Judy Sisouvong, a senior in Chemistry with a double minor in Anthropology and Forensic Science, studied abroad two consecutive summers through NC State in Bangkok, Thailand (Summer 2011) and in Hangzhou, China (Summer 2012).
“The decision to study abroad was brought upon to me by my desire to see the world while trying to gain a personal understanding of where I came from. My decision to go to Bangkok was a start of something really amazing. In doing so, I was able to develop an interest in Anthropology in which I decided to pursue my minor. While abroad, I gained insight of my heritage and learned so much academically and personally. My first experience abroad then influenced me to study abroad again, this time to fulfill my courses for my major. In wanting to do so, I went to Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China where I studied physical chemistry and conducted undergraduate research. I think having this experience was so important because it just comes to show how there are connections through science all over the world. Students in the sciences think that it’s impossible for them to pursue study abroad because they have the misconception that it will ‘put them behind.’ I can vouch that this isn’t true and it can in fact put you ahead, but most importantly it opens your eyes to other world practices and can provide a lot of opportunities.
Study abroad has been the best experiences in my life thus far and if I could do it again I would do it in a heartbeat. The most exciting part about study abroad was just not being able to be in a different country, but rather getting to learn about the people and culture of that country. Opening my mind to other experiences really has changed me personally, professionally, and academically. Study abroad is not something that you can just read about or flip through pictures, it’s something that truly has to be experienced at least once. It’s more than getting class credit or going to another country, it is learning to put yourself out there and really challenging yourself to do all that you can do and be the best that you can. So if you have the chance to study abroad, JUST DO IT! ”
– Judy Sisouvong