Study Abroad Scholarships & Summer Plans

Happy February everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida, posted up in a local coffee shop on a Saturday morning grinding away on homework. I have some exciting news! I recently got accepted to participate in an amazing opportunity this summer with Project GO! I’ve talked about Project GO in the past because I started my language learning journey in Summer 2018 with Arabic!

Project GO is a program offered through the Department of Defense to all military branches of ROTC students where they are offered scholarships to learn critical languages either domestically or abroad over the summer.

Since I am in Air Force ROTC, I spent my first summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years with Project GO learning Arabic domestically in Lawrence, Kansas at the University of Kansas. I continued my studies throughout the year at ERAU Daytona Beach and decided to add an Arabic Studies minor to my academic curriculum. The following summer in 2019 I spent at the University of Arizona studying Arabic domestically as well. Last summer in 2020 I was selected to study Arabic abroad in Morocco with Project GO, but unfortunately due to the global pandemic, travel lockdowns were set in place and Morocco’s borders shut, so I continued studying throughout the summer on Arizona time with online Arabic courses. (Shoutout to Zoom, I am VERY familiar.) 

A perk of Pre-Pandemic studying with Project GO in Arizona was the amazing hikes!

Also, in 2020 I was selected to receive a Boren Award to study Arabic abroad in Amman, Jordan, but unfortunately (again due to the pandemic) I was unable to do so, and the Boren program allowed me to postpone using my award in Summer 2021. Boren is a National Security Education Program initiative that offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students to study critical languages abroad.

The difference between Project GO and Boren is that the Boren Awards program is open to all students (not only ROTC) and is a bit more flexible on choosing your specific language, country, foreign host institution, and courses. The Boren Awards program is more heavily reliant on self-initiative and providing your own plan for language learning, as well as proposing the funds needed for the expenses of your endeavor and applying for the Boren Award to do so.

View of the sunset from the University of Arizona’s campus while I was studying Arabic there.

With Project GO, you have the option of language and learning level, along with different host universities (domestically) that host both domestic and abroad programs where you are able to choose up to three programs both domestically and abroad to apply for (a total of 6). If you are selected to receive a scholarship, the foreign host institution is already paired with a domestic institution and essentially requires less planning from a student/participant’s perspective.

That being said, I have officially accepted a study abroad opportunity for Summer 2021 with Project GO where I will be continue my advanced Arabic studies in Meknes, Morocco and I am extremely excited. Will report back soon folks, keep on keeping on!

Perks of Being a Flight Student

This past month, I had the chance to go on a long cross-country flight as part of my multi-engine add-on course. It is my last required flight course that I need in order to graduate and we fly our Diamonds (DA42) for this training. Me and my instructor decided to go up to Charleston, North Carolina on a calm Sunday.

The cockpit of a Diamond 42

The Diamonds are faster than our Cessnas so they allow us to cruise at much faster speeds. We could cover the distance of near 300 miles in 2 hours so when we left around 4pm, we were able to enjoy some breathtaking sights during our cruise up north.

The actual flight path of our XC flight

It is always quite an experience when we get to go on these long cross-country flights. Often times, I am able to enjoy the view and have a friendly, yet professional chat with my instructor, getting to know them personally on these long journeys. We were enjoying cruising over the clouds, flying over cities like Jacksonville and Savannah. Before I realized how quickly we were cruising (about 200 knots groundspeed if you need a reference), we were starting our descent into the Charleston area.

Charleston is a cool airport as it borders an active C-17 military base as well as the Boeing factory where they build the B787 Dreamliners. As we made our landing and taxied to our ramp, I could see the line of C-17’s and B787’s parked on the other side of the airport. Me and my instructor quickly secured the aircraft, grabbed a crew car and headed to one of the most popular destinations for Charleston XC flights, Lewis Barbeque. It was perfect as my instructor and I were both getting hungry near dinner time, so we decided to fill ourselves up before heading back to Daytona.

