How to Prepare For Your Guaranteed Centre College Study Abroad Experience

One of the things I first noticed when applying to Centre College three years ago was "The Centre Commitment." It guarantees that all students who "meet the college's academic and social expectations" have an internship, a study abroad experience, and graduation in four years, or Centre will provide a year of education tuition-free. My parents were initially in denial that such a promise could be made, but now they are getting to see the fulfillment of that promise.

In the early days of my junior year at Centre, multiple drama professors approached me about going on a summer study abroad experience. The drama department is taking a group of people to the largest theater festival in the world: the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the summer of 2012. I was overjoyed when Mom and Dad gave the green light. I was going to Scotland.

Centre provides meetings with important information about things medical and behavioral, but they don't really go into how to prepare yourself emotionally. After all, your first time overseas ever in your entire life comes with genuine excitement, and a lot of nervousness. I began saving money and educating myself about traveling abroad through both the advice family had been bombarding me with and my own research. I had refined my packing list a million times, bringing more, and then bringing less, then changing what I was bringing altogether.

I was so wrapped up in the details of the trip that I wasn't too concerned with "The Centre Commitment," but I soon would be. What I hadn't realized was that Centre knows their commitment, and they have excellent resources to fulfill that commitment.

As a rising senior without a previous Centre study abroad experience, I was eligible to receive a senior subsidy that helps with the tuition of study abroad experiences. I didn't even know about it until I got the email, to which I only need respond with "yes" and they would automatically provide me with that scholarship. This surprise scholarship ended up paying half of my tuition fees for the trip. It was a huge sigh of relief to myself and my family, to whom I had to explain where the money came from, and how I got it, several times. They just couldn't quite grasp the concept that Centre would be so committed to seeing that their students got the study abroad experience.

I soon got it into their heads that studying abroad is just a thing that you do when you study at Centre College, and Centre guarantees it, even if you can't afford all of it.

My experiences creating and performing a piece of theater cannot be contained in one blog post. I look forward to sharing more about the process of creating the play and my experiences abroad in the future.