Matthew Baldwin is just a couple of months away from earning a dual degree in chemical engineering and German. As a TU student, he has studied abroad, completed an internship with a multi-national corporation and achieved fluency in a second language.
TU students share their experiences studying abroad and participating in the TU Global Scholars Program. The TU Center of Global Education (TGE) will walk students through the study abroad process and will help them with everything from obtaining a passport to figuring out how classes and internships abroad can transfer for credit. The CGE is a one-stop shop for all things global!
Today’s My Take on TU is written by sophomore Sina McLin. She is double majoring in Art History and Arts Management, as well as earning a certificate in Advertising. Sina is from St. Louis, Mo., and studied abroad this summer with the San Gemini Preservation Studies program in Italy.
Going into my sophomore year I wanted to join a group that really captured my drive for academic achievement and my passion for traveling abroad. Over this past summer I studied abroad in a small medieval town, San Gemini, Italy. I loved the uniqueness of my program, as I studied ceramic restoration, and how supportive the Center for Global Education was during the application process. They were available for questions any time I needed them and encouraged me to pursue a program that was catered to my academic goals. When I returned to the United States I wanted to share my positive experience and help guide other students with the process of going abroad. The logical organization to accomplish this was through the Center for Global Education.
I was hired as a Peer Advisor at the beginning of the semester and love every aspect of my involvement. This year there are five Peer Advisors. We each have a unique perspective having collectively studied in Italy, South Africa, Spain, and New Zealand. A meeting with a Peer Advisor is the first step in the study abroad process, as I help students search and explore different programs that interest them. Meeting one-on-one with students is my favorite aspect to my job; I meet with people from diverse backgrounds, assorted majors, and different levels of travel experience. I love how interconnected the Center for Global Education is with the entire campus.
Along with advising students, I also give classroom presentations to students around campus to inform them of study abroad opportunities at The University of Tulsa. The Center for Global Education strongly advocates for every student to study abroad. Through the classroom presentations, we are trying to change the perception of study abroad. The study abroad experience is accessible to everyone in any major, it isn’t unaffordable, and it will make you a stronger candidate when applying for jobs. I believe that all students should study abroad during their time at TU, which is why I became apart of the Center for Global Education. Study abroad helps students become better world citizens, opens up job opportunities, and allows students to gain experiences that they can’t get from a classroom.
The experience I had abroad in Italy has shaped my vision for the rest of my time at The University of Tulsa. I gained a new life perspective that I want to continue to grow, and I plan on doing just that through more study abroad. I am immensely thankful to be apart of the Center for Global Education’s efforts to get more students to study abroad each year. I have first hand knowledge on how valuable the experience is and how it can both enhance your time in college, and impact your life.
Today’s blog is from Elissa Stiles, a TU Class of 2014 graduate with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Spanish. Elissa currently works as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Center of Global Education on TU’s campus. She will be attending TU Law School this fall.
Six years ago, I grudgingly added TU to my list of college applications because I knew it would make my parents happy. I had no intention of actually enrolling at TU or being anywhere near Tulsa for the next four years. “Home” was only twenty minutes from campus, I was tired of living in Oklahoma, and I intended to see the world. In spite of my own prejudices, TU kept creeping up toward the top of my college list until one day in April, I realized that my greatest opportunities actually were in Tulsa. I signed an acceptance letter and secretly hoped staying so close to home wouldn’t keep me from seeing the world.
Today, I’m writing this from my desk on campus as a full-time employee of the university. I’ve lived in three different countries and visited three others, I’ve studied four foreign languages, and the TU degree hanging in my office recognizes my international studies major – a self-designed program that TU allowed me to create and personalize.
Far from holding me back, TU was my springboard to the world as an undergraduate. I had planned to study abroad once, in Peru; only a few weeks into my summer trip, I knew that international travel was my passion and calling. After an amazing two months of Spanish immersion and Inca exploration, I came back to TU determined to save enough money to go abroad again.
As a student, I applied for a job with the Center for Global Education (CGE) and worked as both a peer advisor for TU students going abroad and a summer intern for a Chinese student welcome program. By senior year, I was ready for another adventure, so I packed my bags for a semester in Madagascar followed by a semester in Brazil. I missed my own graduation at TU because I was too busy doing field research during the 2014 World Cup in northeastern Brazil, and I’m so glad I did!
After graduation, I took a human resources job near Tulsa because it paid well. Within a year, I was ready to come home to TU. The CGE announced an open study abroad marketing position, and I applied immediately. After more than four years, I knew that TU was where I belonged – Tulsa taught me to be a world citizen, an ambassador for peace and a humble student. There is no job more valuable, in my mind than affording the same opportunity to every new student on campus.
My job here at TU is perfect, and the only thing that could entice me give it up is yet another opportunity for incredible experience. This fall, I’ll be starting law school – at TU, of course! I can only imagine which new countries I’ll explore through my Tulsa education during my law journey.
High-school “me” would be appalled at the idea of staying in Tulsa so long. Today, I think staying in Tulsa is the best choice I continue to make. TU gave me the wings to see the world.
Today’s Tuesday With Tulsa comes to us from Leonardo Landivar, a sophomore Petroleum Engineering major from Bolivia.
Deciding to come to the University of Tulsa was the best decision I ever made. I would say this University is the right one for me. My high school in Bolivia was very small, so I knew a small university would fit me more perfectly, and that is what TU did. Small classes result in a great learning environment and a great teacher-student relationship. Teachers are always willing to help you if needed, and they will try their best to make you a successful person. Relationships like these are not possible at larger universities because the classes are so big that the teacher won’t even know your name. But that is not the case at TU.
Another factor that I really enjoy about the University of Tulsa is the school spirit felt here on campus. Feeling identified with the University is one of the best feelings one can have. Everybody cares so much for each other that it actually makes you feel like home. There are days when I totally forget I am 5,000 miles away from Bolivia due to the nice environment TU provides for its students.
In addition to this, being part of Greek life really helped me get to know a lot of new people. These guys, that started out as strangers, become your friends and end up becoming your brothers.
The TU community is so diverse. I recently realized I have friends from all over the world. Luckily, language is not a barrier of communication since we all have English as a common language. This allows us to share different students and ideas about our culture and also understand the way people from different places of the world think.
Coming to The University of Tulsa has been a great opportunity for me. I can’t wait for the next semester to start and to meet new people while learning for our future. I believe The University of Tulsa is providing me with the right tools to be a successful person and to help my community.
One of my best decisions I made during my college career was deciding to room in LaFortune House and be part of the International Living Community. This is one of the most underrated residence halls on campus and was a perfect home for my sophomore year. It could be your home, too!
LaFortune House, or “Lafo” as it’s called by some residents, is home to suite-style living, rooms with sinks, and a huge lobby area fit for hosting equally large weekly international dinners. American students are mixed in with suites of mostly international students and through this they are given amazing opportunities to experience different cultures. If you’re hoping to learn a new language, this is the place to do it since nearly every major language is represented!
This experience also offers a unique view of your own way of life. During the first snow of every year, many of the international students get to see their flakes falling from the sky. Teaching new friends how to make their first snowman, teaching them American football, or taking them trick-or-treating on their first Halloween is by far one of the best ways to feel like a joyful kid once again.
LaFortune is located right next to the Reynolds Center (home of the TU basketball and volleyball teams), H.A. Chapman football stadium and Lorton performance Center. It’s location makes it a hub of entertainment on campus. It’s also reasonably close to the engineering buildings. And let’s be honest, TU’s campus is small enough that it only takes 10 minutes to get anywhere on campus.