My name is Stephanie Ratsamy and I am a senior at Arkansas Tech University. I am an International Studies of Cultural Affairs major with minors in German and in TESOL. I have spent all 3.5 years here at Tech, but for my last semester I decided to go out of my comfort zone, and study abroad at Karl-Franzens Universität in Austria. I love traveling and have been to other countries before, such as Laos, Thailand, Germany, France, and the Czech Republic, but this is the first time that I will be living and studying in a country for an extended period. While I’m nervous, I’m still very excited about challenging myself in a new country, in a different language, and in a different culture.
I chose to study abroad in Austria because I thought this experience would complement the coursework that I have been doing here at Tech, and give me a unique experience that will open doors for me after I graduate. I believe it’s important as an International Studies major to seek opportunities that will take you out of your norm. I think every senior in college, myself included, dreads the question: “So what are you doing after you graduate college?”. The truth is I’m not sure, but I’m learning to be okay with that uncertainty. Perhaps I’ll obtain my Master’s degree, or I’ll apply to the Peace Corps, or maybe I’ll land an internship and then eventually a job with the United Nations (fingers crossed!). Whichever path becomes available to me, I know that studying abroad will increase my chances of being able to do any one of these things in the future.
I can’t believe I’m leaving in four days! I will update soon about how the flight goes, the process of moving into my apartment, and my first impressions of Graz once I’m there! Please feel free to leave comments or questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them. Until next time!