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Planning my Next Trip… From sight seeing to culture seeking!

Katelyn Mistele shares her experience from being a “sightseer” to a “culture seeker” while abroad on the Student Exchange Program in Denmark. She also gives tips on how to be a “culture seeker” and encourage you to be one too!

I officially caught the travel bug when I was abroad last spring on the Students Exchange Program. My home base was Copenhagen, Denmark, but no one would have known that if I didn’t tell them. I was gone every weekend seeing every major sight Europe had to offer and spending my whole bank account. I am so fortunate to have had this experience through Fisher, but now my outlook on travel has changed. I have changed form a “sight seer” to a “culture seeker”.

Nyhaven, Copenhagen, Denmark. The picturesque canal in the city!

When I arrived in Europe I was in awe. I have never been to Europe before and my only abroad experience was my family trips growing up to the Caribbean or Mexico. I was lucky enough to arrive two weeks prior to my program and my family and I decided to use that time to travel. We went on one of those excursions with a travel company that took us through the European highlights. We traveled from London to Paris, through Switzerland, and down Italy stopping at every major tourist spot along the way. From someone who has only dreamed about seeing the Eifel Tower or Big Ben this was amazing to see everything in person. From nights of little sleep to days spent on our feet walking from sight to sight and driving from place to place we never really took a second to stop and embrace the culture.

Me and my sisters from our trip. Lot’s of sight seeing in Paris, France.

Over the duration of my six months in Europe I traveled to 19 different countries and over 30 cities. There’s not many things I didn’t check off my to do list, but at the end of the day all I can say is that I saw the sights. I never actually truly experienced the culture.  Did I regret traveling how I did? Absolutely not! My goal was to see Europe and I definitely did, but from now on I am officially no longer “sight seeing” but instead “culture seeking”.

There were moments in time when I experienced this in Europe. When I arrived in Malta my Airbnb host picked us up from the airport and took us around the island showing us its history and telling us about his life. He told us all about the history of the island and how they were just recently free from British rule so that’s why there’s so much British influence still. Additionally, he told us about growing up where his children were going to school and how he was a teacher at a local elementary school. When I was in Spain I chose the local restaurants where we dined with locals. These experiences were so much different than dining at tourist heavy restaurants as menus were all in Spanish and dishes were more traditional in nature. When I was in Denmark I tried to meet as many of the locals as I could and learn about their culture. I learned a lot of things about how the Danish culture is more reserved in nature and the high value they place on close relationships.  All of these things led to my new outlook on traveling.

View in Valletta, Malta.
Views of the famous narrow fjords north of Bergen, Norway.

I am in the midst of planning my next trip to Asia. I am motivated to head there next because I feel as if I have seen most of the things I want to see in Europe. Also, I am really interesting in experience a culture that is dramatically different from the culture we have here in the United States as sometimes in Europe I noticed a lot of similarities. My goal while traveling Asia is to experience as much of the culture as I can and try not to fall into the “sight seeing trap”. I have gotten so many suggestions and am still trying to narrow down my list but I have decided that I will not be staying in any five star hotels. I am not going to be doing everything trip advisor rates as a “must see in Thailand.” Instead I am leveraging my network here at home to see what my friends who have traveled to this region suggest. I am also going to reach out to my network to see if anyone knows anyone who will be in the region at the time to get a more unique and original experience (I am in the midst of writing a blog most on leveraging your global network as well so stay tuned!). I am also going to plan for down time to get out in the cities I am in and live amongst the locals and embrace everything their culture has to offer. Right now the following countries are on my radar but I still have a lot of planning and research to do: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Japan.

My tips for anyone who wants to join me in culture seeking are as follows:

  •  Avoid mainstream resorts, embrace hostel dwelling! Hostels are a great opportunity to meet other young travelers but also to experience the culture of the country you are visiting. A lot of hostels are family owned and they sponsor events that introduce you to their culture.
  • See a few main sights and snap a few pictures, but at the end of the day get lost (safely)! Wander, explore, and go to the restaurant that isn’t the five-star trip advisor suggested option. Ask your waiter for suggestions. People want to share!
  • Go to the places you wouldn’t expect to enjoy. Some of my favorite trips were to places I wasn’t even planning on going to! I went to Finland, Estonia, Malta, and Norway and honestly I didn’t even know Estonia and Malta were countries! Get out and see the world every part is unique in its own way and has its own hidden gems.
  • Ask questions. Ask questions. Ask questions. People want to share their culture and they want to learn about yours so take advantage of this.
Beautiful Russian influenced church located in Tallinn, Estonia.
Photo from cross country skiing in a national park north of Helsinki, Finland!

