Imagine a climate similar to that of New Jersey, then remove the humidity and stench of Newark. Breathe in the fresh air of the Tuscany region as you pass by dozens vineyards and small villages looking as if they were ripped out of paintings. You step off the train with luggage in hand to witness a red Vespa cruise by and you take your first steps onto the cobblestone streets of Siena, Italy. This is where I spent a semester overseas thanks to NJIT’s study abroad program.
Before this study abroad experience, I had never flown on a plane. I had never left the country. I had never lived independently. I had never spoken a language outside of English to make conversation. I had never eaten pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in the same day. Regardless, there’s a plethora of unfamiliar activities I was thrown into, and I am thankful for each one I embraced. I know I am more developed and mature as a person after this experience and this is why I want as many fellow students as possible to also apply for this program and create their own stories.
Unfortunately, the majority of NJIT students do not capitalize on the opportunity of continuing their degree overseas without falling behind. Certainly, each student’s experience will be different depending on which country they choose as well as the duration of their mobility. Nonetheless, regardless of your major, NJIT has a program ready for you.
Start by conducting some research on your own before truly committing to the application process. Visit www.njit.edu/studyabroad for all the intel possible regarding your mobility abroad including the application, a list of possible countries to travel to, housing recommendations, and much more. Also, certain requirements are to be met such as having a GPA over 2.8, discussing your plan to study abroad with multiple advisors (including the dean of students), and submitting your application before upcoming deadlines.
Once your application is approved, the difficulties of planning begin. Flights, housing accommodation, meal plans, and transportation should all be planned before your departure. Of course, the advisors at the Office of Global Initiatives (located at 140 Fenster Hall) will be there with you 100% of the way to assist you in any questions or concerns you have. Furthermore, take advantage of the students who have previously traveled because they may give you tips and tricks about your upcoming adventure.
While it may seem a bit overwhelming at first, it is all worth the effort. I cannot stress enough how valuable this opportunity is in regards to constructing your professional demeanor, resume building, cultural acceptance, team-building, and of course the luxury of being free to willingly travel. You’ll create circles of friends that range from all across the Earth, develop business relations with foreign professors, explore iconic islands, visit museums, admire historic architecture, and the list goes on and on. I encourage every reader to apply for this once (not limited to going only once) in a lifetime trip.