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Phuong Mac ’19 Abroad

By Nali Byrd '19 on January 7, 2018
Name: Phuong Mac
Major/ Minor: Sociology and Asian Studies Double Major
Q1: Where are you studying abroad?
I am studying abroad in Manchester, England.
Q2. What has been your favorite part of being abroad?
I honestly don’t know how to begin when so many things about studying abroad have been wonderful to me. If I had to choose one, it would be the Colgate students that I was fortunate to share my abroad experience with. We became a small family as we often looked out for one another as well as doing almost everything together. I have become great friends with many and I am sure that these friendships will last beyond my time abroad.
Q3. What classes are you taking?
I am currently taking three courses from the University of Manchester (UoM) and two half-credit courses from our study group director, Professor Frank Frey. Within the three courses at UoM, I am taking two sociology courses and one Asian studies course. University of Manchester Courses:
  • Social Network Analysis (Fun fact: My professor was the co-founder of UCINET, a software for analyzing social networks)
  • Social Change in China
  • Modern and Contemporary Japan: Social Dynamics

Professor Frey Courses:

  • ENST 233 – Global Environmental Health Issues
  • ENST 391 – Independent Study in Environmental Studies

Q4. What has been the most challenging thing about being abroad?

The most challenging thing about being abroad is being completely independent for the first time since I have entered college. Back at Colgate University, almost everything is provided for students to make their decision-making easier. These supports range from having easy access to meals for our first two years to professors consistently reminding us about upcoming assignments and examinations. With the case of being abroad, students are expected to manage their own schedule and make choices that would be best for them. This can be a challenge for many people to accomplish tasks without the same guidance and resources from our home institutions. On the other hand, I had to cope with other real-world problems that I have not yet experienced at Colgate. This can be something as small as planning when to cook my meals so that I would have time to meet deadlines to something like navigating my way around unfamiliar cities through different transportation methods. Nevertheless, although executing my own decisions were often nerve-racking, I am grateful that I have had the chance to experience what it is really like to be independent.

Q5. What advice would you give someone who is considering going abroad?

If you are considering on going abroad, I highly recommend that you take this opportunity that is offered to you as studying abroad is not commonly available at other institutions. While I love our home institution, studying abroad has been the best college experience for me thus far. It has enabled me to grow so much as an individual. I would encourage you all to arrive at your abroad destination with an open-mind and the determination to immerse yourself fully to all of the opportunities that will be available. No matter where you will be, you are capable of making some of the best memories in your life as long as you are engaged and are able to.


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