What To Do? Where To Go?

I’m still no closer to finding out where to travel or what to do for my summer travel.

Here’s the my thought progression so far:
Initially, I wanted to study abroad. I had narrowed it down to two universities in the UK before I decided that doing so would set me back another semester. If it was going to take an extra semester, I might as well just travel after I was done with college. So I decided that after I graduated, I would return to Western Europe (UK, Italy, France, Germany, etc) and spend a summer there.

I was bored one night and procrastinating homework. I started looking at my United award miles and where I could fly and how many miles it would take. Two important things popped out at me. First, roundtrip travel from the US to Europe is 55k miles; second, a round-the-world ticket is only 200k miles and provides a maximum of 5 stopovers and “is defined as one Pacific and one Atlantic crossing; you must use legal routings as defined in pricing rules and continue travel in the same direction.” (Source: http://www.united.com/page/article/0,8566,1141,00.html?navSource=RelatedLinks)

So now I have this idea to travel around the world in 90 days.

After talking with friends who have spent time visiting just one country, it seems pretty clear that traveling around the world in only two-to-three months is a bit ridiculous. But I still like the allure of a round-the-world ticket, so I compromise and decide that I’ll only visit countries in the northern hemisphere.

Well, after more thought and some talking, this still seems like too much. So now I’m back to just visiting a region. Currently thinking about Eastern Europe plus a couple of Western Europe countries that I missed last time I was across the pond (Germany and France, for starters).

Another idea that has also been floating around my head is to go on a mission trip. Practically everyone I’ve talked to says I must go on a mission trip, and I think there’s merit to their claim.

I spent some time looking at mission work, especially mission work that could utilize my skills as an engineer, such as through Engineering Ministries International. In talking with friends (and on my own), I’ve also been pointed in the direction of Adventures in Mission (including The World Race), Pioneers’ The Edge, and even Messenger.

There’s still some part of me that would just like to get a ticket into Frankfurt and see what happens.

I think I will need to have something to do while I’m traveling, some sort of goal or mission, which makes mission work appealing. At the same time, I could also see being someones assistant. Anyone looking for an assistant to travel the world with them?

Study Abroad Update

I’ve actually needed to write this post for a while now. Nobody really ever asked about it, so I didn’t feel a particular need to write it.

And there’s the fact that I’m still in Colorado, so it should go without saying that I never did study abroad.

But let me back up a bit.

I did a lot of investigating, but things really didn’t fall into place the way I wanted them to. This year has been a rather vigorous year and I ended up deciding around November of 2007 that it made more sense to stay at Mines then study abroad.

However, I have not given up on my dream. At the very least, I will spend some time abroad. However, I am also hoping to work abroad as well, using three day weekends to purchase preciously cheap tickets from local airlines.

Insert cheesy joke about studying several broads instead of just one here.

Study Abroad: The Process Begins

I’ve been entertaining the idea of studying abroad for a couple months ago. And while the decision to actually study abroad is no where close to being made, I am starting down the path. I sent an email to the Office of International Programs (OIP) and they had me come in when I had a chance (which I did today).

There, I was able to gain a some critical information. First, a list of schools that have reciprocating agreements with the Colorado School of Mines. Basically, this is the list that I will be picking a school from. Second, the deadline for applications: Mid-November 2007 for a Spring 2008 session. And finally, how I go about picking classes from the school and how I get them approved for transfer to CSM.

At this point, I’m leaning heavily towards the United Kingdom. Mostly because they speak English there and when it comes to foreign languages, I suck (at least I did in high school. Who knows, maybe I’m better now).

There are four Universities in the UK:

  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Wales, Swansea

I spent a bit of time looking at Surrey and Leeds. Leeds has the leading Electrical program in the UK. This is good. This is very good. Surrey has some space-related courses that I could take though. It’s also closer to London (which may or may not be a good, I haven’t decided yet).

I’m also somewhat considering Australia, Japan, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Turkey.

Much research is ahead and any comments or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated, even if you’ve never traveled abroad.

For those that have traveled abroad, I might be seeking your counsel in the coming months.

Everyone I know is Studying Abroad!

Not everyone. But a lot.

Jeff Staples is in El Salvador. Charlie Wyman is in Ecuador. Amelie Mabbutt and Hannah Bellinger are in Spain (although not with the same group…as far as I know). Julia Masnik and David Clausen are in London (together). Jessen Myburgh is in Greece. Alison White is in New Zealand. Katherine Staples is at St. Andrew’s in Scotland. Katie Shaiman is in Edinburgh, Scotland. Matthew Knowles was in France. Amy Dubetz is in Budapest. Amy Beck is in Buenos Aires. Lindsay Hansberry is in Europe.

There could be others, but I’m done looking through Facebook, for now, trying to figure out where everyone is. The point still stands though: A crap ton of people I know are not in the United States (or Canada or Mexico) right now.

Update:
Mesa Schumacher is in Peru. Kelly Nolan is Florence.

Next school year, Brittany Linton is going to Japan and Devan O is going to London.

Update II:
Lauren Rubinfeld is in Sydney, Australia.

Update III:
Dan Lecocq is in Japan!