Lewis BBQ in Charleston, NC

After some good BBQ chow down, we headed back to the airport for our return leg. It was now past sunset so the cruise back was gonna be in the dark. We started up the aircraft and cruised up to an altitude that was the highest I’ve ever been at. The Diamond aircraft performance allows us to cruise at higher altitudes than a Cessna so we decided to cruise at 10,000ft in order to clear the clouds and the turbulence.

Making our way down to the cloudy Daytona Beach area, my instructor and I parked the aircraft back at our ramp around 10pm and we were able to safely complete the flight. I went home and crashed right after as it was a long flight, but it will remain as one of the most memorable moments from my flight training here. I get to experience what life as a commercial pilot is going to be like whenever I go on one of these cross-country flights. I get to work with different co-pilots (my instructor in this case) whom I may not know personally, but we still do our best to maintain a safe and professional environment in and outside the cockpit. Of course, I can’t forget about the breathtaking views during the cruises and the delicious local food at our destinations.

Ranking Some Of The Study Spots On Campus

“Money can’t buy happiness,” they say. To that, I say “It’s much better to study in a comfortable chair than on the ground.”

So, I’m back, and this semester has brought out a LOT more studying than the last one due to the challenging course load. And I’ve discovered some nice study spots on campus that I’ll be assessing. This is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, after all.

Comfort (C): How comfortable is the spot? Could I sleep here, even though I shouldn’t?
Volume: (V) Is it quiet here? Again, could I fall asleep with the noise in the background?
Academic Productivity (AP): Do I actually do work here, or watch TikToks and say I work? Do I get distracted easily?
Proximity to Food (PtF): Studying requires snacks. How far away is some sort of snack or food?

As a baseline, I’m also ranking myself on these categories and how much it affects me. I fell asleep on final approach in a Boeing 747. You, on the other hand, may not even be able to sleep through straight-and-level flight.

C: Again, I fell asleep on final approach in a B747. (In fairness, I was also really tired.) I fall asleep in cars pretty easily.
V: I prefer quiet spaces when I study, but I can deal with a little bit of background noise.
AP: I get distracted by my phone notifications if the thing I’m working on isn’t urgent and/or a pain in the butt to do. But if it’s 11:30 and the assignment is due at 11:59, you bet that I’m not tearing my eyes away from the assignment.
PtF: I like food. How close am I to food, and better yet, free food?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

SPOT ONE: My Dorm Desk

Ah, yes, the ever-present college dorm. At ERAU, each room has a desk that you can move around wherever you’d like. I’m going to add a side note that I never study in my bed because I read it was bad for you psychologically. Something about your brain associating your bed (made for sleeping) for studying or something- either way, I don’t do it.

C: Very comfortable, except for the fact that half of the time, my dorm is weirdly cold even though the thermostat is at 74 degrees. So I bought a blanket and wore a sweatshirt. Problem solved. I’ve also never been able to fall asleep at a desk, which is good if I want to be productive. 9/10.

V: Completely varies. The guys next door enjoy playing loud music (on Monday night, they were screaming California Girls among other songs). Of course, suitemates make noise, too, but if asked, they are more than happy to be quiet. At this point, I think that I’ve just tuned out the guys next door. 7/10.

AP: It’s my dorm. And it faces the airport. I have a full suite, and I love my suitemates, so they can kind of get me off-topic. But again, if I ask, they’re more than happy to quiet down and not be super distracting. 7/10

PtF: Again, it’s my dorm. There’s always food somewhere… and I have a snack bin literally right behind me. 10/10.

TOTAL SCORE: 33/40
Best for studying: Overall, in my opinion.

SPOT TWO: The Study Rooms in New Res 2

ERAU has study rooms that just opened on each floor of New Residence Hall 2. These are separate from the common area and face the airport. They can hold 2 people (COVID restrictions) and have a whiteboard, TV, several chairs, and tables.

C: Comfortable, depending on what type of chair you sit in. The soft plush chairs are obviously more comfortable than the hard wood and metal ones. Also, it’s weirdly cold sometimes but it’s also been hot before. Total toss-up. 7/10

V: Pretty quiet, except for the sound of the air conditioner if you’re studying when it’s cold. If there’s another person in there with you, then that’s obviously going to add some noise. 7/10

AP: It’s a study room, so intuitively, I feel more inclined to actually do work and not take frequent TikTok breaks. 8/10.

