Study Abroad: Anna Phillips

Anna Phillips

Students in the College of Business and Technology (CBT) are taking advantage of Eastern Kentucky University’s study abroad programs. CBT students are studying abroad through a variety of affiliates and exchange programs.

Following is the next in the Study Abroad Series aimed at sharing students’ life-changing experiences studying abroad through EKU. 

Study Abroad Series: Part Twenty-five – Anna Phillips

Q -  What is your major? When is your expected graduation date?

A -  I am currently a Junior majoring in Agribusiness Management. I am expected to graduate in May of 2019.

Q - Where did you go? 

A - Over the summer of 2017, I traveled to Ireland.

Q - Did you take a course and earn academic credit that transferred back to EKU?

A - Yes I was able to earn 3 upper division Ag credits through this study abroad.

Q - Was your experience through the Magellan Exchange – or some other study abroad program?

A - My trip was through the CCSA (Cooperative Center for Study Abroad)

Q - How long did you study abroad?  

A - I studied in Ireland for 15 days.

Q - Why did you decide to study abroad?

A - I decided to study abroad for many reasons. I had never been out of the country before, and I have always wanted to visit Ireland. I actually have family ties on both sides of my family in Ireland. Also, the course was about studying sustainable Agriculture in Ireland so I thought it was a perfect match for me!

Q - How did you decide to go to that particular location?

A - The only Agricultural study abroad course that was offered at the time was this one to Ireland, and I have always wanted to visit there. I think it ended up working out perfectly!

Q - What were three of the most important things you learned from your experience studying abroad?

A - I learned so much over the course of my study abroad! I think some of the main things I learned came from the experiences I had. I learned that the Irish are a lot more laid back than Americans tend to be, which I don’t think is a bad thing, but it was just a different type of feeling over there. Even though I was so far from my small hometown of Frankfort, I felt at home especially In the rural parts of Ireland. I think in general, I found my love of travel from this trip. I had always loved airports and planes, but living in Ireland for two weeks truly made me aware of my love for seeing foreign places. I would love to study abroad again soon. I also learned a lot about myself over the course of those 2 weeks. I had liked my choice of major before (Ag business) but while I got to study Agriculture in Ireland, I truly developed a love for it. Being there and learning about their Agricultural practices excited me to come back home and continue to grow in my major.

Q - What was your favorite and least favorite part of your abroad experience?

A - It’s so hard to pick a favorite part! I think if I had to choose though it would be when we visited the Giant’s Causeway or the Dunphry Family Farm that we toured. Giant’s Causeway was like nothing I had ever seen before. Pictures really don’t do it justice. It was so beautiful. Also, the family dairy farm was so interesting to me; this local family allowed [us] into their home and showed us around their dairy farm. I loved just chatting with them about their practices and then having tea with the Mother of the family at the end of the day. I don’t think I had any part of the experience that I disliked greatly. I think towards the end I did become a little homesick, but I expected that at some point! Other than that, I loved the experience!

Q - What did you gain from studying abroad that has changed you as a person and professional?

A - I think spending a couple weeks that far from my home really just opened my eyes. I know before the trip, we learned about culture shock and how if you have never been out of the States that it could be a little shocking. While, I don’t think I ever experienced full on shock, I definitely was aware that my surroundings and the over-all mood of Ireland was a lot different than what I was used to. As an individual, I realized a lot about my passion for Agriculture while in Ireland. Learning and experiencing so much over 2 weeks was very beneficial for me. I loved visiting different farms, greenhouses, and tourist attractions over the course of the trip. Each place we went, I learned something new. I grew a stronger bond with some of the people in my Ag department at school and got to study a subject I care so much for in such a beautiful place. Professionally, I think just having this experience will allow me to excel in my career. I think grades are important, but I also value time and effort as well as things learned from experience. Also, throughout our time there, we were able to meet with so many connections in the Ag community. We toured an Alltech branch that they have in Ireland and everyone was so eager to answer questions and help us out.

Q - Would you recommend that other College of Business and Technology students study abroad? Why or why not?

A - I definitely would recommend studying abroad to other students. I know it can seem like a lot of money involved, but the time you will have and the experiences you will have are more than worth it. I think if you are passionate about a subject or place, you should definitely go for it!

Q - Who do students contact if they are interested in studying abroad? 

A - Students can reach out to professors about study abroad or even go to the study abroad office on campus.

Q - What advice would you give to College of Business and Technology students before they study abroad?

A - Some advice I would give would be to have fun, take it all in because it flies by really fast, and maybe even keep a journal while you are traveling. The journal would really help to remember all parts of the trip. I know I took lots of pictures and that served kind of as a journal for me.

Q - Since you have not graduated, how is your study abroad experience helping you with your job search?  How has it helped you network with potential employers?

A - I am still in school currently and have an on campus job at the moment. I am actually working with two girls that I studied abroad with! Traveling to Ireland helped me to really narrow down what aspect of Agribusiness I want to find a career in. With Agriculture, there are so many possibilities out there. Studying abroad showed me that I love to connect with people and to maybe focus myself in an area that I can interact with people and animals too.

Photos from Anna Phillips' Study Abroad experience...

Find out more about Study Abroad:

Students interested in studying abroad may contact Jennifer White in the Education Abroad Office in the Keith Building, Room 129, to discuss all the program options. Jennifer can be contacted via phone at 859-622-1705 or by email at ekuabroad@eku.edu.

Published on February 13, 2018