February 4, 2016
|Chandler Steckbeck, junior from Enid (right), poses with a Centurion at the Roman Baths (left), in Bath, England during her study abroad trip that was sponsored by the Brad Henry Scholarship.
The deadline for the Brad Henry Scholarship for students to study abroad at Swansea University in Wales, United Kingdom, is March 1.
Chandler Steckbeck, a junior from Enid majoring in English and minoring in Spanish, encourages students to apply to study abroad. She was the latest recipient from Northwestern Oklahoma State University along with 11 other students from Oklahoma’s regional universities who spent the 2015 fall semester studying at Swansea as a Brad Henry International Scholar.
The international study program, which was established by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in June 2008, provides a $10,000 stipend for students to participate in a semester-long study abroad program affiliated with Swansea. Academic credit for these programs will be awarded by Oklahoma regional universities. Students are nominated for the program by their institutions.
“The scholarship relieves a great deal of the study abroad financial burden,” Steckbeck said.
Steckbeck’s interest in continuing her education and eventually earning a doctorate in English literature with an emphasis in Renaissance drama is what led to her interest in the study abroad trip.
“I actually ended up taking a creative writing course that focused on fiction genres and a gender studies course,” Steckbeck said referring to her classes during the time at Swansea. “Having been there and now coming back to Northwestern, I can say with the greatest sincerity, that Northwestern is capable in competing on any academic front. It was very clear while I was at Swansea that Northwestern had more than prepared me to take on what they were teaching in those classes in such a fabulous institution but also to succeed in those classes.”
Although Steckbeck was taking courses for college credit, she still had enough free time to go sight-seeing and travel. She still felt the university she studied at had the biggest impact of her trip.
“I think the most memorable place was Swansea…,”Steckbeck said. “At some point I stopped being a tourist and started being a traveler. I didn’t really understand what that meant until I was there. As a tourist you go around and take pictures of all of these beautiful buildings but you never set foot inside of them because you’re afraid of what you might miss… [When you’re a traveler] you’re not afraid to stop and have tea for an hour.”
Steckbeck met and lived with other international students from Hong Kong, Finland and other places around the world. Thanks to social media she is still able to keep in touch with the friends she got to know on her trip.
“I was told, and perhaps warned, before I went that, generally speaking, British people aren’t as good at expressing their emotions as overly-motive Americans,” Steckbeck said about the people. “I went expecting to make friends but not making ‘fantastic’ friends, but I really think I did make friends that will prove to be lifelong friends.”
Steckbeck is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, an English honors society, and works for the English department on campus. She also has been on the president’s honor roll, a member of the Red and Black Scroll Honor Society, secretary of the Northwestern Scholar Ambassadors (NSA) and a member of the President’s Leadership Class (PLC).
“I think that traveling and studying abroad confirmed to me that I can, in fact, be an adult, and I can take leadership in any and all positions…” Steckbeck said. “It [the trip] also confirmed that I do like to have fun…Given the opportunity, there is no doubt in my mind that I would study abroad again.”
Steckbeck encourages anyone who is interested in studying abroad to, “do it,” because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For those considering applying for the Brad Henry Scholarship, Steckbeck asked the question, “why not?”
For more information on the Brad Henry Scholarship and to see an extended interview with Steckbeck about her trip, visit www.nwosu.edu/brad-henry-scholarship. To read more about Steckbeck’s journey while she was in Wales, visit her blog at http://chandlerandbill.blogspot.com/.
Posted on Thu, February 4, 2016
by Ali Kirtley filed under