PtF: Only if you bring it. But it’s allowed in here. 8/10.

TOTAL SCORE: 30/40
Best for studying: With a friend, especially if you need help from them.

SPOT THREE: The Main Areas of the Student Union

I don’t know exactly how many times I’ve used this picture, but I’m using it again. This part of the post is dedicated to the common space in the student union, not the library or study rooms.

C: Comfortable. The chairs in the student union are pretty soft, but the ones on the half-circle overlooking the main entrance are kind of weird (in my opinion). Choose your spot wisely. 7/10.

V: It’s the Student Union. If you’re there during the day, it’s pretty loud. There’s usually music playing in the background, and you can usually hear other people talking. Not quiet at all during the day, but it’s better at night. However, there is always a chance that the radio station, WIKD, will play music… 5/10.

AP: I never really get much work done, mainly because someone will pass me and I’ll say hello. And then I’ll get distracted… whoops. But if you’re really dedicated and alone at night, you can get stuff done. 3/10.

PtF: It’s the Student Union. Depending on what part you study in, you might be steps away from food. You’re also allowed to have it and take your mask off to eat (as long as you’re actively eating). And if you want, you can study in Starbucks. 9/10.

Overall Score: 24/40.
Best for studying: When you want to study, but don’t reeeeeeeally want to study.

SPOT FOUR: Student Union Study Rooms

The student union also has several study rooms available to students. These rooms can be reserved online, but sometimes, they’re empty and people will just sit in them. However, it’s good to make a reservation to ensure that you have the spot. They’re very similar to the study rooms in New Residence Hall 2; they have a whiteboard (right in the photo) and a TV that you can hook your laptop up to.

There are other study rooms on other floors, but I am in one of the first floor ones for the purpose of this post.

C: The chairs are nice; they’re vertically adjustable. I will say that the large table legs are kind of annoying if you want to be close to the table. The chair itself is pretty comfortable, though. 7/10.

V: It’s quieter than the main area of the student union, but the glass does little to provide noise absorption. There is always the possibility of someone tapping on the glass behind you, but the probability of that is very small. Again, WIKD might show up and play music. 6/10.

AP: Being in the study rooms, you’re not as likely to be focusing on the people around you and who passes by. The first floor study rooms are also slightly tucked away, so it’s less likely that people are going to say hi and distract you. 7/10.

PtF: Depending on what floor you’re on, and what side of the student union you choose, you could be really close to the campus Chick-fil-A. If you’re on the third floor, however, there are no dining locations up there, so you’ll have to walk back down. 9/10.

Overall Score: 29/40
Best for studying: With friends on non-urgent assignments.

SPOT FIVE: The Top of the AMS Building

The balcony of the Aviation Maintenance Science building is the only outside study spot that is going to be reviewed. It has an entrance on both the second and third floor and a staircase outside between the levels. The picture is from the top spot, where there are several tables.

C: Completely depends on the weather! If it’s hot out, then it’ll be hot. If it’s cold, then bring a jacket. It could also be raining. It’s outside, after all. The only chairs are the metal benches and tables as shown in the picture… or the ground. So, I’ll give it a 5/10.

V: Usually decently quiet. ERAU conducts flight training and activities on every day of the week, so you’re likely to hear one of our Cessnas or Diamonds taking off, landing, or flying overhead. There are also several other flight schools in the area, so there’ll be some activity. Occasionally, a big ol’ jet will come by and you’ll get to hear the roar of the engines. But overall, pretty quiet. 7/10.

AP: Extremely subjective! If you get easily distracted by planes… you won’t get much work done. But if you’re only interested in big jets, then you’ll be fine. Personally, I find the bigger jets more interesting than the Cessnas and Diamonds, and those don’t take off too much. But then again, sometimes I’ll get distracted and watch the Cessnas take off and land. So… 7/10.

PtF: You’re not near anything that you can buy, but you’re more than welcome to bring it. 7/10.

