Author Topic: Study abroad help  (Read 752 times)

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Offline yaboyblue

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Study abroad help
« on: July 31, 2015, 10:54:47 AM »
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    I am faced with a conflict. I am currently working an internship and am on the computer all day which is why you may have seen posts from me recently on this forum, but I currently am twenty years old and have the opportunity to study abroad. Originally I was set on going to the Gold Coast or South Africa and adventuring, surfing and doing all these incredible activities. After speaking with my family they thought it is best for me to go to Europe and go on a different type of adventure. 
     
    Prior to my NYC cubicle life, I surfed pretty much every morning and now it seems like each day I just canít wait to get back to it. I would consider surfing to be a passion of mine and I have drastically improved my skills over the last 4 years specifically where I think that I could handle the waves that would be thrown at me (too an extent) which makes me very happy. With this being said I do other things aside from surf (I donít think I am hung up on it) which is why Europe would be great too. I also understand that this is a great opportunity and I am more than enthusiastic to be going anywhere, but I am wondering if I might be making  the wrong choice. I am applying to Copenhagen, DE (ranked happiest place in the world) but am always questioning how cool Australia or South Africa may be.
     
    I know that I am lucky to have this opportunity and donít want BS posts telling me Iím an ungrateful kid who doesnít know what heís got. Currently in my life this is a big decision so I want to make the most informed and best possible choice. I am curious what you all think.
     
    A little background on the trip I would go on;
     
    -Spring 2016
    -the courses donít matter as I would be taking electives (grades donít transfer)
    -I like art, architecture and history
    -I like hiking and the warmth
    -I like adventuring and trying new things.
    -I really really really like surfing
    -I know experience is what will prevail when I look back.
     
    Any and all posts will be highly appreciative
     

    Offline Badfish

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    Re: Study abroad help
    « Reply #1 on: July 31, 2015, 11:56:49 AM »
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  • I got this, albeit a bit biased.


    So I've worked in higher ed/ international higher ed for almost 10 years, have studied abroad myself and am happy to help.


    A few options worth considering:
    • NUI Galway (Ireland) - I studied abroad here. GREAT people in a large town/small city right on the west coast of Ireland. You won't get warmth BUT the surf club is robust and are constantly hosting excursions all over Ireland. The damn Aran Islands block off all swell into Galway Bay but you're about 35 minutes away from surf in Fanore and driving a little bit further gets you into outstanding surf spots. A 4/3 booties, glove, hood is needed in winter. You want uncrowded, consistent waves? Cause you're going to get that. Do you like beer? Cause you're going to get a lot of that as well, if you want it. Some serious water-heads there so just join the surf club, make some friends that have a car and you'll be able to surf whenever you want.
    • NUI Cork or UCC (Ireland) - Same school, two different names. Slightly larger city but still manageable. You're on the south coast so it's a bit less consistent slightly barely warmer than Galway  but you'll still get waves. Strong surfer presence so join the surf club and befriend someone with a car. The school is about 30 minutes inland so there's a bit of a ride to surf but, like Galway, it's through the Irish countryside so it's not like it's much trouble.
    • St. Andrew's (Scotland) - Has a really strong academic reputation in the states. There is a beach in town, so yes, you can walk to waves. It's located in the North Sea so waves are a bit more fickle compared to the Atlantic but you'll get some. The school itself has a reputation for being posh but I'm sure you'd find all types as well. And yes, if you golf, you'll be right next to arguably the msot famous course in the world. (You could also look at unis in Aberdeen as well)
    • University of Plymouth (England) - in Devon on the SW of England. You're about 25 minutes from waves. Good surf culture and surfing. Academic reputation isnt as strong as St Andrew's but its still good. Plus I remember hearing they have some classes that have to do with surfing, could be wrong about that though.
    • Whatever uni is in Lisbon - I forget the name but Lisbon is my favorite European city. It's like a European San Francisco with outstanding surf a quick drive away (and warmer water than the former universities listed). I can't recall if they have any English language led courses but a lot of them tend to do. If I could live in one city and do nothing but walk around all day (especially if I could speak the language) it'd be Lisbon. Plus thing's are considerably cheaper.
    • Whatever the uni in San Sebastian/ Donostia is called - Again, not sure if they have classes in English but worth looking into. San Sebastian is very expensive for Spain, and relatively expensive for the whole of Europe. It's a beautiful city and you have waves directly in the city (plus the corniche is one of the prettiest beaches in any city). Oh and if you like lefts, there's a little place called Mundaka not too far away (and the town of Mundaka is just as cool).


