Staying home is no way to learn

Parker Willis - International Editor

Parker Willis – International Editor

And now for the words everyone has been waiting to read…Parker Willis has left the country.

Maybe not as I’m writing this – I’m actually in a hotel room outside of Kansas City International Airport – with less than 12 hours left before I board my first flight on the way to Bremen, Germany. But by the time this gets printed I’ll have been walking on European soil for days.

When everyone else returned from spring break and started the second half of their semesters, I stepped onto a flight and headed for Germany to start my semester at Hochshule Bremen, where I will study journalism with a group of English-speaking Indian students for the next four months.

Under normal circumstances I’m sure no one would care and this would be no reason to write a column. But what sets me apart from the other students Missouri Southern has studying abroad this semester is that I am going to share my experience.

While there, I will not only send back pictures and articles to print in The Chart for the final issues of this semester, I also plan to contribute heavily to this summer’s international edition of Crossroads and help make next fall’s German Semester a little more interesting.

Our international mission is the one thing that sets us apart from any other university in Missouri. And as students we need to appreciate and take better advantage of the opportunities our University has given us for international travel. Sightseeing can be great, but being immersed in another country’s culture for months at a time is an experience that will stay with students the rest of their lives.

First of all, I hope to use this experience as a chance to show what I can do equipped with little more than a computer and a camera. But second of all, I hope this will show the students at Southern just how great and easy it can be to study abroad.

In my travels over the last few years, I have found that no matter how many pictures I take and no matter how many notes I make I will never be able to fully capture all that I have seen and felt.

But throughout the next couple of months I’ll share my experience the best I can. I hope everyone enjoys it. And, more importantly, I hope this inspires more students to study abroad.