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Between Nantes and New York: My Experience Applying to Study Abroad

I’m currently a sophomore English major here at Rhodes and let me tell you, I absolutely love it. I’ve found a home here and wouldn’t trade my experience for the world. The people, the professors, the campus…everything here has undoubtedly changed my life. One could say, I’ve been sucked into the Rhodes bubble. 

Rhodes, however, encourages students to get out of their comfort zones. And when it comes down to it, who doesn’t want a chance to explore the world? Rhodes has made studying abroad so easy and accessible to their student body. But, as I sit here writing this, I have two applications hanging over my head, waiting to be finished and submitted. Although the applications aren’t daunting, all I can ask myself is, “Why is this so hard?” Honestly, I don’t have an answer, but I think I have found some insight by looking back on my time so far at Rhodes and how I chose my specific programs.

I am in the process of applying to two programs – one in New York City, and the other in Nantes, France. One of the programs is my top choice, while the other is a backup, just in case, but both programs provide amazing opportunities to see the world and expand my horizons. Like most anyone, I clearly have a preference and my heart is set. It is set to the point where if I didn’t get in, I think I would just participate in sad boi hours for weeks after. But I recognize that each program could provide me with a unique and new perspective on the world which is my main reason for studying abroad. Yet, these applications are still half-finished, desperately needing work. 

The Rhodes bubble and my perfectly content life here is definitely an influential factor. I love the activities and clubs I’ve joined. I adore the beautiful campus. And of course, I have found my best friends. We have all decided to study abroad at the same time, so no one gets left out, but as usual, I’m one step behind and haven’t even applied. There is the overwhelming fear that I will be the one stuck in my Rhodes bubble next year…alone. The fear of being left behind stings more than the fear of rejection, but here I am still procrastinating. 

Although I have no perfect answer to why or how I find these applications so difficult, I can say I see the bigger picture. Rhodes has provided its’ student body with unlimited options to see the world, which in itself can overwhelm any twenty-something-year-old trying to figure out the rest of their life. But I do know through applying to explore our beautiful world, I have started to learn a lot about myself and what I am capable of. Who knows, maybe that’s the whole point of this process anyways?

Reid Brown

Rhodes '22

I'm from Vermont which means I can talk about snow, maple syrup, and how great Canada is all day:)
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