Leaving the Nest: Where and Why I Want to Study Abroad

Global Engagements Fellowship

Until I moved to the city of Norman to attend college, I had never lived beyond the limitations of rural Oklahoma. While I love my hometown, which is also the hometown of both of my parents, I’ve always been drawn to what lies beyond, pushing the boundaries of my traditionalist town. I respect the decision of my parents, like many others there, to settle down young and find careers within the oil industry, but it is not the future I want for myself. I’m thankful to have a family supportive of my choices to study subjects like writing, French, and international studies, but especially their encouragement of me going beyond the city limits of Hennessey, Oklahoma.

My cousin running through my grandfather’s field after a day of harvest

Now, the opportunity to study abroad is in my hands thanks to my university’s global engagements fellowship, which I am a part of. As my French minor would suggest, my dream is to travel to France. The culture appeals to me in a variety of ways. I admire their focus on the arts, their attention to philosophy and history. Just looking at the streets of French cities, you can see the history sprouting from the ground. Buildings hundreds of years old still serve as businesses and homes. The French seem keen to living an effortlessly sophisticated life, different from the bustling, tense American way.

Beyond my romanticism, I want to travel to Europe to learn new perspectives. Ideally, one day I have a career that allows me to focus on international relations and help aid situations with varying perspectives. Therefore, I should probably have an understanding of some other world views. Furthermore, if I am putting myself through (and assuming I survive) the hardships of learning a new language, I better be able to use it one day. Where better than its native country?

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