Catch the travel bug: USU
students have opportunities to see the world
By Jennifer Brady
March 6, 2006 | Utah: one of those places you either
love or hate. People either want to live here the rest
of their lives, or get out as soon as possible. Regardless
of whether or not one loves Utah, people find it is
nice to get out every once in a while.
Students across Utah are given many opportunities
to explore the outside world. Some serve in the military,
others for their church. Some join the study abroad
program, others become nannies. Some travel to do service,
and some people just leave to have a good time. What
is it that compels them to do such things? Why would
anyone step into the unknown? How can you become one
of the many world travelers?
"I wanted to get out of this bubble and see the world."
says Kristin Galbraith. In 2003, Galbraith decided to
take a semester off of school, pack her bags and move
to England. She didn't know where she would live, what
she would do or even how she'd survive. She just knew
it was time to "get out" for at least a little while.
Upon arriving in England, she toured London for a
little bit until it came time to settle down and mingle
with the people. She needed to find a job. It may sound
simple, but it took some preparation. Before leaving
the United States, she joined a student work-abroad
program on the Internet: BUNAC.
BUNAC specializes in aquiring working visas in countries
like Great Britain, Australia, Ireland, Canada, and
New Zealand. If one is interested in the program, he
or she must fill out an application, pay the designated
fees, and wait for his or her visa to arrive via snail
"It is probably one of the easiest ways to get a working
visa," says Galbraith. The only requirement is that
the applicant must have been a full-time student within
one semester of joining the program.
Once the members arrive in their designated countries,
BUNAC assists them in finding jobs. Students find jobs
as servers, retailers and office assistants. The majority
of the members find a job within a week of living in
During her three months in England, Galbraith worked
as a waitress in a college
"It was fantastic! I lived in the dorms with all my
coworkers and the firemen," she says. The British culture
took some time to get used to, but she grew to love
it and now says she misses the friends she made there
Working in another country isn't the only way to get
out of town and make some money at the same time. Some
choose to be nannies
here in the United States.
"I love children and thought it would be cool to live
in another state," says Annie Merrell. She has nannied
in Ohio and San Francisco. "I got to be really close
to the kids and it was nice to make some friends outside
of Utah," she says.
In 2003, Merrell took care of a boy and a girl in
Ohio. Her basic duties included doing laundry, cooking,
running errands with the children, helping with homework
and playing at the park. It wasn't all work either.
While taking care of the Danner family, she had the
chance to go with them on a cruise with all expenses
paid. In 2004, she took off for San Francisco: the city
she always dreamed of living in. There, she nannied
two girls. She also became great friends with the cable
car drivers (which got her free rides) and explored
one of the most popular cities in the world.
Others who don't fancy being a nanny, but love kids
chose to work as camp counselors. Jaylene Dalley, a
dietetics major at USU did just that. She worked as
the sports director at Clara
Barton Camp, a camp for young girls with diabetes.
"It was great to use the knowledge I had gained through
my classes at Utah State and make a difference in the
lives of children at the same time," she says. Each
day she planned sporting activities for the children,
helped the children learn how to manage their diabetes
and encouraged them to get out of their comfort zones.
Every other weekend, she spent time touring the East
Coast. She traveled to places such as Boston, Providence
and New York City.
"I got to meet people from all over the world. I enjoyed
learning about the various cultures that surrounded
me," says Dalley.
For the more studious pupils, who are interested in
exploring while pursuing an education, study
abroad is the answer. Students from Utah State and
all over the country uproot themselves from the place
they call home to endeavor in a unique learning experience.
USU students have the opportunity to continue their
education in Chile, France, Germany, and many other
countries. It can get to be a little expensive for those
who are trying to get out of student loan debt. However,
the students who choose to go experience something only
fellow study-abroad students can understand.
Now working and studying can be a good time if you
find the right subject to submerge yourself into. However,
some may find that philanthropy is more rewarding for
them. Sharen Brady, a nursing professor at Weber
State University has had the opportunity to serve
people in various countries throughout the world. She
has taken nursing students to rural areas of Guatemala
to do health teaching with CHOICE
twice. She has also had opportunities to travel to the
Ukraine and Ghana with her colleagues at Weber State.
This summer she is taking her students to Ecuador to
assist in some oral surgery with the Charity
Brady finds this kind of traveling to be the most
rewarding. "Traveling for pleasure can get to be tiresome
and monotonous, but when you travel with a humanitarian
purpose, you grow to appreciate the culture, the people
and the experience," she says.
There are many humanitarian groups like CHOICE and
Charity Anywhere that need volunteers to build window
wells, teach school and work in hospitals. Most of the
time, the volunteers don't even have to be experts in
a field. They just need to have a strong desire to reach
out to the less-fortunate.
So regardless of the reason, students, teachers, and
other Utah citizens can find the joy in leaving the
Beehive state. Whether they choose to work, serve, study,
or whatever, spending a little time in a foreign land
(from California to China) can be one of the most rewarding
experiences of their lives.