My six months in Europe were life changing and I saw amazing things and met amazing people, but I am looking forward to culture seeking from here on out. So let’s get out and embrace travel, see the sights, but experience the culture and grow interpersonally. And if anyone has Asia suggestions comment below!

From Tourist to Local

Junior Madolyn Desch discusses her experiences living and working in London, England as part of the 2018 Summer Global Internship Program.

For my entire life, I have lived in Ohio. I lived in the same house in Cincinnati since I was 1 year old before moving an hour and a half away to Ohio State.  Though I have traveled extensively away from home throughout high school and college, including a month spent in Germany with the Fisher Freshman Global Lab program, nothing could compare to the nearly 3 months I spent living and working in London this summer.

 

When I arrived to London in May, I was a tourist –I relied on Google Maps and City Mapper to navigate the tube, I spent my free time visiting the tourist sites, and I depended on my co-workers’ suggestions for places to go and restaurants to visit. But within a few days, I began to become more than a visitor to the city; I learned how to navigate without utilizing my phone and discovered lesser-known areas inside and outside the city center. I could name four different tube and bus routes to get to work each day for the many times there would be a signal failure and tell you which car would be the least crowded so I could get a seat.

Even more than knowing the ins and outs of the transportation system, I learned so much about the culture of the city. London is one of the most Westernized locations in Europe, but the differences between the US and London are immeasurable.  I became so accustomed to cars driving on the opposite side of the road, security screenings at everything from museums to churches and even rooftop restaurants, and the lack of ice and water drank in Europe that it has taken time to readjust to the US.  While having air-conditioning and driving is a great perk of being home, I miss the public transportation, the ability to travel to a different country, inexpensively, on the weekends, the bounty of festivals, outdoor movies, and daily activities that occurred at The Scoop, my favorite spot to spend my lunchbreaks at or visit with friends after work, and my incredible co-workers who made it a summer I will never forget.

Before leaving, I anticipated that my summer spent in London would be different than any other experience traveling abroad I had had up to that point. I knew that I would grow accustomed to my new life in the city over time. What I did not expect was to feel so at home in the city in such a short period of time. Within a week, I did not feel like a tourist in London; I began to feel like a local and even was mistaken for one multiple times by tourists and locals alike asking for directions or history lessons on the British Royal Family. Now that I am home, I constantly think back to my time there and bring up the practices I think Europe is better at in most conversations. In less than three months, London became my second home, and I am so grateful for the Fisher College of Business and the Global Internship by We Find Group for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity.

 

 

 

LOST THEN FOUND: A GIRL TRYING TO NAVIGATE EUROPE

Madison Carter, Junior, Marketing major with Fashion and Retail Studies minor

I’ve travelled a lot. Ever since I was little, my parents have always brought me along on excursions both in and out of the country. They ranged from a family week in Arizona, a luxurious vacation in Aruba to a business trip in Rome, but nonetheless, my parents were constantly by my side when we explored all of these new places. I was able to just aimlessly follow them around and really didn’t have to put that much thought into getting from point A to point B. All the taxis, hotels, and activities were planned by them—I was just there to happily tag along. It was so easy.

So, when the opportunity to spend the summer in Madrid came along, my clouded judgement kept telling me “Psh, this will be a piece of cake for you. You’ve travelled so many times.” While the travelling part is true, the other point about being perfectly equipped for the summer was a tad bit off.

Yes, I took Spanish in high school. Yes, I followed the packing list. And yes, I read up on all the culture differences that I was going to face. I still wasn’t prepared. You could study and research a new place for hours, but until you get there, you can’t fully understand what it’s going to be like. And that’s okay.

The beauty about living abroad for two months is that you’re put in a totally new environment and challenged to figure it out. There’s no perfect guidebook that tells you what to do when you can’t find your office on your first day, or what to do when your Spanish SIM card stops working on you (it’ll happen), but if there was such a book accessible to us, you wouldn’t get anything out of living in Europe.

