By Marketing Specialist Lindsay Mackey, Auburn
One of the many exciting and beneficial opportunities that college has to offer is the experience of studying abroad. Not only does studying abroad broaden your moral and intellectual life, but it can also show you a different side of yourself that you never knew existed. Part of being a Tri Delta is “bringing you” to every opportunity you encounter, and Tri Deltas everywhere are stepping out of their comfort zones and embarking on journeys across the world.
Senior Meg Eason, Mississippi State, has studied in four different countries. Her most recent destination was this past summer when she attended Oxford University in England, with the Shackouls Honor College of Mississippi State University.
As a biological sciences pre-dental major with a minor in international studies, it’s no surprise why Meg chose to study abroad on three separate occasions. At times she felt overwhelmed when taking on a new country alone, but her membership in Tri Delta helped smooth the transition.
“My life has been enriched immensely by being a member of Tri Delta. It has prepared me for studying abroad by reinforcing important values such as respecting and appreciating diversity,” said Meg. “I was able to open my heart and mind, and do things I never thought I could.”
Meg’s Beta Mu sisters welcomed her with open arms every time she returned home, excited to hear about another new experience.
“I shared my experiences with my sisters in hopes of inspiring them to study abroad because of how life changing it can be,” Meg said. “At every interaction – lunch, dinner, before chapter or social events – I would share pictures of my trip and emphasize how studying abroad truly prepares you for life after college.”
Dakotah Manson, Allegheny, a junior double majoring in English and international studies with a focus on the Middle East, chose the road less traveled when she studied in Amman, Jordan, during the fall semester.
As she took on the challenge of navigating a new country, Tri Delta’s message of living, learning and leading stood out to her. “It was a prominent part of my study abroad experience,” said Dakotah. “I learned to put aside all my fears, jump in, and just go for it. I lived life to the absolute fullest and one of my greatest accomplishments was leading and challenging a Western view on negative stereotypes associated with the Middle East.”
Along with Tri Delta’s message, the experiences she has gained from being a member have helped her engage in professional settings. “While in Amman, I had the opportunity to attend a national security forum where I was surrounded by members of the United Nations and politicians from different countries,” said Dakotah. “After the forum, I was sitting at a table with highly established men and women where I was able to hold my own and conduct well thought-out conversations, but not a single ounce of fear ever leaked in. It’s because I am a Tri Delta. I am a strong woman, and I knew I was meant to be there.”
The support from her sisters while she was abroad impacted her experience as they constantly lifted her up and genuinely wanted to hear about all of her adventures.
“Although I was quite literally on the other side of the world, I still had the love and support from sisters,” said Dakotah. “They would constantly update me on our chapter, discuss important matters, and ask how everything was going. I also cannot describe a better feeling than coming back home and having so many people be happy that you’re back.”
Connecting with your chapter while abroad can be challenging. But junior Katie Maddux, Boise State — who is majoring in biology and currently studying abroad in Valencia, Spain — knows how important it is for her to stay in touch with her sisters back home.
“Check on your chapter’s Facebook page, comment on what others are talking about and comment on their social media posts. Most importantly, message them when you can,” said Katie. “Reaching out to other members and simply telling them that they have been on your mind goes a long way.”
Katie goes the extra mile in staying connected with her sisters by sending them post cards, and she even sends photos of her adventures to Beta Eta’s vice president/public relations chair just in case she needs extra pictures for social media.
Studying abroad has been a great way for Katie to meet new people and learn a new language she is passionate about. She wants to travel to other countries and cities in her free time, and she hopes to meet other Tri Deltas while she is abroad.
“I have met a Tri Delta who goes to Clemson University,” said Katie. “It has been amazing getting to know her and recognizing how unique each member of our organization truly is. I would love to connect with other collegiate or alumnae members that are abroad to learn from their adventures and get new ideas to fully maximize my experience.”
Katie is excited and prepared to take on these next few months abroad because of her experiences in Tri Delta. But no matter how far our members may roam, Tri Delta is always waiting to welcome them home.
Are you a Tri Delta studying abroad? Now you can connect with sisters around the world in our Tri Deltas Abroad Facebook Group! Go to facebook.com/groups/TriDeltasAbroad to join.