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Looking forward to study abroad: Q&A with philosophy major Jacob Smith

Q: First of all, where are you going and when will you leave and return?
A: I will be studying aboard in Germany. I fly out on Aug. 18 and will be returning in early December; the program ends Dec. 6. 

Q: How do you hope your study abroad experience will enhance your education?
A: My major at UofSC is philosophy with a minor in history and theater. In Germany, I will be taking a few history courses and a philosophy course. By studying philosophy and history in Germany I hope to get a different perspective on topics I have learned here in the United States. For example, one of the courses I will take is European Diplomatic History. I have never had the opportunity to learn about diplomacy or diplomatic events from the point of view of Europe. I will also take a European legal traditions course. I hope the exposure to the legal traditions and policies of Europe from the ancient Roman government to the modern-day EU will help me better understand actions and policies here at home and in Europe. Overall, I think that the difference in perspective will enhance my education massively, allowing me an opportunity to look at the same information but see two unique points of views. 
Q: Why did you choose Germany for your study abroad location?
A: I picked Germany for a few reasons. I wanted a country where the primary language is not English because I wanted the opportunity to immerse myself in another language and better learn it. I also wanted a nation that was in Europe, primarily due to the time zone allowing for some conferences when communicating back home. Finally, I picked Germany due to its importance in philosophy. I have focused my studies here at UofSC on Kant and Metaphysics, and Germany has had many of the great philosophers in this and many other fields. Studying in the same country as these writers will allow me insight into their writing and thought processes.
Q: What are you looking forward to; what are you concerned about?
A: I expect my trip to be hectic, hard and amazing. I know that landing in a foreign country with no friends will be a challenge for me, and I know that there will be so many new things for me to do that I will always be on the move. That being said, I know I will have an amazing time and the period of “culture shock” will pass quickly. 
With the opening of the Student Excellence Collaborative this fall, it’s easier than ever for Arts and Sciences students to learn about study abroad opportunities and funding.

We are so proud of you, Jacob. Enjoy your semester abroad in Germany!

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