Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Away from the Sea

Summer Away from the Sea
Studying in Singapore: Jennifer Jackson
Jennifer Jackson in Singapore

Jennifer Jackson in Singapore
This summer Hamptonians are completing internships and jobs throughout the country and abroad. Whether they are in Hampton,Va. or as far as China, they are applying the valuable lessons they’ve learned at their Home by the Sea.  This series of blogs will feature undergraduate and graduate students, who are doing something noteworthy this summer.
Jennifer Jackson is experiencing new food, people and culture as she studies business at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore this summer. She is a senior 5 year MBA major from Richmond,Va. and has learned a lot during her time spent in Asia.
Jackson wanted to do something life changing, while experiencing a different culture.  “Before this experience I had never left the United States, or even been too far off the East Coast. So I had no idea what to expect,” said Jackson.
Most of the people that Jackson has befriended are other international students, so every day she experiences something new. “I have learned a lot about world cultures and how everyone has different perceptions,” said Jackson.
Jackson has found that there are many differences in the cultures, but what she found most interesting, is how similar the people are. The biggest difference for Jackson is the “sense of personal space.
 “Many times I find myself walking down the street and having to dodge people because it just seems like everyone walks extremely close to one another and sometimes do not look where they are going,” said Jackson. She also finds that many of her classmates are shy and timid, unlike what she is used to in the States. 
The biggest obstacle for Jackson thus far has been budgeting her money. She received a traveling stipend, so she has to be mindful of the money she spends. “It is easy to spend a lot of money when you’re having fun and traveling,”  said Jackson.
It was initially difficult for Jackson to adjust because of the heat and different wildlife, as well as being in a new environment without the comforts of her home and car. Despite these differences, Jackson has gotten used to and grown to love Asia.
Most of Jackson’s free time is spent traveling. “Since I have been here I have been to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. It has been an amazing life changing experience to see how other people live, their culture, and how they perceive America.”
Many believe that a disadvantage of study abroad programs is that they prevent timely graduations; however, researchers have begun to study the link between study abroad and retention and graduation rates. They have “busted the myth that study abroad delays time to graduation and have raised questions about whether it can be used as a strategy to increase rates of student persistence and success,” according to an article entitled, Study Abroad, Graduate on Time, published on the Inside Higher Education website.
Jackson admits that she feels blessed to have been given the opportunity to study abroad. She gives credit to the Department of Management at HU, who have been helpful throughout the entire process.
-Jalisa Stanislaus is a print journalism major who is interning at the office of University Relations at Hampton University this summer.

2 comments:

  1. Reading your blog post makes me want to try study abroad. Thanks for this!

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