. It gives them intercultural experiences, knowledge, and language experience. These are all things that will make them more marketable for future jobs” Mueller said.

She says there is a study abroad trip for everyone. Some trips do require students to be in a specific major but some allow any student at SIU to go. Some of the opportunities include:

  •  Austria: Music History in Salzburg & Classical Music
  • Brazil: Speech- Language Pathology (dental hygiene & medical welcome)
  • England: Empireland – England and its Imperial Pasts
  • France: Business Studies in Grenoble
  • Ireland: Literature, History & Music of a Changing Ireland
  • Italy: Art and Monuments of Ancient Rome
  • Italy: Drawing, Art & Medieval & Renaissance Architecture in Florence
  • Spain: Spanish Language & Culture
  • Spain: Fermentation (open to everyone)

Mueller recommends everyone consider taking a trip abroad but says they should do some preparation beforehand. 

“Do some research on that country including the cost of living there, what does airfare look like there, and are there visa requirements? These are all things that we can help with as well,” Mueller said.

The study abroad department not only helps with preparation, but it also helps students find financial aid. 

“Also, look up your financial aid. What kind of aid are you receiving? Is it grants, is it scholarships, is it loans? Get a feel for that so when they come into our office we can help and assist in finding out how their financial aid can apply to the study abroad program” Mueller said.

The deadline to apply for the study abroad programs in the summer and fall 2024 semesters is March 1st. To learn more and sign up, visit the study abroad department website.

Advertisement

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Daily Egyptian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *