Dreaming of a time before quarantine… Studying Abroad as a Transfer

Two students walking up the steps of the Capitol Building in professional attire.

A visit to the U.S. Capitol Building.

Hello readers!

While I’m stuck at home during quarantine, I find myself daydreaming about venturing out into the world… which brings me to the topic of studying abroad as a transfer student!

I never considered studying abroad as a college student, so when I heard that more than half of William & Mary students study abroad, I was shocked. Especially as a transfer student, I didn’t even consider looking into study abroad programs, and automatically opted for W&M’s on-campus option to fulfill the COLL 300 study abroad requirement. However, when I heard about the study away program at the W&M Washington Center in Washington, D.C., it piqued my interest. I researched the program and found out the spring break program had a course focused on health equity. As a DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) native, and a student studying public health, I was interested to see the equities and inequities that were taking place where I’ve grown up. I took the plunge, applied to the program, and was accepted!

Front view of a six story light stone building.

The W&M Washington Center

I cannot say enough great things about the Study in DC program. I am extremely grateful I had the opportunity to participate in the program. While I only spent a week in DC, each day was packed with speakers, site visits, and time to explore DC. We also attended a hearing about vaccinations on Capitol Hill! It was eye-opening to see such a familiar area from a whole new perspective. It even led me to my career path — nutrition education. There’s nothing that can replace going out into the world, seeing the needs of people, and experiencing that desire to help anyone and everyone you can. Seeing the work people were already doing in DC was extremely inspiring.

A long table of students smiling.

A farewell dinner to end the week in DC.

One of the things I loved most about the program was that it wasn’t only focused on academics. It heavily incorporated opportunities for professional development, such as networking. At the beginning of the program, we were given personal business cards to hand out during the week and had a session on networking tips. As a shy introvert, I was overwhelmed with the idea of having to converse and make connections with people, but the tips were helpful, and the networking event during the program turned out to be a great experience and learning opportunity! The Study in DC program was, without a doubt, one of my favorite college experiences.

I truly appreciate the effort W&M makes to get students learning outside the classroom, and being a transfer student did not prevent me from missing out on the opportunity by any means!

Stay safe and take care! Happy quarantining!

-Esther Ty ’20

Categories: Academics, Study Away, W&M in Washington Tags: , , , , , , ,
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