Monday, 27 October 2014

Foreign adventure widens student's horizons

Studying abroad can be of great benefit to students by widening their horizons and improving employability.

Jodie Palmer is studying the second year of her Strength and Conditioning course at the University of Northern Colorado, USA, and feels it was an opportunity she couldn't pass up.

"I chose to study abroad as it's something I've always been interested in and UCLan offers great opportunities and support to be able to it," said Jodie.

"I'm building my self-confidence and learning life skills I might not have gained so early in the UK, including how to be independent and adjust to different lifestyles. These skills will help me in the future, both in my career and in my day to day life."

Whilst in the USA Jodie has had the opportunity to take part in numerous activities, including mountain hiking, whitewater rafting and horseback riding. She has also attended an ice hockey game, watched American Football and been caving. Jodie hopes to go snowboarding and skiing when the snow arrives, and is planning to travel around some other states in the US during spring break.

Jodie has also opted into a programme where students team up with local people. "I've been paired with a couple who live in the local town of Greeley," she said. "We go for meals, movies, shopping and sightseeing together. The programme allows us to learn about each other's cultures and lifestyles and it gives me the opportunity to experience the State of Colorado.

"I've made many friends, my closest being my roommates. Out here when applying for halls of residence, you have to take a short questionnaire which then matches you to roommates who have very similar interests as you."

In addition to her personal development, Jodie said the experience is helping to expand her knowledge: "I'm learning different methods of coaching and teaching physical education other than the ones commonly used in the UK. This broadens my knowledge and I look forward to putting it all into practice when I go home."

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