Traveling Through Your Alma Mater

Belfast, Northern Ireland

One of the reasons I chose to attend Kent State University was its study abroad programming. I knew in high school I wanted to study abroad at least one semester during college, and the university’s programming in that regard caught my attention.

Reading about what the university has to offer in the way of study abroad opportunities (P.S. It’s now called Education Abroad) for students now makes my experience 7+ years ago laughable.

Clearly the university has seen the value in these experiences and provided resources for an expansive office of administrators who can assist with planning, promote the opportunities to students and create new relationships with universities around the world. This was not my experience in terms of enrolling in the program I participated in at the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, but that’s a story for another time.

College Study Abroad Programs

In addition to studying abroad, I took part in a number of other experiences through the Department of Geography my junior and senior year of college as well as the year following my graduation. While interviewing the department’s dean for an article I was writing for the Daily Kent Stater, I learned the department was actually offering elective credit hours for students to spend spring break or summer sessions abroad for 7-10 day trips to areas of interest to specific geography professors.

The professors led the trip, and you were required to report back on your experience in terms of geographical take-aways, and in return you received credit hours toward your electives. The travel prices were also significantly reduced.

So I was off to Thailand/Burma/Laos (2006), China (2007) and Egypt (2008) with more life-changing experienced under my belt that would never have been possible for a college student who was pulling together savings bonds her grandparents had given her at birth (Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!).

I will always remember those experiences–they have shaped my view of the world and continue to do so. Here are a couple photos highlights:

Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand
Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, China
Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt
Kent State University Alumni Association

I was recently asked to participate in the following video for the Kent State University Alumni Association about why I’m a member.

I had my basic answers in mind, referencing my experiences as a Kent State Student Ambassador and member of the Student Alumni Association, which both engaged me in the Alumni Association while I was student, leading to a natural transition as a member once I was an alumna.

I also knew about some cursory benefits like all of the communications I receive, discounts for various services, etc. But it made me think there might be other benefits to being a member of which I wasn’t aware.

Bing-o.

I went on the website to look through some of the other membership benefits and happened along a tab called: Kent State University Alumni Travel Program. There is programming outlined for the next several years! Most appear to be in a 7-10 day cruise format, and the pricing is reduced through a group rate offered as a membership perk. We are looking at a Mediterranean cruise for our honeymoon next year–I wish one of these would have better aligned!

I will definitely be checking back over time to see what else pops up, and I am fairly positive we will be using this perk of my alumni membership in the future. Kent State has been a major player in many of my international forays, so I only think it’s appropriate that carry through to my relationship with the university as an alumna as well.

Do you belong to your alma mater’s alumni association? Do you like to travel? Make sure you’re not missing out on some awesome opportunities!

2 thoughts on “Traveling Through Your Alma Mater

    1. It’s not too late! Alumni memberships are only $35/year and if you use the perks, it’s worth that price. That being said I think Kent State could do a lot more in the way of promoting these opportunities to its students. They offer a lot more now than when I was there, but I still don’t know how well they market them.

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