end, many Bobcats are packing their suitcases to go on an adventure of a lifetime.
Studying abroad is one of the many programs at GC that students should take advantage of. From a Maymester to summer program to even a full semester, GC offers many programs that can fit best with your schedule.
Assistant director of education abroad Liz Havey works with students to find the best program for them.
“Studying abroad in general is a really great opportunity for students to explore the world and get academic credit,” Havey said. “And the opportunities for professional and personal growth are enormous as far as you learn a lot about yourself and what you are made of.”
International Education Center interns Amanda Moore and Emilee French hold information sessions every Monday through Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Bone House.
“Studying abroad builds so many skills that you wouldn’t otherwise,” Moore said. “I found when I got back that I was able to adapt to more situations and be more flexible, handle things better and communicate better.”
Both interns have spent a semester abroad and are able to use their experiences to encourage students to push themselves out of their comfort zones.
“Trying to build a life in another country, you really develop personal growth,” French said. “It made me more independent, especially when you are trying to learn other countries’ systems and feed yourself all in a place that speaks other languages.”
Senior Kylie Barber, a public health major, spent a summer studying abroad in Spain.
“It was such an eye opener, and I know that sounds so cliché, but we live in such an American bubble—especially in Milledgeville because everyone is very similar,” Barber said. “So, when you go to another country, you realize that English isn’t the only language, and people [from other countries] love America, but we don’t take the time to learn [or] choose to respect other countries.”
The International Education Center also offers advice on how to best prepare for studying abroad.
“Do as much research as you can as early as you can about the place you’re going to be traveling,” Havey said.
“When you travel abroad, everybody else in the planet knows so much about what is going on in the U.S. compared to what we know about what’s going on in their host country. Conversations about politics, religion and economics are not taboo subjects anywhere else on the planet. That’s what real people talk about."
Junior Liz Ann Barnett, a marketing major, is preparing to spend the month of June in Spain.
“I am really excited to explore a new country with one of my best friends,” Barnett said. “It will definitely be an experience of a lifetime.”
To celebrate those who are already enrolled or interested in an international education program, the International Education Center will be hosting a “summer send-off” on front campus on April 18. The event will last from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will have food, games and travel tips.
“Students need to know that studying abroad is going to be hard,” Moore said. “Not everything is going to go as you planned, no matter how much you plan, but that’s the best part about it. You have to figure it out for yourself, and that’s so fun.”