Monday, March 24, 2014

Mountie Monday: A Life-Changing Experience

Welcome back, Mounties! I hope you all had the best spring break yet! Now that we're all (hopefully) rested and ready to continue with the rest of the semester, let's jump back into our daily routines!

For this week's Mountie Monday, someone suggested that I feature a student who's currently studying abroad. If there's one thing I regret from my years here at M.U.... it's not embracing the opportunity to study abroad.

Megan Gronwaldt, junior, knew she wanted to study abroad since she was in high school and was going to find a way to do so... no matter what. She's always had this need inside her to see the world, experience different cultures, and meet as many people as possible. The experience of studying abroad is giving her the opportunity to do that while also continuing her education.

Picking which country to study in was pretty easy for Megan! She already knew that M.U. had a relationship with Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland and it just so happened that Scotland was on her list of countries to travel to. Also, she wanted to make sure she chose an English speaking country, since it would be her first time out of the U.S.

The process for Megan involved a lot of waiting, phone calls, emails, and paperwork... but was totally worth it. She chose to study in Scotland for a whole year, and while she's extremely happy with her decision, she admits that she probably didn't think it through as much as she should have. Megan didn't realize how long nine months away from home would really be, especially when she couldn't join her family for the holidays like the rest of us probably did.

Even though nine months away from home is a long time, it continues to push her boundaries while learning a lot about herself as a person. This whole experience has showed her what she can do in life, especially with this new confidence she's gained from studying abroad. Studying abroad has taught Megan to trust her decisions and actions more than she ever has in the past. If there's one piece of advice Megan can give you from her years at M.U., it's to grab onto the opportunity that M.U. gives its students, and study abroad. It might not be perfect, or it might be amazing... but it will be life changing.

Name: Megan Gronwaldt
Year: Junior
Major: Music Business Major
Hometown: Audubon, PA
Organizations: Alpha Sigma Alpha

What made you choose Mansfield?

Megan: At first it was just the fact that the university had an amazing music program but once I took a tour of campus it was also because of the atmosphere.

Favorite professor or class and why?

Megan: My favorite class at Mansfield so far has been both Music History (I & II) with Dr. Rebecca Dodson-Webster. I honestly enjoy learning about the history of music and Dr. Dodson-Webster has a way of making that information even more interesting. Plus, she's funny and there is never a dull moment during a lecture.

Favorite event at Mansfield and why?

Megan: It's got to be Greek Week. Even though I've only participated in one so far, it was by far the best event. It's a whole week of competitions and Greek bonding and the energy is palpable. Relay for Life is a close second. There's just something about staying up all night in a gym with tons of people raising money for a truly amazing cause.

Favorite memory from Mansfield and/or Scotland:

Megan: My favorite memory from Mansfield was receiving my official bid from Alpha Sigma Alpha. I felt like I really belonged somewhere at that moment.

My favourite memory from Scotland was spending Christmas with a friend I had made from university here. She lives up in the Highlands, in Inverness. The fact that I had, within 3 months, made such an amazing friend as to have me for Christmas was so special to me. I got to experience a real Scottish Christmas with Christmas pudding, paper crowns and all!

So far, what's the most valuable thing you've learned by studying abroad? 

Megan: ​The most valuable thing I've learned during my time here has been to believe and trust in myself. This may seem silly or cliché but it's the honest truth. Here, I'm on my own, no family to fall back on, no sorority sisters to go running to when I need help. It's just me and when it's just you, you really do have to be sure of who you are. I've learned that if you trust in what you do, then, in the end, everything is ​going to be just fine.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Megan. I went to High School with your mom. This is such a wonderful opportunity you've had to study abroad. The photo of the university is absolutely GORGEOUS. I would love to see this myself.... I've always wanted to visit Scotland. Best of luck with the remainder of your studies!! (Valerie Hergenrader Ladd)