Sunday, October 22, 2017

Homecoming Weekend

by Chloe Kilpatrick

Before leaving to study abroad, I was worried that I would be missing out on things at Maryville. The thing that concerned me the most – Homecoming. Homecoming is such a fun thing to experience at MC. The game, the fall colors, the parade, the dance. All things that I love. But this year, my senior year, I wouldn’t have the chance to experience some of my favorite Maryville things with my fellow MC students. I would be across the ocean in a place I knew very little about and a place that definitely would not have a homecoming. I knew the positives would outweigh the negatives, but until I was experiencing that, I didn't really believe it. I forgot about my worries upon arrival but this weekend, MC homecoming, I remembered how much I was worried about missing out and I can say without a doubt that what I have gained from this experience is absolutely worth every single thing I missed at MC this semester. It is hard being away from my friends at MC but I have made lifelong friends from all across the world, literally. From Boston, Canada, Germany, France even to Australia. People I would have never met if I had let my fear of missing out cloud my judgment about studying abroad. Of course, I sent an extra piece of my heart Home to Howie this weekend, but for this semester that is enough. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world, even the chance to be home at Howie.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Everyone Likes a Free $500: A Thrifty Students' Guide to Study Abroad Vouchers

When we go shopping, we all love deals, flash sales, promo codes, etc. The best thing about these deals is that we can strategically time our shopping trips around them and save boatloads of money. Let's face it- when you are a college student, getting a great deal can bring on the same rush of adrenaline as reaching the top of Mount Everest.

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with study abroad.

I was compelled to write this blog because right now, students across the country are saving $500 on airfare thanks to a voucher from CEA Study Abroad. See "Current Deals" below. In order to receive it, they must apply by an earlier deadline. For those students, this is like receiving a free $500 off your airfare without having to write and edit extra essays or request letters of recommendation like you would for a scholarship. (CEA is one of our partner organizations for summer study/internships. Learn more about summer opportunities here.)

While this all may seem too good to be true, the Center for International Education here at MC has seen students get these vouchers time and again. This past summer, two MC students got the same deal: a $500 airfare voucher for Student Universe, a travel booking site for students. They applied for a CEA Study Abroad summer program and entered the valid voucher code on their application.

What's the catch? (Eligibility)

Before using any voucher, read through the eligibility requirements. Oftentimes, to be eligible you must complete the given organization's program application by a particular date. This date may be earlier than the standard application deadline. The catch is that you need to be sure and ready to apply by that date. Do not rush into something if you think you may back out since there can be application fees and deposits to be paid if you back out of an application. Check out the official rules for the aforementioned promo to see what I mean.

How can you make sure that you know about these deals?

-Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@MCScotsAbroad) and keep an eye out for the Study Abroad Monthly Newsletter in your MC email. Subscribe to the newsletter here. (Scroll down and look for "Subscribe to our mailing list"!) We'll try our best to let you know about deals that come up.

-Make sure those of us who work in the Center for International Education know about your interest in study abroad! (Email us at to set up an appointment.) or subscribe to our mailing list.  We send out deals we find on facebook and to our newsletter subscribers.

-Check for vouchers yourself! Check for vouchers on CISabroad, CEA, and ISA websites. All are for summer study/internships. These deals come and go, so check back regularly.  Read more about our program offerings here.

No, $500 deals will not be available every day!

But checking the study abroad provider websites regularly or even a simple Google search for promos will usually save you something. In addition to vouchers, promo codes are also available. For example, a simple Google search of "Student Universe Promos" today gives you a free $25 off.

Be intentional about looking for deals and you will not regret it! If you have any more questions about vouchers, please email

Current deals:

CISabroad: Trip or Treat and Location-Specific Promos                                     

CEA: $500 Airfare Voucher 

By: Cindy Columbus, International Programs Coordinator

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Navigating Japan: Part 1

Marlena Madden

Navigating Japan: Part 1
Using the Railway System

Before my trip, my super amazing manager Kent made sure to explain the basics of the train/subway system. But, at first, I didn’t have to worry about this because I always traveled with other people who knew who to get where we needed to go. However, I eventually had to fend for myself.

Here are my step by step instructions:
1.      Download Google Maps and make sure to set it to Japan/ let it update when you arrive.
2.      Figure out where you are going and buy the necessary ticket or charge the right amount on your Passmo or Suica card.
3.      Check the station map to make sure you get on the right train for your destination.
4.      Pay attention to the announcements and signs so that you get off at the right place.
5.      Then, successfully arrive at your destination.
While it might sound easy, it is often a struggle for me. During my first week of classes, I got on the wrong train and could only watch in horror as I passed by intended destination. After switching to the right train at the next stop, I narrowly made it to class on time.

Also, I love my Passmo! Whenever I go on a trip, I only need to charge money to the card which is a lot easier than having to buy and keep up with a small ticket. It is also great because many stations allow for you to recharge it to leave the gate if you don’t have enough money already on it. However, with the wrong ticket, you would have to speak with the station attendant for help.

But, if all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

two months in Norway

Chloe Kilpatrick
Bodø, Norway

Today marks two months of being in Bodø, Norway. The last two months hold some of the most amazing times of my life. I have been hiking on a glacier, hiking around fjords, swimming in the arctic circle, canoeing on an amazing lake, and meeting some of the best people. I can’t believe that this time has gone by so fast. The best part is that its only half way. I still have so much time to embrace this wonderful, enchanting culture.  I’ve even started knitting a Norwegian pullover. Knitting is kind of a big thing here (students even knit in class!). I can’t even imagine the things I will get to do in the months to come.

Before coming to Norway, I was terrified that I would be so homesick that I couldn’t bare it and that I wouldn’t make any friends. Looking back on it, that worry was the biggest waste of my time. This has been hands down some of the best times of my life. I couldn’t have asked for better classes or better people to meet. The classes I am taking involve hiking, looking at art and learning about the Norwegian school system. They couldn’t be more different from my normal class schedule at MC. For a split second after getting into the university I contemplated switching to science classes since they are offered here, but decided it might be good to have a change for once. Thank the Lord I didn’t change them! I think by taking these classes I have taken my experience to a new level. I have had the chance to do so many things that wouldn’t have been possible had I been stuck in a book the whole semester. The break that I have gotten by taking such different classes has offered more insight than I could ask for. Insight into the other faculties and life outside natural science. Over my time at Maryville, I chose to take huge course loads so that I had the opportunity to choose any university I wanted, without having to worry about rather they offered the right science course that would transfer perfectly. I had the chance to look into the country that I would be going to instead of just the classes that would be offered. I am so happy that I decided to torture myself for a few years to get this experience.

It’s still possible to study abroad without planning this far ahead. There is a misconception within the natural science world that it’s too difficult to study abroad for a full semester but that is completely false. Studying abroad is possible to anyone, in any faculty, even if you don’t believe it. There are always ways to manipulate the curriculum to give you that semester with some flexibility. I believe that studying abroad can benefit you greatly if you just let it. My only regret is not studying abroad sooner so that I could extend this to a full year abroad! I strongly URGE you to look into studying abroad if you have the slightest feeling that you might want to do it. It just might change your life, because it definitely has changed mine.