    Feel free to PM me if you've any questions.
    Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality. - Bertrand Russell

    Offline yaboyblue

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    Re: Study abroad help
    « Reply #2 on: July 31, 2015, 01:22:52 PM »
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  • Thank you for that @Badfish I will be sure to keep that in mind! I have never been that interested in Ireland as a base country. Despite that I am currently between Denmark, South Africa and Australia, I feel that Ireland would be a great place to visit, but not so much to have as my home base. Traveling from there could be tricky but I do appreciate the post and have noted the spots that you have said!

    Offline Patches O'houlihan

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    Re: Study abroad help
    « Reply #3 on: August 01, 2015, 12:22:58 AM »
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  • I did a short term studying abroad in Europe (London and Paris) and lived in Australia for almost a year. Don't forget that EU has waves too and travel is cheap and easy. If you base yourself in the right spot you could travel to a lot of countries, surf a lot of different places and see a very wide variety of culture. I think the London crew is pretty on it with that which would lead me to think that'd be a good spot to start looking. My time abroad there was for a combined History/Sociology course based on Paris and London. To me, EU is the place to go if you want to learn some really interesting history/architecture/art.


    Australia is incredible. You'll surf some of the best waves of your life. Gold Coast is crowded as fu, but you can still find some room if you know where to look. But I would really recommend getting a car so you can get out of the Goldy and see what else is around, so many good uncrowded waves. But thats also another expense. Theres a ton of stuff there, but again get a car, so many uni kids I met never left the Goldy for one reason or another. Either they didn't have the means to or their line of sight didn't see beyond the partying there (which is great btw).


    Another one you may want to look into is University in Dunedin, NZ. NZ will pretty much if your bill for surfing and adventure. I spent a month and a half in NZ, 2 weeks of it sleeping on my friends dorm room floor at the uni. Met a ton of rad people and had some great times surfing and travelling. If you put in the time in South NZ and willing to be adventurous, theres endless possibilities.

    Offline yaboyblue

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    Re: Study abroad help
    « Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 03:35:39 PM »
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  • anyone else out there have some input?!?

    Offline Straight Dave

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    Re: Study abroad help
    « Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 11:18:42 PM »
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  • With the time of year you're going, Australia would be good. You could also do worse than finding yourself on the Pacific coast of Central or South America. A buddy of mine did a sestet at University of Costa Rica, which is in San Jose. Like you, the credits were basically meaningless so he spent the better part of a year traving all over CR, Panama and Nica. Chile, Argentina, Peru-all good choices. You'll be arriving at the start of south swell season, but there's plenty of amazing stuff to do in any of those places while you wait for waves. Just don't let someone talk you into an Iahuasca excursion....

    Offline jammy

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    Re: Study abroad help
    « Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 08:19:46 PM »
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  • Have you considered speaking with the study abroad adviser at your university? Why won't the credits transfer? Aside from a memorable experience, how will these courses impact or play into your academic goals? There are a bazillion places to surf and study abroad and if you more fully consider your academic criteria than a decision may be easier to come by. I teach at a university and if you are 20 then graduation is coming sooner than you think. The semester away could be a terrific asset in your career planning.
    NLITB

    Offline yaboyblue

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    Re: Study abroad help
    « Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 08:59:57 AM »
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  • @jammy I have spoken with my advisers a tremendous amount. When I say that the courses wont transfer, instead of counting towards my GPA they count as general credits, like electives. I posted here to see what the consensus would be regarding the surf world. I have internships and volunteer organization interviews through the year so I will have something lined up for my summer. The classes will be real and as challenging as the university classes would normally be, but instead of worrying about getting an A, all I would need is a C to have the credit count towards my academic achievement.