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New Friends, New Memories!

New Friends, New Memories!

Cody Ross

Senior, History Teaching

KEI Kenya


1. ) Describe your Education Abroad Program:
I chose KEI to do my study abroad program through. The program itself was a three-month long trimester that I spent at United States International University (USIU) in Nairobi, Kenya. I had no trouble navigating or anything like that because of wonderful coordinators and great friends that I made on campus. The country is beautiful, the people are lovely and very helpful, and the faculty are amazing. I don't think I could have found a better program than Nairobi, Kenya to participate in.

2.) Is this a good program for other students in your major? 
This was a great program for me and definitely would be for other History Majors as well. I acquired a wealth of knowledge on both African history and ideologies in International Relations courses at USIU. It is a great program for anyone interested in history, politics, economics, and a number of other subjects. Not only were the classes interesting, the cultural excursions to Masai Mara and the Elephant Orphanage were great as well. I strongly urge other History Majors to give it a try!

3.) Was this your first time abroad? 
This was my first time going anywhere over about 600 miles from McCreary County, so it was filled with a lost of firsts for me, including flying.

4.) How do you feel that you benefitted from studying abroad? 
I feel like I have a much better understanding of the world from a non-Eurocentric perspective. I learned about and experienced a number of cultures that are very different from my own and was able to share some parts of my culture with friends 8,000 miles away from home.

5. )How do you think this experience will impact your future plans? 
I already plan to go back to Nairobi, something I hadn't even considered before. It's true when they say traveling is addictive, I am planning to visit Tanzania, South Africa, and multiple other places in East Africa in the future. There are also some organizations that I plan to get involved with in both Kenya and Malawi. 

6.) How did the experience differ from your expectations? 
I really didn't know what to expect, honestly. I definitely did not know about Swahili as a language, but it was much easier to learn then I had thought it would be. Another thing that shocked me was how great the food was. I ate so much food every day and actually lost 40 lbs!

7.) What other countries have you traveled to? 
I only got to travel through the airports in Paris, France and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. However, more traveling is soon to come for me!

8.) Favorite thing about studying abroad? 
The people that I met were definitely the best part. I played on USIS's basketball team during my stay and made friends that aI will never forget on the court. Some of the two best friends I have ever known were made on my study abroad trip to Kenya. 

9.) Suggestions for future students?
Be open-minded and ready to try new things. Some advice that my coach gave me at USIU was to "be a traveller, not a tourist." Engulf yourself in the cultures and don't be afraid to try new things when they are presented to you.

10.) Anything you'd like to add?
It sounds so cliche, but this really was a positively life-changing experience for me and I'm certain that it will be for anyone else who decides to broaden their horizons as well.

Published on December 09, 2016

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