Meet Jaren Baluyot

Program and Location:

Summer, United Kingdom: Intro to Animal Behavior and Veterinary Physiotherapy; Shropshire, England

Major/Minor:

Animal Science

Why did you choose to study abroad?

Coming into college, I recognized study abroad as an opportunity to grow as an individual and scholar. Every program has an exciting location, well-developed curriculum, and passionate faculty leading it. This was a great chance to move outside of my comfort zone and travel to another country I had never visited.

What did you learn about yourself?

Being in the U.K taught me the importance of living in the moment. It’s easy to get caught up with studying, assignments, and deadlines during school. My classmates and I had these same tasks to complete but we made sure to enjoy our time abroad. I learned that it’s the little moments that are remembered, not the grade I got or amount of studying that was done.

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

The United Kingdom has many beautiful attractions, and we were lucky enough to see most of them. Our group visited the iconic city of London and a couple small towns near our university. As a lover of the outdoors, my favorite part was our trip to Snowdonia, the first designated national park of Wales. We saw free-roaming goats, rolling hills, a waterfall, and mountains that broke through the clouds.

What advice do you have to future study abroad students?

On a few occasions, we adjusted the itinerary due to plans that were cancelled or moved to another day. Having a flexible and optimistic mindset is the most important trait to have when abroad. Not everything will go as planned and that’s perfectly fine.

How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?

Being in the U.K helped me learn what a future career in the animal science field can look like. Unlike a normal lecture, our program abroad had multiple opportunities to interact with animals and experience hands-on learning. The unique experiences and knowledge I obtained abroad can now be applied to my future internships and career.

In what ways did your identity have an impact on your experience abroad?

I take great pride in being a first generation, Filipino-American student. I believe this is where my determination, ambition, and hard-working ethic comes from. Studying abroad is something my parents were never able to do, which is why I was incredibly grateful for such an opportunity.

Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?

Study abroad is an amazing opportunity for an individual of any background. Learning new things in a foreign country was an empowering experience for me, and helped me realize that no dream is out of grasp.

Where did you find support to navigate any challenges you faced abroad?

My Wolfpack peers were a great support system while abroad. In times of stress or challenge, it was comforting to know that I could rely on the people around me. We were always looking out for one another and some of them are now my close friends.

Would you do it again?

My time abroad was an exciting experience that included fantastic professors, fun excursions, and material that I enjoyed learning. I would certainly travel abroad again!