Overall Score: 26/40.
Best for studying: When you need motivation for your ‘Design a Whole Airplane’ project. Also good for non-plane-lovers to study on nice, sunny days.

SPOT SIX: The A²  Tutoring Lab

The A² tutoring lab is a great place to be (in my opinion). It’s free tutoring in various undergraduate classes that you’ll most likely encounter. ERAU pays students to tutor other students, and when it’s open, there will always be tutors to help you out. And

C: The chairs are nice. What I also love about A² is the dry-erase tables and free markers, so you don’t have to use a bunch of paper trying to do ONE problem. (Some of these integrals get very long.) However, if you’re socially anxious, the lab is located on the first floor of the College of Arts and Sciences, so you can see people who walk by. 8/10.

V: This is a tutoring lab, so it’s pretty quiet. Due to COVID-19, they also offer online tutoring, and sometimes one of the tutors will be talking to someone in the background. However, it’s easy to get help from one of the tutors and tune everything else out. 8/10.

AP: Again. This is a tutoring lab. They are literally there to help you study and keep you on task. 10/10.

PtF: There is no food in the COAS, and while the student union is nearby, you’re not supposed to have food in there, unfortunately. You can, however, keep water. 2/10.

Overall Score: 28/40.
Best for studying: Whenever you need help or to actually get work done.

So, as you may be able to tell, there are plenty of spots to study for your classes here at ERAU. Personally, my favorite is my dorm, but you might have a different one- which is totally fine! Everyone has their own preferences on where to study.

See you in the next post… or hopefully at Riddle someday!

Daily Life & Extraneous Happenings

Happy February everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida and now that I’m back in the groove I would like to share with you a day in the life of an Aerospace Engineering student in Air Force ROTC who works as a Resident Advisor (RA), along with multiple other campus involvements! 

To begin, in AFROTC this semester we have one In-Person physical training (PT) a week, and one “virtual” at home workout PT, in addition to one In-Person Leadership Laboratory (LLAB). If I have either PT or LLAB, I typically wake up around 0500 via an alarm on my phone, sometimes multiple alarms especially if I was up late doing homework. I usually start my day extremely thirsty so when I first wake up I make water, coffee, tea, and a vitamin C drink from a powder I have (I know this might sound like a lot, but I love beverages). Then I do 10-15 minutes of yoga, eat some oatmeal and take my vitamins, and head to ROTC around 0620. After ROTC I typically return to my room between 0800 and 0900 and shower and make second breakfast, which is sometimes more oatmeal, coffee, and fruit if a have it (sometimes oatmeal is subbed with a muffin from the Cadet Lounge).

Then I prep for my day! On my busiest days I have in-person Airplane Stability and Control, Preparation for Active Duty Air Force class, online Aerospace Structures II, in-person SGA Student Court office hours, Space Mechanics, and my bi-weekly 1:1 with my RA supervisor (the Residence Life Coordinator of the residence hall I live in). This week my other obligations include my Returning RA Interview session, a 1:1 with my APAS (Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies) to go over my academic course plan up to graduation, Student Court Hearing Sessions, RA staff meetings, RA duty, workouts, office hours with my professors to ask questions about homework assignments, and my first Community Hangout of the semester – I’m teaming up with my RA hall partner to do a virtual Paint night!

In my free time when I’m not working out I’m probably playing virtual chess with my friends, strategizing Blokus games, or sleeping!

My first 2-Person Blokus game!

My usual schedule typically includes homework, quiz prep, and studying for upcoming tests. Also, I recently joined ERAU’s Surf Club which I’m very excited about. I went surfing for the first time since I’ve been back in Florida over the weekend at Ponce Inlet and it was so much fun! Going to the beach recently was the first time I’ve worn a wetsuit because the water was cold and I had a blast.

The beach when I went surfing with Surf Club!

As I get back to doing homework, I look forward to blogging again soon, keep on keeping on folks, stay safe!

Everything I Did Since Coming Back From The Break

Not like “everything” everything, but these were some major events.

