MU
Oak Leaves

March 10, 2017

Haylee

Junior English major Haylee Parrish

Photo by Tyler Roebuck

Students Prepare for Adventures Abroad


Destinee Boutwell

Two Manchester students are about to shake off the dust of this small town and commence an adventure that will take them to different countries, introduce them to new people and immerse them in a culture vastly different than their own. 

Haylee Parrish, junior, is preparing to leave for Japan at the beginning of next month. She will be studying at Hokusei Gakuen University located in Sapporo, Japan from April to mid-July. Parrish is an English major with a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, also known as TESOL. 

Parrish has been preparing for her trip to Japan for a while by teaching herself Japanese. “I have only self-studied Japanese,” she said in an email. “I can't wait to be able to learn it in a classroom setting, in the country where it is spoken. I've been studying the language as much as possible by using spaced-repetition apps for vocabulary and a mixture of books and apps for grammar, and I've also been watching videos about Sapporo (and Japan in general) in order to prepare myself for when I arrive there. It'll be super helpful to have as good of a head start as I can get to make the transition from the United States to Japan that much easier.”
 
Parrish wanted to study in Japan after she watched multiple documentaries and videos about it.  ““The more I learned about Japan's beauty, natural landmarks, city life and language, the more I wanted to experience it for myself,” she said. 

Parrish will travel on her own to a country that is 13 hours away from Indiana.  “I have never left the United States before, so I am a bit terrified of the idea of traveling alone through airports and figuring out how to work my way through the whole process to end up in Sapporo,” she said. “I also fear miscommunication or missing little cultural differences. It's almost certain to happen, of course, but it's still something that I worry about.”

Fortunately for Parrish, she decided that her excitement and curiosity outweighed her nerves. “I am also excited to meet new friends and to make memories there that I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” she said. “I couldn't be more grateful to be able to use this opportunity to learn more about Japan, to engage in international education, and to represent Manchester University while I am abroad.” 

Parrish is not the only one preparing to pack her bags and set off for foreign lands. Sophomore Hannah Wales, is going to Maynooth University in Dublin, Ireland, in September 2017. The language of instruction there is English so Wales does not have to worry about speaking a new language while she is overseas. “Ireland was not my first choice as a study abroad location,” Wales said. “I really wanted to go to India or Germany but my parents were not very keen on letting me go to India and my language skills are not yet advanced enough for Germany. So, I settled for Ireland, which I am really excited about because I have always wanted to visit Ireland.”
 
There are lots of things to do in Ireland and in the surrounding countries in Europe. “I am most excited about being so close to so many countries,” Wales said. “If I have a long weekend or a break, I can take a couple-hour boat ride to England or Scotland, and spend the weekend there. One thing I really want to do is visit the country of Wales, which is to the east of Dublin, Ireland, because it shares the same name as me.” 

Study-abroad students do not create a class schedule until they arrive at their university, but they are allowed to look over a list and begin to decide what they would be interested in. “I have to take a class about Irish Culture in general so I would be studying things like Irish film, literature and language,” Wales said. “I learned that the Irish do not like the British very much (because of colonialism) so they don't have British literature classes like Shakespeare. Instead they provide classes in Greek literature like the famous tragedies, romances and myths.

“I almost took an American Literature class because I wanted to see what the Irish view point is on stories that I have grown up with,” Wales added.
 
Even a trip to Ireland takes a lot of time and preparation. “I have a super dope Pinterest board going,” Wales said with a chuckle. “I don't really have any anxiety about the trip so I am mostly just appreciating the excitement that comes with traveling abroad and all of the expectations. I am in the middle of filling out an absurd amount of paperwork and even that's fun because I know where it leads.”