At first, the culture shock is a lot. The language barrier, new modes of transportation, and unfamiliar places can make you wish you were back in America. Trust me though, it didn’t take long until I felt as if I was starting to overcome those obstacles to the point where I developed a work routine, had a special coffee shop I visited every day, and knew the metro pretty darn well.

This new sense of confidence allowed me to broaden my horizons and travel outside of Madrid. I was able to go to Segovia, Barcelona, Ibiza, Paris, and Morocco knowing that I didn’t need my parent’s full assistance to plan trips for me. Travelling on the weekends with my friends furthered my growth as an individual, and now I can’t stop thinking about what place I want to visit next!

My biggest piece of advice is to not go into the trip thinking you know everything, and to not be afraid of not being fully prepared. There’s enough stores to get whatever you need, and enough nice people to help you along the way. You’re there to be challenged in a way that you probably never have before, and you’ll grow so much from learning how to problem solve in a foreign country. If I can do a total 180 in terms of being self-sufficient when travelling, you can do it too.

Opportunity, Not a Lengthy Visitor

Thomas Lowden, a rising junior at Ohio State, shares his journey full of self-discovery and opportunities as he travelled across the pond and was fortunate enough to call London home for eight weeks as a part of the Summer Global Internship Program.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to be a part of the 2017 Freshman Global Lab, studying in Hamburg, Germany for four weeks. Amidst the bratwurst, bier, and schnitzel, I was bitten by the “travel bug” and already started planning my next adventure. Shortly after returning to campus in Autumn 2017, I began looking into the Summer Global Experience Program and started to weigh my options between locations and industries. Here, you will find my journey throughout Europe, a time where I was able to discover more about myself and did not let a single opportunity slip from my grasp.

 

My experience abroad this summer started a few weeks earlier than most as I did something that I recommend any participant of a Fisher Abroad program do if they have the means, and that is to travel before the program begins. It is a relaxing way to start your journey and adjust to any time zone differences before you get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of your program. Also, since I have done both, be sure to travel beforehand as trust me, you do not want to be lugging your souvenirs and luggage from your program around for an aditional week or two. To save money, split an Airbnb (stay in a central location, even if it is a bit farther out from the airport) with friends and make sure to visit cheap eats (in most cases, it is also better food

 

With two weeks and a scavenger hunt with some fellow Buckeyes under my belt, I was ready to leave my American comforts behind and dive head first into my internship at GHO Capital, a private equity firm in the mid-market healthcare space. My typical day in the office consisted of team meetings, data analysis, conducting market research, and creating PowerPoints based on my findings. A piece of advice for those who are still deciding on which career path to embark on. Take your time and enter every situation with an open mind. If you are like myself and your internship is in an industry that you cannot exactly see yourself in, being flexible and learning everything you possibly can will help you build upon those technical and soft skills, which WILL be applicable to your future job.

One of the great things about London, is that there are so many unique destinations just a few hours on a train away. One of my favorite parts of the program has to be the weekends exploring Europe with my friends. If you choose to intern in London, be sure to check out Brighton, a beach on the English Channel, as well as Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor. You will not regret it!

If you prefer to stay more local, that is entirely okay as well! There are so many opportunities in London to find what interests you. Whether it be sports, musicals, or shopping, there is something for everyone. While here, I was able to explore one of my biggest passions, theatre. Unlike the United States, history and the arts are integral parts in London’s culture, making for cheap theatre tickets and free museum entries! While in London, I was able to see 12 different musicals on the West End! If you are interested in learning more, I typically used LondonBoxOffice.co.uk or TodayTix, however, some of the shows offer lotteries or cheap tickets the day of the show so be sure to keep an eye out for those!

Now, what you really come to London for, besides the lowered drinking age and the accents of course, is an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. While in London, I took a chance and decided to sign up for the British 10k on July 15th, 2018. Throughout the race, there were numerous times that I wanted to walk or slow down, but believing in myself and trusting my abilities kept me pushing and I was actually able to beat my goal of 1:00:00 with a finish time of 00:56:44. This experience provided me with one of the main life lessons that I am taking away from this trip and that is to not be afraid to take a chance, push your limits, and make a great memory. Who knows, you might even find a new passion.