As of January 20, classes are back in session here at Embry-Riddle. I got here a few days before they started, arriving at KDAB at 10 PM. And just to give you a little insight as to what Riddle students do, here are a few major things that I did.

Missed my parents. Yeah, Fall 2020 Carly would also be confused. It’s college, right? You’ve got the freedom to do whatever you want (within reason) whenever you want. Are you going to quietly eat ramen at 3 AM in your dorm while procrastinating your classwork? That’s not a great idea, but nobody is stopping you.

Aaaaaand let my parents ship me an emotional support stuffed cat that looks like my real-life cat. He came vacuum sealed, so I ended up having to throw him in the dryer for a few minutes. Don’t you see the resemblance?

Lost my AirPods Pro on Wednesday, and got one back on Friday. I’d lost them in the Walmart on Wednesday. One of my friends took our friend group to Walmart, and I somehow lost them separately. So, I searched all over campus and called the Walmart, where an associate had found a single AirPod Pro. So now I have one AirPod Pro, the case, and a reluctance to buy a replacement since they’re expensive.

Had a friend take this picture, because I thought it was funny. Ironically, this picture was taken before I had lost my AirPods. I have four classes back-to-back on Wednesday, and this was my mood after the fourth.

Yes, I got some stares, but the picture is funny.

Attended Fire Friday. Fire Friday is a tradition that started last semester, and it continues this semester. It’s run by a different person, but the premise is the same: on Friday nights, people host a bonfire in the fire pit between New Residence Halls 1 and 2. Anyone can attend, and sometimes there will be free sodas or food.

This Fire Friday was the first one since last semester, but it was still pretty crazy. A bunch of people brought their longboards- including two guys who brought electric longboards and let other people try to ride them. I tried, but I think I’ll stick to leg-powered longboards.

Yesssss!

Tried to look super cool standing on a longboard. You can be the judge of the coolness factor.

Yes, this was on Fire Friday!

And yes, I attended class (and got homework). This is college after all…

Either way, it’s been good to be back at Embry-Riddle. It’s a drastic change from Kentucky weather. I can wear a T-shirt here and be outside for longer than five minutes. I like my classes so far, and I’m excited to see what this semester has in store for me.

See you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle someday!

Spring & Back in the Swing of Things

Happy January everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida. First week of Spring 2021 semester down, and it’s definitely been an adjustment getting back into the swing of things. At this point, this is the start of my 8th semester, not including summer classes, and you would think it gets easier as time goes on, but it still takes me a little time to get back in the flow of things. I find that I enjoy my breaks so much that returning sometimes is a little difficult, as I’m sure a lot students find coming back from the leisure and comfort of a relaxing break.

Hiking in VA while I was home in December!

That being said, in order to thoroughly enjoy resting I work hard to get to the end of each semester, so it’s well earned and thoroughly enjoyed, although short lived. The next 3.5 months of Spring semester will surely fly by quickly, full of busy schedules, challenges, and (unfortunately) no Spring Break. As the weather gets warmer hopefully I’ll get some free time to get outside and relax as I got to do while home in Virginia!

My favorite things about Spring semester in Florida are outdoor workouts, $5.00 smoothie day (typically post-run) at Smoothie King on Fridays, and the beach. I also enjoy being back at school because I listen to a lot of new music. I like to listen to music on Spotify (where it’s only $5.00 a month for Hulu + Spotify for students!!) while I do homework, study, and answer emails/GroupMe messages. I also enjoy checking out suggested new songs while on walks and during workouts, which helps me look forward to the things I would typically enjoy a little more, which is always extra exciting!

Spending downtime outside over break!

I thoroughly enjoy doing YogaWithAdriene videos on Youtube in the mornings too. I had a morning Yoga routine all Fall semester and getting back into a new school routine for Spring is always nice. I recently tried out the GetBendy program with ElleFitActive that is basically a yoga incorporated stretch routine which is perfect for the mornings, nights, and before or after workouts. Super important tips for getting through the Spring semester, especially when the weather starts to warm up, are staying hydrated, stretching in between workouts, and getting enough sleep!

