Starting off My Study Abroad Journey

Written by kristinkelly January 17, 2023

My name is Kristin Kelly and I am a sophomore studying at West Virginia University. I always knew that I wanted to study abroad. I thought being immersed in a new world be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When I first heard about CIMBA, I was intrigued. Once I did more research, I had my eyes set on studying abroad through this program. I decided that I wanted to study abroad a bit late; luckily, the people at CIMBA were very accommodating. The process of applying to any school or program is stressful, especially if that school is on the other side of the world. This being said, I would like to give anybody interested in applying or going through the application process some helpful tips to ease their stress and get excited about studying abroad.

One of the main things I would recommend to anyone is to apply for scholarships! Many people, myself included thought that studying abroad would be out of my price range. CIMBA offers several scholarships that are very generous and can help decrease the price of studying abroad dramatically. I would also suggest applying to scholarships through your home university as well. Many schools have scholarship money specifically for study abroad students. This can be a great way to get the costs down as well. Applying does take time to figure out which scholarships fit best for you, along with essays and applications that need to be completed. They are definitely worth the time!

Like many people, I know I overpack. Even though I will bring 10 pairs of socks for a weekend trip, I somehow manage to forget something important such as my toothbrush. It has been a running joke between my friends and I that we need to go to the store every time we travel so that I can pick up a toothbrush, deodorant or something else I forgot at home. To avoid this, I recommend making a detailed packing list before your trip. This will help to eliminate the stress of forgetting something. This list could be made months before departure so you can add or take off things at your own discretion. Additionally, packing light is very important when traveling abroad. Leaving room for treasures you will pick up throughout your journey at CIMBA will be very important. Anyone who flies a lot knows that hauling several suitcases through a crowded airport is not fun. To avoid this, bring one large suitcase with essentials only. This will leave the opportunity to pick up some trinkets for friends and family back home or some stylish apparel for yourself.

Studying abroad is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on. To prepare for your adventure, look into scholarship opportunities and create a packing list for departure! Scholarships make the costs much more affordable. There are many people at CIMBA who are here for you if you are unsure or stuck on a part of the application process. Tips such as packing light or making a packing list can help simplify your process. If you are considering studying abroad, I highly recommend taking the chance and applying because this will be a time you will cherish for the rest of your life.