Whether you are debating participating in the Fisher Summer Global Internship or you have already signed up, this is not only a great opportunity to add a unique experience to your resume, but it is also a great way to grow personally and professionally and gain a greater appreciation for the world and its various cultures. I am beyond grateful that I was able to capitalize on this opportunity and discover more than I thought was possible about myself. Getting out of my comfort zone and taking a chance allowed me to make new friends, try new foods, and see new things. An opportunity, is here for just but a second and we must do everything we can to not let it slip away. Now, it’s time for me to start planning my next journey. Cheers!

Financing Education Abroad

Questions on financing education abroad? Katelyn Mistele, who when on the Student Exchange Program to Denmark, has some suggestions for you!

One of the biggest challenges and often times a reason individuals shy away from education abroad is the topic of determining how you will finance your experience. I’m here to tell you that it can be done, and be done economically! It’s important to take into account the following when determining how to finance your study abroad experience: what type of program you are looking for, what locations you are looking at, and how much traveling do you want to do off program.

For starters Fisher offers a variety of programs for education abroad each ranging from a variety of prices. I personally participated in a Fisher Student Exchange Program. The great part about the exchange programs is that they are simply your Ohio State tuition. You don’t have to pay more or less you simply pay your Ohio State tuition as you normally would and essentially you “swap places” with a student from the university you will be attending. There are other programs as well that have different financing plans, but these can be affordable as well! There are many opportunities through scholarships and even using STEP money if you happen to be involved in that program. Fisher’s Office of Global Business has a scholarship program that I know myself and many other students who were studying abroad were lucky enough to receive. I personally only applied for one scholarship the Fisher’s Office of Global Business FCOB Global Experience Scholarship. It was a super easy process and didn’t even require that much time. I just had to fill out a brief questionnaire! It’s all about keeping an eye on those opportunities early, and simply applying! Fisher does a great job at outlining those opportunities and making it easy for you to take advantage of them.

Another important factor to take into consideration is where you want to go abroad. This is something that I didn’t take into consideration and it was quite the shock for me. I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark which I didn’t know but is one of the more expensive cities in Europe. It’s important to consider this and plan accordingly. I didn’t plan out a budget prior to leaving but I definitely should have. I had to be frugal when I was in Denmark. I didn’t eat out as much as I would to have liked because I had to prioritize my finances and I wanted to travel, as opposed to experience all of the restaurant’s the city had to offer.

Finally, the most important thing you need to plan for financially is how much traveling you want to do during your program. Personally, this was a key point for me. I really wanted to travel all around Europe and I did! I ended up going to 19 countries when I was out there, but it definitely required a lot of financial planning. I worked the summer and semester leading up to my exchange to save for this purpose. Besides saving I would suggest to prioritize. Like I mentioned before eating out in Copenhagen is very expensive meals ranging from $25-45. So instead of eating out multiple times a week I would opt to cook and use that money to travel instead.

Just to break down an average trip for you I have some costs listed below that were associated with each trip. This of course varied from trip to trip as some cities are more expensive than others, and some places are more expensive to fly into, but this will give you a general idea for when you are planning out your finances.

  • Plane Ticket = $100-200
  • Airbnb or Hostel = $50
  • Food = $100
  • Activities = $50
  • Transportation = $30
  • Souvenirs = $10
  • Other = $50
  • Total = $390-490

Overall, education abroad can be financially challenging, but totally do able! I would suggest that no one not study abroad because they are worried they can’t afford it because the experience is so valuable and amazing. All you need to do is plan carefully and prioritize and you can have a semester full of traveling and experiences that can’t even have a price tag. Also again apply, apply for scholarships they are there and you never know unless you simply apply!

Frequently Asked Questions – Global Internships

Below are the most frequently asked questions with regards to the Summer Global Internship Program:

 

Q: Am I guaranteed an internship if accepted into the program? What type of internship can I get in this program?

A: Yes! It depends as each internship is tailored to the specific student’s career goals, previous experience, and skills and knowledge they want to gain.

 

Q: Is this program competitive?

A: There is no max number of students we accept per location but you are competing against yourself and your resume for the best internship for you!

 

Q: Do I need to know another language in order to intern in another country?

A: No, all internship work can be completed in English unless a student specifies that they want to further their language skills.

 

Q: Can I intern in NYC or Chicago through this program?

A: The NYC and Chicago Global Internship Programs are exclusively for Non-US citizens only. We want you to have a global experience!

