Deciding where to go was one of the more challenging aspects of my abroad experience because of many factors such as dates, cost, and classes offered. However, meeting with the study abroad adviser within the Eller College of Management and the University of Arizona's Study Abroad office helped me to determine where to go. I also did additional research on different things to do within the countries I was looking at to make sure I would have enough opportunities to go on excursions and travel around the country. I chose Prague mainly because of its location within Central Europe and knowing that would make travel within the country and within Europe easier than my other options. Additionally, I looked at the currency of the Czech Republic and its historical comparison with the U.S. dollar and saw that the value of my money was stronger, so my expenses would be easier to control. I also spoke to my friends in my clubs who had been involved in the same program I was and they all highly recommended Prague and told me about their personal experience. Once my decision was made it was time to apply.
Setting myself apart was challenging within the application, but talking with the advisers and my parents about my family lineage and its relation to Central European cultures was helpful in finding more about the personal reasons I wanted to go abroad. While the application is more than likely different every year, the top 5 things that were helpful to think about while applying, picking a program, and committing to spending the summer abroad were:
1. What are my top 3 personal and professional goals when I go abroad? What steps can I take while abroad to achieve these goals?
2. How will I use this experience to apply towards my major post-graduate career goals?
3. What is it about this program that I like and that attracts me? (The benefits? The cost? The location?)
4. Can I let go of the expectations I have for a study abroad and be willing to let my experiences create themselves to make lasting memories? How will I apply this "go with the flow" mindset?
5. Does the idea of this program and its offerings excite me and occupy my thoughts?
Thinking of these things not only helped me with setting myself apart and conveying my passion and desire for going abroad but helped me to determine that it was the right decision for me. Fellow Wildcats, I wish you the best of luck in your global endeavors. Use your advisers and peers and always remember to Bear Down!