Before attending university, the only thing I was really sure of was a desire to study abroad. After a failed attempt at being an exchange student in high school (let me live my life, MOM), college was the time for me to experience a world outside of the small town I had grown up in. In fact, I decided to attend Michigan State University because they offer unique programs for college freshman to study abroad the summer before starting school.
While at MSU I studied in Ireland (Galway, Dublin, and a quick trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland), and then a couple years later went on to intern in London, England making videos for an underground radio station. After graduating, I had the opportunity to intern at a film production company in Auckland, New Zealand – and, in some ways, as a result of that decision I was accepted into the Sundance Full Circle film fellowship. As I see it, all of these opportunities were either a result of my choice to study abroad, or the mentality I gained from being abroad.
Every time I apply for a job, my traveling is a talking point. Applicable for every career, but in particular for the evolving needs of filmmaking, study abroad illustrates you as a candidate who can roll with the punches, a mindset that the unpredictability of traveling grants you. Being abroad also introduces you to a variety of people, from differing backgrounds and cultures, teaching you how to communicate and work with people who might think, speak, or understand things differently than you do.
Above all, studying abroad illustrates that you’re not afraid to take chances.
The real world experience I’ve gained through studying has given me a competitive edge that I wasn’t able to gain by just staying at home. When I entered college, I was afraid to major in filmmaking, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to find a job after college. However, I’ve been employed since I graduated, often times with multiple film related jobs simultaneously occurring, all of which started because of a few employers asked “what is an underground radio station?”
🇺🇸 Learn more about how YOU can have an amazing time abroad at americansemester.msu.edu 🇺🇸
About the Author:
Kaitlin Lenhard is ASP&E’s Promotion and Marketing Intern, and an alumna of Michigan State University. In her free time, Kaitlin likes to watch movies, d.i.y., and lovingly admire her dog. A Michigan native, Kaitlin has been to 6 countries, and 3 continents. Find out more about Kaitlin here.
Interested in learning more about our programs and exchanges? Take a look at our website, americansemester.msu.edu, where you can find a variety of resources.