Frequently Asked Questions – Global Projects

Below are the most frequently asked questions with regards to Global Projects sourced by Fisher’s Global Consulting Firm:

Q: What is the Fisher’s Global Consulting Firm?

A: Fisher’s Global Consulting Firm is an opportunity for undergraduate students to consult for a company or organization abroad. The Office of Global Business is the managing director of the Fisher’s Global Consulting Firm and works to source projects for students to consult on.

 

Q: What type of global projects can I apply to consult on?

A: There are 2 types of global projects: Corporate and Non-Profit.

 

Q: When is the travel component of the Global Projects?

A: May. Corporate travels for 4 weeks and Non-Profit travels for 2 weeks both from the first Friday in May.

 

Q: Is this program competitive?

A: Yes, there are only so many consulting projects sourced each year. Each team is made up of 4 or 6 students. Teams are filled on a rolling basis.

 

Q: Where are the global projects?

A: Each year the locations of the projects change. It is up to the company or organization to select the location that will be most beneficial to the consulting project. For the most updated information please see the website.

A Home Away From Home

Hoping to obtain international exposure, learn about the global business world and develop professional as well as personal growth, junior Jaja Liang decided to participate in the Summer Global Internship Program in Singapore – a place that has become a home away from home for her.

I wanted to explore a country that is influenced by both the western and the eastern cultures. I longed to visit a location that is constantly evolving and offering endless possibilities. Singapore, being a thriving global hub, is that place. It opened my horizon up to numerous things that I would never be able to learn from textbooks. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to live in Singapore for 8 weeks and intern for an amazing American Fortunate 100 company – Caterpillar Inc. Because of the welcoming atmosphere of my internship office and how lively (or happening, as Singaporeans would describe) Singapore is, I never felt bored or homesick abroad. My experience was extremely rewarding and memorable. In the short span of two months, I can genuinely call Singapore my home away from home.

 

Here are some of the factors that made me fall in love with Singapore:

  • My Internship at Caterpillar Inc.! Entering a well-known enterprise with 98,400 employees serving 192 countries certainly frightened me. However, everyone that I interacted with at Caterpillar was super approachable and accommodating. I had the opportunity to connect with consultants from the company in a personal as well as a professional level. I never had to worry about participating in an event alone or seeking for a lunch buddy. All of my coworkers were very friendly; many of them took me out to lunch and dinner, and some of them even brought me souvenirs from their business trips. Concerned that I was away from home and how this summer was my first time in Singapore, my coworkers always checked up on me and never failed to make recommendations on sites to visit and food to eat in Singapore. Although it has been almost a month since I left Asia, my coworkers and I still frequently chat with each other. Not only did I get to network and create long-lasting friendships with employees at Caterpillar, I also learned a great deal about the global business world and working in a corporate. My supervisor was always inspiring, and he challenged me to think critically and creatively in many aspects. By completing various projects for different teams, I acquired a better understanding of the responsibilities of numerous functions and disciplines within the business field and gained important skills that I know will carry me far in not only my collegiate years but also my post-graduation career. Because of the size of the company, I even had many opportunities to interact with employees who are stationed overseas in countries such as Australia, India, China, and Japan. I was constantly learning from my coworkers, my supervisor and the company. I certainly do not think I will have such an amazing international exposure and once-in-a-lifetime experience if I did not take part in the Summer Global Internship Program.

Photo: Preparing for the office’s Hari Raya Celebration with my coworkers!

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Shopping at Kampong Glam (Malay Village) with my coworker!

 

 

 

 

  • Food! There are so many delectable food options in Singapore! Being a diverse country, Singapore offers a huge selection of cuisines – to name a few: Indian, Malaysian, Chinese and Western. You can always find yourself indulging in something unique. One of my favorite food places is the hawker centers. Hawker centers are food courts in Singapore where you can taste a wide variety of local foods at very reasonable prices.

Hawker Centers

One can spend around 5 Singapore Dollars for a filling and delicious meal. Some of my favorite dishes are Chicken Rice, Fried Kway Teow, Yong Tau Foo, Fried Carrot Cake, Nasi Lemak, Laksa and Satay.

