Shelby Morris is a returning study abroad student from the University of Oulu in Oulu, Finland. She is a junior majoring in Elementary and Special Education.
IPC: Why did you choose to study in Oulu?
SM: I chose to study abroad in Oulu mainly because Finland has one of the strongest education programs in the world. In addition, not many people I know have been to Finland before, and I wanted to gain a unique experience of living in a foreign country I was not really familiar with. Many of my friends also had been to Oulu and seemed to really enjoy their time there.
IPC: Why is having a study abroad experience in college so important to you?
SM: I believe that having a study abroad experience in college is important because it is one of the only times in your life that you are able to leave your life behind and travel and live in another country. I think that it also allows you to gain global experiences in college that can become very useful when you are applying for jobs. I now have a wealth of experience that I can share with my students in the future.
IPC: What was the most impactful lesson you learned while studying abroad?
SM: The most important lesson I learned while studying abroad was the importance of going with the flow. Many times, I was presented with situations where I had to adapt very quickly and learn from those around me. Whether it was travelling for an hour in the wrong direction on the bus or not being able to communicate with Finnish citizens in their native language, I often had to approach these challenges with faith that things would work out okay in the end.
IPC: Why would you recommend that other students to have a study abroad experience?
SM: I would recommend other students to study abroad because it allows you to step outside your comfort zone and meet so many people from all over the world. In addition, in the classes that you take with other exchange students you are exposed to a wide variety of new opinions and ideas on different topics. Finally, take a risk! You never know what experiences and opportunities are available beyond the United States.