Student Experiences

Study Abroad: Student Stories

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London : Studying Abroad in London was definitely the best decision I’ve made in my entire life.  I took two incredibly interesting Biology courses, (Cell & Molecular Bio and Ethology), which were both taught by amazing professors who were actively performing research in their field.  The course work was refreshingly self-directed, and they offered fascinating weekly seminars with guest lecturers presenting new developments in cutting-edge studies. 

Now, it is true that they didn’t offer Math or Chemistry courses in London, Coso I have a little catching up to do; but I think the benefit of having Study Abroad experience in my C.V. will far outweigh any negatives when I finally apply to Medical School.

I really think that the time I spent away from home allowed me to look inward and discover what I really want for myself, instead of just listening to everybody else’s suggestions.  I was able to concentrate more on my ultimate goals for the future, rather than feeling stuck in an endless cycle of coursework.  I came back to Hawaii feeling rejuvenated, and now I’m more focused and motivated than ever before.  Studying abroad has helped me grow in so many ways, I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t.  I highly recommend to anyone who’s even half-considering it, just go to an info session; it’s more feasible than you might think!

Natalia, SSS Student
Biology Major

Study Abroad link:   http://www.studyabroad.org/    

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National Student Exchange:

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University of Washington : My college experience definitely wouldn’t have been a success without the assistance I’ve gotten through SSS.. I’ve received quality academic advising, that has helped me to finish college within 4 and a half years (including a year of exchange at a trimester school). I was fortunate to achieve my goal of attending a full school year at the University of Washington in Seattle through the National Student Exchange (NSE). I wouldn’t have traded anything to have the experience of seeing seasons change and gaining more independence/freedom from my parents. Attending UW also allowed me to experience taking different courses – ones that UHM don’t offer.  It was there where I took an introductory course in Occupational Therapy (OT).  Because of this course (and others) I now know what that OT is the career for me. SSS was always available to consult with when I had a question, whether I was near or far. I also really appreciated the summer school scholarships that helped me to stay on track with classes at an affordable cost. Looking back, I couldn’t imagine my college experience without having been a part of SSS. Barbara and Gary make a great team and genuinely care for their students.

Briana, SSS Student
Family Resources Major

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Internships:
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SSFM Internationals : For most students, we do not fully know what we will be getting into when we decide on a specific major or career path. It can feel very scary when you first choose a major because you may not have a clear cut idea what type of work you will be involved in. Through an internship, you actually get a glimpse of what you will be getting yourself into.

I’ve been interning with SSFM Internationals, Inc. for almost a year now. During my internship experience, I am able to become familiar with the working schedule, the working equipment (plotters, printers, software, etc.), and terminologies used. This is very beneficial because it helped me determine if this was something I can see myself doing the rest of my life.

Interning means you have a better opportunity than most others because you’ve gotten that additional real-world experience that most college graduates do not have. It is a great foot in the door to your future!

Amanda, SSS Student
Civil Engineering

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Scholarship Stories:
Scholarship-AwardsApplying for Scholarships: “Just Do It!” : Looking for scholarships is really simple. All it takes is clicking on a search engine website and typing “scholarships”. Doing so will bring a list of thousands of scholarships, but students can usually only apply for a certain number of them due to the requirements the organization is asking for, like a 2.5 GPA or higher, a specific financial status, a particular ethnicity, and participation such as being in an executive board in a club or volunteering for the community, etc.

After this comes the time consuming part, the application for the scholarship will almost always ask for a certain type of essay such as a personal or autobiographical essay describing the students’ goals in life and what the student has achieved and letters of recommendation. I’ll admit, half way into these I ask myself, “Why did I bother even writing this, I’m probably not even gonna get the scholarship.” That may be true for some of the scholarships, but the secret behind applying for scholarships is to complete as many of the smaller applications as possible. I try to find short scholarships that ask for similar things, that way I could save the information to have an idea on what to do for the next application.

I think it’s smart to apply for scholarships because it’s free money for writing a paper about my life or another topic, and asking a few professors or other associates for a letter of recommendation. Think about this, an average job for students pays like $10/hour and let’s say that student works 20 hours/week. Sweet! That’s $200 you got in a week, but how many scholarship applications do you think you can do with those 20 hours when each scholarship offers $500? I don’t know about you, but I think I’d be able to do four or five applications easily. There is a possibility that I can get $2,500 from 20 hours, however, there is also the possibility that I won’t get anything. It all depends on your status in academics, volunteerism, reputation, field of study, and your effort and MOTIVATION.

Sebastian, SSS Student
Geology and Geophysics Major

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