Alexandra Gulick studied abroad in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean with CIEE: Tropical Marine Ecology and Conservation program. Below, her parents, Kerry Gulick and Linda McEwan, discuss their experience while Alex was abroad.
Kerry Gulick: It meant a lot to know Alex’s academic advisor had visited the country and the program. We knew that if her advisor recommended the program, it was definitely worth it.
Linda McEwan: The process of applying and preparing for departure seemed fairly streamlined. The program sponsor (CIEE) did a great job with pre-departure materials and orientations. We knew what to expect. We could not have supported this endeavor if it weren’t for the numerous financial aid opportunities offered by Oregon State. Scholarships and financial aid is what made studying abroad realistic.
Kerry Gulick: We were not uncomfortable or worried while she was gone. We knew the program was reputable and that she was in good hands.
Linda McEwan: There were huge changes in our daughter’s maturity, especially confidence.
Kerry Gulick: This experienced paved the road for her to succeed. She received excellent recommendations from her program professors and unparalleled experience in her field, both of which allowed her to get jobs and internships when she returned. The benefits our daughter gained from her time abroad made the expenditure of the program completely worth it. She became a very well-rounded individual and student through a truly unique experience.
Linda and Kerry: Studying abroad is the single, most beneficial thing our daughter has experienced in her college career. It did wonders for her personal development and success as a student.
Monica Larson studied abroad in Angers, France through AHA and Paris, France through CIEE. Below, her mother Raelene Larson shares her experience.
Raelene Larson: My feelings of the departure system were smooth. The information provided was very adequate and timely. All college students should have this opportunity to broaden their outlook before they have family responsibilities. Also, living in Paris for the summer at age 20 – wowsers!!
Raelene Larson: I was happy our daughter was having a cosmopolitan summer, deepening her French connections.
Post- Abroad Experience:
Raelene Larson: Monica demonstrated independence and self-reliance in a non-English speaking country, thrived in educational environment and stood above peers academically. She developed worldly thinking, friends abroad, deeper ties to French life, improved language proficiency in French language, exposure to other career options and memories of a lifetime.
Patrick Cousineau studied abroad at Deakin University in Australia through the OUS program. Below, his parents, Michael and Nancy, discuss their experience while Pat was abroad.
Michael and Nancy Cousineau: We were a bit apprehensive before Pat left for Australia. As most parents, we were worried about his safety. We were curious about the mobile phone situation as well as if he would have internet access to contact us that he arrived safely. In regards to finances, we were worried that studying abroad would be significantly more costly than to remain at Oregon State. However, Pat created a budget tier that showed only a slight difference in cost. We were also concerned if studying abroad would slow down his progress to graduate on time. We were quickly reassured that he engaged in proper planning and consultation with his academic advisor to graduate as expected.
Michael and Nancy Cousineau: We didn’t have any main concerns once Pat arrived in Australia. All of the questions and concerns we had were taken care of before he left.
Nancy Cousineau: I noticed Pat returned with a sense of confidence and willingness to take on unfamiliar situations. He was eager to meet new friends.
Michael and Nancy Cousineau: Once Pat returned, I noticed how his once broad career aspirations narrowed to incorporate environmental issues facing the oceanic and marine realm. He took on a new interest in policy issues regarding oceans and pollution.