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Why a Blog?

May 5, 2010

Before I get started on my general blogs I wanted to talk a little bit about the idea behind starting this blog in the first place. Essentially the idea came from my application for the Gilman Scholarship for study abroad. I applied for the scholarship couple of months ago in hopes that it will help me to pay for the five months I will be spending in Buenos Aires this year…
As part of that application, I had to come up with an idea for a “Follow-on Project” which is basically some creative way that I would like to share my study abroad experience with others (mainly with the aim of encouraging them to study abroad in the future).

When I realized that my school’s study abroad website didn’t have a student blog, I immediately thought that this would be the perfect way to supplement the many resources we have on campus, and to make Bryant students’ experiences abroad available for everyone to read online!

I am currently in the process of recruiting 2-4 more student bloggers (hopefully traveling to very different parts of the world) to blog 1-2 times per month about their experiences. Each of us will have a blog similar to this one which you will be able to access from the Bryant University study abroad website (click here to check out the site). These will remain up on the site after we return, and hopefully more blogs will be added each year until we have archives representing every country that Bryant students have the option to travel to!

I am super excited about this project and I hope that you’ll check in and read about my experiences from time to time. In the meantime, if you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact me or Beth Engwall, the Assistant Director of the Bryant study abroad office.

Happy reading/travels!
~Makena

PS: I leave for Argentina on June 17th so look out for more blogs in the next few weeks as I get ready to go,  and many more in the 5 months that follow!

PPS: If you’re interested in reading more about why I chose to do this, the following are a few excerpts from my application essay: 

“I chose this as my primary focus because I believe that it will allow me to reach the greatest audience. In addition, it will allow me to set something in motion that will continue long after I have completed my time abroad, and will allow other students to give voice to their experiences as well . . .  I know from experience that it is much more compelling to hear about a peer’s experience than it ever is to have an “adult” tell you that something is a good idea. My hope is that this project will give students a resource to learn about the study abroad experience from other students, thus increasing the likelihood that they will apply to study abroad during their college career . . . I have spoken to many students who are ‘on the fence’ about studying abroad so by representing a diverse range of students and destinations, I hope that the blog will be the factor that pushes them “over the edge” so to speak, and proves to them that it is possible (even beneficial) for them to have this kind of experience.”

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