I always looked for the long queues at hawker centers if I felt too overwhelmed by all the choices. Following local residents’ decisions would never be wrong! There are hundreds of hawker centers with thousands of food stalls in Singapore, there has to be one that suits your taste! Did I mention some of them are 24/7? That’s right – you would never have to go hungry! If you are looking for a fancier dining experience, Singapore also offers lots of remarkable restaurants. Many of them are Michelin-Starred! Just a fun fact: the cheapest Michelin-Starred restaurant is in Singapore. It’s called Liao Fan Hawker Chan. It’s famous for its soya chicken, and you can get a plate of soya sauce chicken rice for 3 Singapore Dollars.

  • Shopping! I was amazed by how many shopping districts and malls there are in Singapore. All of the MRT (the Singapore public transit system) stations have stores for an extraordinary underground shopping experience, and many of the stations are connected or next to at least one shopping mall. One example is Plaza Singapura – a 9-storied mall that is 5 minutes away from our accommodation and is linked to a very busy subway station called Dhoby Ghaut. Not only is the mall located at an accessible area, it also sells any necessities and products you could imagine – ranging from groceries to instruments to salted egg fish skin (a very popular and dangerously addictive snack in Singapore). You can also satisfy your entertainment needs there with an arcade, karaoke stations and a large theater. Besides shopping at the malls, you can immerse into a cultural shopping experience as well. Some ethnic neighborhoods in Singapore are Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam (Malay Village). They all have their distinct decorations and features, and you can explore the ethnic groups’ history by visiting their heritage centers.

  • Attractions! – There are so many activities to do and sites to visit in Singapore. For a stunning viewpoint, I would recommend the top of Marina Bay Sands (MBS) or a ride on the Flyer. The MBS SkyPark provides a vantage point for taking in the entire city. Whether you visit during the day or the night, you would always be impressed by the splendid skyline.

Note: my camera does not do the view justice.

 

If you want to enjoy some vibrant green life, I would suggest strolling or biking at Gardens by the Bay. The garden is magnificently designed and is fantastic for people of all ages. Once you are there, you will not miss the Supertree Grove – a cluster of futuristic tree-like vertical gardens. Another incredible attraction at Gardens by the Bay is the Cloud Forest Dome where you can view the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

A third must-visit place is Sentosa, also known as The State of Fun. Being Asia’s leading leisure destination, you can see and do an array of exciting things there. If you are craving for some sun fun, you can visit one of the 3 beaches at Sentosa. If you are seeking for something more thrilling and adventurous, you can check out the Mega Adventure Park that operates Southeast Asia’s steepest zip wire and iFly that hosts the world’s largest wind tunnel for indoor skydiving. Sentosa is also home to  fine dining, beautiful natural scenery and a shopping paradise.

 

  • Accessible transportation! – Singapore’s public transit system is efficient, clean and affordable. I never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a train to arrive. Because of Singapore’s size, it is very quick to get from one stop to the next with the MRT. You can pretty much go anywhere in Singapore with the integrated systems. The trains and buses are always very clean, because of Singapore’s strict rule with no eating and drinking once you are on board. Additionally, the cheapest I paid for a ride in Singapore was 0.77 Singapore Dollars, and the priciest ride I paid for was 1.72 Singapore Dollars. Singapore is also a very central Southeast Asian location. One can take the bus to cross the border to Malaysia, and the cost of the ride could be as low as 2 Singapore dollars. Besides Malaysia, I also had the chance to fly to China and Seoul. Some of my peers flew 2 -3 hours from Singapore to various locations such as Thailand, Vietnam, Bali and the Philippines.

 

Now you might be wondering how I afforded the program and all the extra excursions I participated in. Answer is: apply for scholarships and start saving up early!

 

  • Do STEP (Second-year Transformational Experience Program)! STEP encourages students to take part in a transformative experience by offering those who complete the program a $2000 grant. There are weekly meetings in Autumn semester and a few requirements to finish for STEP, but it is worthwhile and you are going to walk away discovering more about yourself. I used the $2000 to cover part of the Global Summer Internship Program’s program fee.

 

  • Another source of monetary support came from the FCOB Global Experience Scholarship. The application for this scholarship can be found on Fisher’s Funding Your Global Experience site. The form you need to fill out for the funds is very quick and easy. The funds are allocated on a first-come first-serve basis, so I would advise students to apply early! I used this scholarship to pay the program fee as well.

 

  • As for the rest of the expenses, I first budgeted out how much I would need for various categories such as food, flight tickets, in-country transportation, extra excursions and miscellaneous needs. I checked on my savings and discussed with my parents to see if I can receive any financial support from them. By planning out in advance, I was able to identify how much money I would need to earn by the time I depart for my trip. I set that as one of my goals and worked diligently toward it for about 4 months.

