Down Under in New Zealand
I am currently on a study abroad program at Lincoln University in New Zealand until November, which is an awesome and affordable program offered to OSU AgSci students. So far, the most valuable part of the experience has been getting to experience other cultures (both through being here and interacting with other exchange students and local/kiwi students) and to expand upon my research experience through doing a research placement with the Bio-Protection Research Centre on campus. One of the most interesting parts of the experience so far has been seeing how different the education system is here compared to OSU, in terms of how courses are structured. The most fun part I’ve had has been learning a bunch of new skills (such as backpacking, skiing, rock-n-roll dance style), trying new foods, making new friends from around the world and exploring the Christchurch area on my bicycle.
Footing the Bill
One of the major challenges of my college career has been being able to afford the costs of my education. I am dependent on financial aid to cover the expenses of college, and so applying for jobs and scholarships has been an important part of making sure I stay successful at OSU. I am fortunate and grateful that the College of Agricultural Sciences has scholarships available to apply for, and that there are also prestigious scholarships available. The latter has been a huge source of financial support for my study abroad in New Zealand. In order to maintain financial support for my education, I regularly apply for scholarships, as well as working part time with the Department of Crop and Soil Science.
For Incoming Students
Don’t be afraid to change your major or go to your advisor to make your program of study what you want it to be. I’m very glad that I’ve had so much support from Wanda Crannell and the faculty around me on making my BRR experience a positive, engaging and transformative one, and that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t asked for their help.
Get involved with the campus and Corvallis communities as much as you can. The main reason my time at OSU has been so impactful is that I’ve built a community with other students through clubs, research and traveling. I’ve gotten to do stuff I wouldn’t have thought possible, like bike racing in Montana, truffle hunting with renowned mycologists and studying in New Zealand.
Time management is a difficult skill to master, but an important one to keep working on throughout your college experience. Use a calendar, daily planner, to-do list or any tool that helps you stay organized on assignments, social and club events and so on. At the same time, be okay with struggling with it and continually improving it.
Gillian Bergmann Awards & Affiliations: OSU Honors College, Gamma Sigma Delta Honors Society, Presidential Scholar, recipient of the Waldo-Cummings Outstanding Student Award, recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, officer of the OSU Mycology Club, member of the OSU Cycling and Botany clubs