Sometimes being back at school (especially with online classes) can be monotonous and adding little bits of variation and fun/happy moments to break up your days are extremely beneficial! If you can fit in a quick walk around campus in between classes, a short yoga or workout video on YouTube, or even a healthy snack or an afternoon tea/coffee pick-me-up, it might work wonders for an afternoon slump from staring at a computer all day. I hope you find creative and personalized ways to help you get through a semi-to-fully virtual semester! I will be reporting back shortly with some tips and tricks that I’ll be trying out over the next few weeks to combat the health slumps that usually accompany the stress each semester brings. Keep on keeping on folks, stay healthy, will get back to y’all soon!

Final Stretch

This is my first blog of 2021 and (hopefully) my last semester at ERAU. After another restful winter break, we are green light for spring 2021 semester in beautiful Floridian winter. I was asked to quarantine myself due to my recent international travel, so I’m writing this blog from my room, not being able to attend my first day of class in person. It still hasn’t hit me yet that this will be my last semester as a college student, but I’m already looking forward to May.

I got to spend a lot of time with my family and close family friends during my time back home. It was a frigid winter and I got to enjoy some heavy snowfalls. My country was trying to contain the spread of the virus, so many places were still on lockdown and I was forced to spend most of my time at home or with close family members.

I’ve written about traveling during a pandemic in my earlier blog, but once again, flying back to Florida for the spring semester has never been this easy. I enjoy having less passengers at the airport and on my flights, so I cannot complain about keeping my mask on for 14 hours straight when I can have the whole row to myself.

I had a lot of time to reflect on my past college experience and how far I’ve come not only as a person, but also as a pilot. Four years have gone by relatively quickly and there were many high and low moments to say the least. It is a daunting task to now start thinking about post-grad and planning for my future career, but I am happy to soon close out this chapter of my life.

For my spring semester, I am taking a flight course, two aviation classes for my major and three international courses for my minor. I am taking my last flight course here at Riddle which is for the multi-engine rating on our Diamonds. I will be taking my capstone (graduating senior project) class on airline operations, and the pilot interview technique class. I am taking three electives for international relations which will include US-Asia relations, globalization and Middle-East current affairs.

I’m excited for my last semester (even though the current plan is to have all my classes in person…) and hopefully I can be walking across the stage in May (if this pandemic can be contained). It surely is an interesting period to be a graduating senior when there is a global pandemic, but we have to keep pushing forward. Happy inauguration day!

Spring Semester & School Supplies

Happy 2021 everyone! I am currently blogging from my hometown of Norfolk, Virginia where I will soon depart to head back to Daytona Beach, Florida within the next couple days to prep for Spring semester!

My favorite game of the holiday season de-stressing before returning to the ebb and flow of everyday life at school was hands down, Blokus! I like Blokus because it requires enough thinking to be considered tactical, but is also full of colors and shapes and fun, so it’s a great stress relieving, mind stimulating game!

Results of a family Blokus game!

A new semester always brings new responsibilities and different obligations, but some things stay the same that I like to call the bare necessities for back-to-school survival. Whether your classes are purely online, hybrid, or fully in person I suggest having these top three item power tools along with you. BONUS: if you procrastinate, as I sometimes find myself doing when prepping for a new semester, these items are all available at the ERAU bookstore on campus too.

Item 1: A planner/calendar! I use my Outlook Ernie email multiple times every day and being able to sync my Outlook calendar with my personal Apple calendar is essential! Now, if you prefer pen and paper I recommend taking some time at the beginning of the semester to write down all your deadlines and due dates. Pro tip: use one color/class so deadlines never get too confusing!

Item 2 (which compliments item 1 very well): Colored pens/highlighters! As a college student, whether your major is Aerospace Engineering or Aviation Business, you will probably find yourself (at some point sooner rather than later) taking notes in a classroom or virtual lesson setting. Organized notes are the key to academic success! Especially when looking back over your older lessons during finals prep at the end of the semester. You may even need your class info for future semesters and having an easily navigable notebook (or iPad virtual note folder) is the way to go.