 

  • Always do more scholarship search and apply to as many scholarships as you can! Look into the OIA Grants and Scholarship page for more opportunities and external as well as internal resources on funding your trip abroad! The more time you spend on applying for scholarships, the higher chance you will have in receiving them!

 

My summer was super eye-opening and unforgettable. I am so glad to have chosen Singapore as my location for the Global Summer Internship Program. I had a valuable experience with Caterpillar where I grew professionally as well as personally, expanded my network and created long-lasting friendships. Besides having a phenomenal work life, I also enjoyed the mouthwatering dishes and countless food options in Singapore. I was amazed by the extensive shopping that one can do and all the impressive attractions that one can visit in a country that is 152 times smaller than Ohio. If I had to make the decision a thousand more times, I would pick Singapore every time with no second thoughts, because it has already become a home away from home for me.

Abroad on a Budget

Rebecca Brennan shares her 7 useful tips I learned from my 10 weeks abroad on the Summer Global Internship Program in Madrid Spain.

I have always been aware of how much money I am spending. At school, I have a general idea of what things cost and what I buy daily to weekly. Going abroad for 10 weeks, however, was going to be a whole different ball game. If the exchange rate alone didn’t get me, I knew the lack of a meal plan or desire to see everything would. Below are 7 things I learned over the course of budgeting my experience abroad.

  1. Do your Research.

I found that a lot of attractions in Madrid have “free times”. Many art museums are free after a certain time; cathedrals might be free on Sundays; other places could be free for two hours once a week. In order to see everything you want, without breaking the bank, it is important to research when these free entry times are. The catch is big tourist attractionslike The Prado or Reina Sofia become very crowded during free entry times- you might not have enough time to see everything once you wait in line to enter (I normally have to wait about 30 minutes) and have to navigate through massive crowds of people. Sometimes, it could be worth paying the money, or finding alternative discounts.

 

  1. Utilize Student Discounts.

Places that don’t have free entry for the general public might have free or reduced prices for students. You will need your student ID. The Prado has free entry all day for students aged 18-26, but you need your student ID and a second form of identification. Other places have reduced prices for students- El Alcázar of Segovia (a big castle located in a city about an hour outside of Madrid) normally costs 5.50euros to enter and 2.5euros to go up into the tower; at the student rate, you can do the castle and the tower for 6euros total! Almost every place I have been in Spain (and Europe for that matter) offers student discounts- don’t be afraid to ask!

  1. Planning is Key.

I recommend deciding the places you really want to see at the beginning of your trip and start planning ASAP. I probably could have saved almost $300 by planning my trips further in advance. Cheap and reputable hostels are normally the first to sell out, and bus, train, and plane tickets can get expensive fast. Even if you need to cancel down the line, a lot of hostels and Airbnbs offer full refund, and transportation tickets can be changed for little to no charge.

 

  1. Food can be VERY Affordable

Definitely eat out- try new places, indulge in the local cuisine, however, eating out every single meal can add up fast! My rule of thumb is to spend 10euros or less a day on food. Somedays I spend way more, and some days I don’t spend any money, I try to balance an expensive dinner with home cooked meals and fewer snacks for the rest of the week. Additionally, I pack my lunch for work almost every day. On nights I eat out, I look for inexpensive tapas places (a couple of restaurants I have found have enough food to fill me for about 4euros). By packing lunches, making dinner at home, and opting for cheaper restaurants during the week, I save enough money that I don’t worry about splurging on fancy and unique dinners every now and then.

 

  1. You Might Need to Make Sacrifices

Maybe you drink Tinto instead of Sangria because you know you are going to want to get a couple of beers during the Real Madrid match the next day. Maybe you cook dinner because you know you’re getting lunch with your coworkers the next day. Maybe you take the bus to Barcelona instead of the train that is faster but 40euro more expensive. Maybe you decided to stay in and around Madrid for the weekend instead of taking a trip to London (because how much of the city can you really see in a day and a half). In order to stick to a budget, you will need to make sacrifices.

