Why I Studied Abroad, Even Though My Major Isn't A Language
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Why I Studied Abroad, Even Though It Doesn't Go Hand In Hand With My Major

I may be an architecture student, but it wasn't just for the architecture.

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Why I Studied Abroad, Even Though It Doesn't Go Hand In Hand With My Major
Marly McNeal

I always knew that I wanted to study abroad while at Ohio State, and a Santiago Culture and City trip stood out a lot to me. One of my favorite parts about being an architecture student is that when we learn about different architectural styles and specific notable works of architecture, we learn about the societies that influenced them. I have always loved learning about different cultures, and from ancient Egyptian temples to English gardens, it appears that understanding the culture behind a piece of architecture is often a key step in understanding the architecture itself.

The problem for me, though, is that often times this discourse is restricted largely to European countries. Especially with architecture in the more present day, Knowlton's curriculum doesn't focus on much outside of Europe and the United States. That is largely why I was interested in the Santiago study abroad program. Professionally, I saw this as an opportunity to increase my global awareness and expose myself to what the field of architecture has to offer. The Latin American architecture that I have come across so far, although admittedly not much, has been especially interesting to me. Luis Barragán, for instance, has long been my favorite architect and has inspired me to learn about more architects in Latin America. Architecture wouldn't exist if society did not need it, which is why I believe that understanding people is key in becoming a truly successful architect. The Santiago trip was an ideal opportunity to immerse myself in a culture that I was largely unfamiliar with, and learn about architecture that I won't otherwise be exposed to in my academic career.

It is not all about architecture, though. My interest in studying abroad extends beyond my educational and career goals. I had the opportunity to increase my personal global awareness. That is the main reason that I wanted to study abroad. I wanted to expose myself to new cultures. I love being exposed to new environments because I find it one of the best ways to grow and make connections with others. As someone who has never studied abroad, this trip was definitely the first step in a lifelong journey of exploring the world in this new way.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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