Item 3: Paper! Engineering paper, lined paper, index cards, and my favorite and preferred paper – the blank white printer paper variety, will be your go-to all semester, so make sure you stock up! I use printer paper for homework assignments, making study guides, preparing formula sheets for quizzes/tests, and for scratch paper when trying to further understand/apply concepts. Get enough paper to last you…trust me on this one, you’ll use more than you think!

A visual of how we all plan to attack 2021, via my sister’s puppy playing with a holiday candy cane colored toy.

I hope you stock up on all your calendar, pen, and paper needs for school this semester, the ERAU bookstore is fully stocked and is a life saver for last minute needs. Sending productive and positive vibes! Keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon folks!

Home & Holidays

Happy December everyone! I’m currently blogging from Norfolk, Virginia. I’m home for the holidays and enjoying the rest and relaxation that comes along with it. I’ve spent the past couple days enjoying spending time with family, eating good food, watching the newest season of the Mandalorian on Disney +, going to Hot Yoga, and sleeping!

One of my favorite parts about being home for the holidays is spending time with family, including this Christmas pup!

I finished out the semester strong and I’m mentally preparing to take on spring classes and looking forward to summer plans! I’m currently applying to a few backup study abroad programs focused on language studies for my Arabic maintenance and improvement. Since this summer will be the last before I graduate and commission from Air Force ROTC into Active Duty Air Force, this will be my last chance to study abroad.

COVID-19 rules and regulations are paramount when considering any study abroad options and opportunities, but it can never hurt to keep your options open and apply to what interests you! I like options, so having a main plan and a few backup plans is my typical style. Since global and local conditions are ever-changing it’s hard to predict if I will actually be able to travel this summer, but if I am I will be!

I recently spent some time fishing with my dad for rockfish and it was so much fun! We left at about 3:00 am, drove 2 hours north to the dock, and stayed out on a charter boat until about 3pm with fresh fish! A very fun experience.

Fishing with my dad!

In preparation for Spring semester, I’m resting up and enjoying the break. Time to decompress is extremely important and while I am still doing some behind the scenes work for ROTC and Student Court on the break, I am definitely taking time to catch up on rest too. Keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon!

End of Semester & Future Prep

Happy December everyone! I’m currently blogging from my Norfolk, VA, post online finals and although final grade reports haven’t been submitted yet, the semester should be completely at a close within a few days!

Let’s talk about how to balance relaxing over break and staying productive by prepping for the future! If you haven’t signed up for Spring classes make sure to do so as soon as possible to ensure you get slots in all the classes you need. If you are unable to get a slot in a full class, or are unsure what classes to sign up for, reach out to your academic advisor for help!

Unwinding over the break with my sister’s festive puppy in a winter sweater!

You can find your academic advisor’s contact information by going to the Ernie homepage, logging in with your ERAU credentials and Two Factor Duo Identification via the mobile app, clicking on Campus Solutions Student Homepage (CSSH), then on the Academic Advising tab on the far left once you get to Campus Solutions. The first page that loads should be the Advisors tab, where it lists the name, email, and phone number for your Academic Advisor that can help you with schedule planning and getting into the classes and class sections that you need.

While breaks are a great time to relax and unwind, they’re also a great opportunity to think ahead, prep for the future, and apply for scholarships and summer programs such as internships, study abroad opportunities, co-ops, or summer jobs! Start thinking ahead and prepping for the future as soon as possible to stay one step ahead for your future plans.

My sister’s festive pup enjoying a Puppuccino from Starbucks before a trip to the dog park!

I recently heard back that I received a Gilman Scholarship to help fund a study abroad opportunity this summer to continue studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan. While everything is still currently up in the air due to COVID-19 having global impacts, I am using the Winter break to create some plans and backup plans for the summer. I am applying to study abroad opportunities from Project GO for the domestic and abroad language learning programs, and through language learning opportunities with CIEE, the Council On International Educational Exchange. I have found that while I am working towards a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, my minor of Arabic Studies is my true passion, one which I look forward to fostering throughout my summer studies and in my future career post AFROTC!

Will report back soon folks! Enjoy break, stay grinding, and keep on keeping on!