 

  1. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask if a place has a student discount. Don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers for recommendations. One of my coworkers informed me that I could get to Toledo for free with my youth metro card. Another coworker let me borrow a beach towel, so I wouldn’t have to buy one. My supervisor gave me tons of restaurant recommendations in the neighborhood I was living in that are extremely affordable. Even still, coworkers told me when to go to places for free and when and where there were good rebajas. In my experience, people love to help others, most times they are unware that they could help you until you reach out!

  1. Everything is Fine in Moderation

The important thing to remember about building your budget, is that it is okay to indulge every now and then. Go out on the weeks you’re not traveling, eat a nice dinner every week, snag a pastry for breakfast, buy a new top, get some gelato on a hot day- just don’t go so overboard that your budget starts taking a major hit.

Experience life abroad! Do not stress about your budget so much that you miss out on a once in a life time experience. Seriously, when else are you going to live abroad for such an extended (yet, relatively short) period of time? The important thing is that you are cognizant of how much you are spending and what your money is being spent on. Life can be very expensive if you let it, but by using your common sense, traveling can be very affordable!

London Living (on a Budget)

Once Sangeet Brar got accepted into the London Global Internship Program, her first priority became finding ways to comfortably fund her trip to one of the most expensive destinations in the world. With the help of OSU and the Fisher College of Business 50% of her two months abroad were covered.

I dreamed of going to London ever since I was a little girl. Whether it was because I enjoyed learning about the UK in my history classes or because of my love for One Direction, I knew that London would be the place for me. However, working abroad for two months without pay didn’t seem possible with my financial situation. Little did I know that with the help of university funding, I was actually going to be able to embark on this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I hope this post gives you some insight into how you can fund your timeabroad. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me at brar.31@osu.edu. Let’s get into it!

Plan Ahead

            I knew I wanted to do an internship abroad once I found out about the program during my freshman year at OSU. Knowing ahead of time allowed me to start budgeting early. During my sophomore year I worked two jobs within Fisher, which allowed me to save up a decent amount of money for my summer abroad. I know having two jobs is not feasible for everyone, but even getting one part-time position will really make a difference. With the money I saved I was able to save up for plane tickets to and from London and also for my weekend trips. I set my direct deposit to go straight to my Savings Account rather than my Checking Account, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to spend that money during the school year. Since I was set on going to London, I made sure that I set myself up financially. However, there are a ton of different programs through Fisher and OSU that are not as expensive.

Scholarships

            As a tour guide, people always ask me why I chose Ohio State, and I always say that the amount of resources OSU has for its students truly goes unmatched. If it were not for STEP and the FCOB Global Experience Scholarship I would not have been able to have the time of my life in London.

OSU and Fisher have so many scholarships that students can apply for; it’s just a matter of being proactive and taking advantage of all these opportunities. The first thing I did was go to the Office of Global Business’ Funding Your Global Experience page. I went through the Checklist to get a basic understanding of all the funding out there. I made sure that I completed and submitted my FAFSA on time so that I would be eligible for university funding and scholarships. From this site I was able to find the Fisher College of Business Global Experience Scholarship, which I used to cover my food and transportation costs. There are also many program specific and country specific scholarships, so I made sure to look throughthose as well. Though many of those did not apply to me specifically, they are definitely worth looking into. There are also plenty of scholarships on the OSU Education Abroad page, which can be found under the OSU Funding Opportunities tab.

I also participated in the Second Year Transformational Experience Program (STEP), which gave me $2,000 to help pay for my program fee. STEP was a one of a kind program that pairs students with faculty mentors who guide them throughout their second year. After completing all the required assignments and attending the weekly meetings, I received my grant in May, right before I left for London. STEP is an amazing program, so please please please sign up for it! You will not regret it.

Budget Budget Budget

            London is an expensive city and Chelsea is an expensive borough to live in, so I made it a priority to budget how much I was able to spend per week on things like food, transportation, and tourist attractions. Thankfully I was able to stick to my plan by buying groceries rather than eating out every night and going to a lot of the free attractions in London, which there are plenty of. Using my BuckID to get student discounts and buying tickets online in advanced to get into different events allowed me to save a lot. Overall, just staying on top of things helped me manage my money pretty effectively. Because I had a plan going into it, I was able to not only experience London but also a variety of countries in Europe over the weekends.

If you are planning on studying abroad or interning abroad start thinking about what you can do to start saving and funding your trip. I never would have thought I’d be able to travel abroad for 2 months, but I was able to do it with the help of OSU!