Overseas Spotlight: Wet, windy, wonderful Wales (AKA A Wale of a Time)
Friday, March 18 2016 12:00am
As told by Nathan Perry
After 10 hours on three different airplanes, one hour on a bus, one hour on a train, and carrying a suitcase with only two of four wheels still attached a mile to a hotel, I had finally made it to Swansea, Wales. My first thought was that my journey was done but in most ways, it had only just begun. Ever since taking a school trip to Scotland my senior year of high school, I was determined to feed my curiosity of the world by doing a semester abroad in college. With the help and support of the Office of Global Opportunities, the College of Business Honors Program, some great faculty, and my parents, I applied and was accepted to study at Swansea University in Wales in a direct exchange program.
While at Swansea University, I am taking courses on African Economies, Theories of Entrepreneurship, and Leadership in addition to starting a social entrepreneurship endeavor in the Social Enterprise Project course. I am also fortunate enough to be a member of the track team at the University, focusing on the 400m event. I will, of course, be traveling all around the United Kingdom with trips to Bath, Stonehenge, Edinburgh, Oxford, and St. Andrews already planned. Despite being on the other side of the world, I have continued to be engaged with activities at Ohio University and the College of Business Honors Program.
My time at Swansea University has given me the opportunity to experience an environment that is unfamiliar and challenging to me. Unlike most of my classes at Ohio University, my grades in the courses at Swansea University are made up of a single paper and exam at the end of the semester. The structure is different as well, with most of the classes operating on a lecture-seminar style with the majority of the coursework coming from individual, independent reading. This structure is a little intimidating going from a system that I am very familiar with and comfortable in into a setting that I have little experience with. Hopefully this experience, while giving me some growing pains, will develop me into a strong, better-rounded student.
If I intend to grow academically, I intend on growing personally even more so. I believe that my life has less to do with the things that happen to me and more to do with the narrative I form around it. My time at Swansea University will be one of self-exploration where I get to meet new people, see new places, and find new passions. It is easy, especially as a business student, to get caught up with what I can show on paper—the grades on my transcript or the accomplishments on my resume. However, I strive to be more dynamic than a flat piece of paper and this is another step in that direction. I’m so eager to have these experiences, to share them with my friends and peers back at Ohio University, and then support them in their own pursuits.