This blog was written by Chris Kelly, associate vice president for university marketing and communication. You can follow him on Twitter at @Grillaguy1.
As I look back upon my time as an undergraduate student at Pittsburg State, I can’t help but have a few regrets.
For example, I regret not paying more attention in astronomy. Because of my lack of effort, I not only hurt my GPA but I also denied myself a better understanding of a pretty amazing field of science. (Although to be fair, it was a late afternoon class.)
I should have taken time to play Frisbee on the Oval. (Part of me still thinks this should be a mandatory activity for undergrads.)
And finally, I really wish I would have taken advantage of spring break to go somewhere … anywhere … and experience something new.
During my time as an undergraduate, spring break was generally viewed as a week-long vacation, preferable spent at the nearest beach or ocean.
Students today, however, are just as likely to use this special time to take part in a service project, internship or study abroad program.
Want an example? Take the story of Matt Deters. Matt is a senior who happens to be a double major in engineering technology.
He is spending his spring break as a quality control manager for Case New Holland in Sorocaba, Brazil.
Now, Matt didn’t just pick up the phone one day and say, “Hey, I want to go to Brazil.”
He worked pretty hard for the opportunity.
“I had an eight-month internship with CNH that ended last year,” said Deters. “Then, in early March, I got a call from them saying that their Brazil plant needed more help with quality control. It sounded like a great opportunity, so I took it.”
Matt isn’t alone in his desire to use Spring Break for more than a week of relaxation.
As I write this, we have faculty in Paraguay, a student group in the UK and countless individual students spending their spring break in locations throughout the world.
These types of experiences are both fun and educational. They broaden your base of knowledge and make you more likely to successfully function in today’s global marketplace.
It’s why Pittsburg State University encourages its students to take part in its Study Abroad program and offers an International Knowledge and Experience certificate.
Both of these programs are becoming more popular with our students. In fact, last year 127 PSU students studied abroad and 23 completed the requirements for an IKE certificate.
Spring Break certainly is changing, and I think it’s for the better.