Nothing is more comforting than the knowledge that you have a support system when making a decision as big as going abroad. The School of Meteorology is big on making sure that both current students abroad as well as prospective students know the SoM is there to be their backbone. At the end of April, the SoM sponsored an event with the Office of Education Abroad to let students see first hand the kind of support they can receive. The event involved a wide range of people, from staff to prospective abroad students to students who are currently at OU doing their abroad programs. It was low-key and made all the students comfortable in a setting where they were free to ask questions and get answers from experienced people.
Perhaps the best thing about this event (besides the food from various countries, everyone loves food right?!) was the openness of conversation between everyone present. There were students from all three abroad locations on hand to give personal accounts of what it was like to go abroad. Personally, I talked to now graduated Blake Elmer who studied in Australia in Spring of 2015. I got a lot of questions answered about what it was really like to live in a different country for a whole semester. I was also able to speak with Dr. Fred Carr who is the Australia adviser for the School of Meteorology. He gave me some clarification about what classes I will be taking and how they transfer back to OU.
This event was one of the most helpful things to the study abroad process so far. I think that it holds a certain amount of benefit to the students as well as the staff because it gives them a chance to interact with each other on a more personal basis. I encourage the SoM to hold more events like this in the future and to spread the word to get more students a foot in the door in the abroad process.