The study abroad opportunities at Oregon State University are a large reason why I decided to attend school here. Ever since freshman orientation I have been waiting for the right program to come along, and for me to finally feel mentally prepared to go abroad for multiple months.
I've struggled with Generalized Anxiety disorder for the majority of my life. The illness has kept me from doing/enjoying many of the things in life that most people would give no second thought to. In elementary school, field trips were terrifying, intruder alert drills sent me into a panic, and even staying the night at my friend’s house was impossible to handle. I would shy away from anything out of the ordinary for my simple life. As I grew up, I worked with professionals to find a balance of medication and mental practices that worked for me and allowed me to experience a wider variety of things, like join my High School cheer teem and travel to Florida with my sister to visit a best friend. Going out of state for school forced me to face my anxiety/depression issues head on. I've learned so much over the past three years in preparation for studying abroad. I've found ways to calm myself, be excited for new opportunities, and become much more self-reliant. The chance to prove to myself that I can do everything that people without anxiety disorders do and enjoy those things just as much as them would be truly priceless. Experiences in Perth will strengthen me as an individual and give me a newfound confidence in my capabilities and myself.
This program is not just your average study abroad trip to a different college where I would be studying the same things I would at OSU with the exception of travel on weekends. The "Conservation, Ecology, and Sustainability" program through CIEE in Perth, Australia incorporates knowledge in the classroom into fieldwork. This gives me the opportunity to develop a variety of field skills. We will be spending time surveying marsupials in the outback, exploring aspects of marine ecology through multiple scuba dives in Ningaloo Reef, and many other amazing opportunities unique to this program.
Many of you know that I am going to school for Zoology with an option in Pre Veterinary Medicine and a minor in Fisheries and Wildlife sciences. Veterinary medicine fascinates me, as does conservation, ecology, field biology, sustainability, natural resource management, and other biological areas. The time is quickly approaching for me to decide if Veterinary School is the right path for me, or if I would like to dedicate my time in another scientific field. I truly believe that this program will help me make this choice by showing me which of these things I am the most passionate about.
The chance to experience a new and amazing piece of the world despite my anxiety and potentially make important decisions about my passions where I want them to take me in my future career are the main things that I can accomplish with your help.
I have been so amazingly blessed to have parents that have been willing to help my sister, brother and I through our undergraduate college careers. College is expensive, and putting three kids through at the same time is starting to take its toll financially. My family has supported my decision to come to school out of state because the programs at OSU align so well to my interests, even though it costs almost three times the tuition of an in-state student. This program cost is $22,000 excluding airfare, food, and other travel fees. These expenses are simply not financially plausible for my family alone. With your help and donations I will be able to cover a large amount of this cost and therefor be able to take advantage of this amazing opportunity. The program starts at the end of July and goes through mid November, so it will be a long, worthwhile trip. I appreciate even the smallest of donations. Thank you so much for helping me achieve my goals!