The Ohio University Post recently published an article featuring The School of Media Arts and Studies' study abroad program. Erin Davoran, a staffed columnist for The Post and senior in the Scripps School of Journalism, discussed her six week trip to Ireland made possible by the MDIA Screenwriting and Documentary Storytelling in Ireland Program.
From The Post article:
Monday the 14 is the Global Opportunities Fair. To anyone consumed by wanderlust, attend the fair. Apply for programs. Go abroad. I did, and it was one of the most, if not THE most, meaningful experiences I’ve had as an Ohio University student.
I was a freshman just a couple months into college when I attended an information session for Screenwriting and Documentary Storytelling in Ireland. I left the session with butterflies in my stomach I was so excited just to apply. This was in October. The program wasn’t until June, but I was already anxious to go.
I studied in Ireland for six weeks with 14 other students, the best TA known to man and professor Frederick Lewis, without whom the program would not exist.
We wrote narrative and documentary screenplays, interned at an arts festival in County Donegal, traveled to a film festival in Galway, saw Riverdance in Dublin, met a king on Tory Island and learned about The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
We screened films and met filmmakers. We lived near sheep, tried to learn Gaelic, climbed actual mountains and fell in love with the country and its people.
I was never once homesick. And now, two years later, I could still see myself moving there.
My experience is unique but in some ways not uncommon. I know many people who have gone abroad and feel the same way about opening yourself to new and unknown opportunities. In the Orientation Guide, I urged freshmen to burst the bubbles they live in. Studying abroad will do that, I guarantee.
A friend of mine who graduated in May had an internship in California last fall. When he came back in the spring, he mentioned how he missed the “real world.” College seemed so mundane to him after living and working away for a semester.
When I came back from Ireland, I was only beginning my sophomore year so I had a lot of learning and living in college left to do, but I understand what he meant.
Studying abroad helped me see a sliver of the vast world there is out there for the taking (not in some colonialist, genocidal, Christopher Columbus way. More in an Aladdin-Jasmine “A Whole New World” kind of way).
People often ask me how I feel about being a senior, applying for jobs and graduating soon. I know I’ll miss OU and my friends, colleagues and professors here, but another part of me is really excited to see where I can go and what I can do. Studying abroad no doubt plays a huge role in that motivation.
Even if I never move to Ireland or go abroad again (I desperately hope that isn’t so), I will always be grateful for having that opportunity. The study part helped me realize how much I love screenwriting and documentary filmmaking, and the abroad part exposed me to a new culture and, as a person of Irish descent, my own history.
So study, volunteer or work abroad if you can. Go somewhere that intrigues, excites or maybe terrifies you. Go somewhere internationally or domestically. There are so many opportunities and places you can go. So go!
To read the article in full please click here.
Original Article by Erin Davoran.