Making the Decision to Study Abroad
One of the opportunities that we, as college students, have is the chance to study in a foreign country. RIT specifically has international campuses in Dubrovnik (Croatia), Zagreb (Croatia), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and Pristina (Kosovo). There are also affiliate programs throughout the world for students who want to study abroad at a different location. For more program information you can check that section of the RIT Study Abroad and Fellowships Office's website.
I am currently studying abroad at RIT Croatia at the Dubrovnik campus. It is one the best life decisions that I have made. At the moment, I've only been in Croatia for about two weeks but I feel very at home here.
Are You Thinking About Studying Abroad?
If you are considering studying abroad, even briefly, my advice (that my roommates abroad fully agree with) is to just go. Travel, especially for school, is such an amazing experience that offers you a new perspective.
If you are still waffling, I recommend talking to someone in the Study Abroad & Fellowships Office (located in Global Village) or your academic advisor. Personally, the more I talked about the possibility of studying overseas, the more I wanted to go. There are even Study Abroad Peer Mentors who would love to talk with you about their experiences if you want more information.
How My Roommates and I Made the The Decision To Go
My roommates in Croatia are two fellow students from RIT. They are both second year International Hospitality & Service Management majors. I am a second year Information Technology major.
My one roommate and I had been thinking about studying abroad since high school, we just had no idea where we wanted to go. RIT Croatia was the perfect fit so we went that route. My other roommate felt like she needed to make a change in her life that would bring about a new life perspective. Experiencing another culture for a semester seemed like a really good way to broaden her horizons and get the perspective change she was looking for.
Both IHSM and IT are offered at RIT Croatia so we can take the courses that we would normally have taken at RIT. That made my decision a lot easier because I knew I would be on track with my major and that my credits would fully transfer over because I'm at an RIT campus. Don't worry if you want to go to an affiliate campus though; courses do transfer and you can just take the general education courses that you need.
If I'm being honest though, I did partially make my decision based on the pictures I had seen of Dubrovnik. The city is absolutely beautiful. Words can't even describe the aesthetics of Dubrovnik. It is located right on the Adriatic Sea and there is a section of the city called Old Town (the one you see in all the pictures) that is surrounded by a fort that was built in the 7th century. I've included some pictures so you can understand why they lead to bias.
Also, Dubrovnik is tourist town so most residents here speak English. I really appreciate not having a language barrier (though I am learning a bit of Croatian).
Study abroad may not be for you, but if you think it might be, I assure you it is a wonderful experience. I am only two weeks into the semester but I've had a magical two weeks.