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Study Abroad Alumna: Laura Baggs

I took advantage of two study abroad trips during my undergrad at Ohio State. One was Literary Locations: American Expatriate Writers in Paris (spring 2006). The other was the English Literature Program at University of Greenwich (summer 2007), for which I received a scholarship through the College of Arts and Sciences Study Abroad Fund.

Studying abroad during my time at Ohio State was a huge part of how and why I decided to go to grad school in England. At the end of this summer I'll be returning to America after completing an MFA in Theatre Practice: Staging Shakespeare at the University of Exeter, as well as an MA in Performance Research from the University of Bristol (2011). As part of the MFA, we do a course at the Globe where we perform on the stage. The first time I went to the Globe was during my summer study abroad at the University of Greenwich through Ohio State's Department of English in 2007. From groundling to player, thanks to studying abroad!

But studying abroad wasn't (and hasn't been) just about the academic side of things. My personal life has been deeply enriched from the experience. In fact, I would argue that what I've gained in my personal life has been a bigger payoff than the academic side of things. What you learn about yourself and the world at large is so important to gaining a balanced worldview. There are great things about England and the lifestyle of the English that I'll be bringing back to America when I return (like reliance on public transport, the mentality that a cup of tea will fix everything and a true appreciation for ever-rare sunshine).

Also, in the first year of my MFA I met my boyfriend, who happened to get his undergrad from that school up north. Somehow there's brilliant poetic justice in the fact that I went all the way to England in order to meet the love of my life, only to find out that he's a Michigan Wolverine! Of course, we agree our romance could have never started if we met in America …

I'm not sure if I ever would have made it abroad if not for Ohio State. So much of my decision to go to graduate school in England came out of my experience studying in England in 2007.

— Laura Baggs, '08, BA Theatre, English Literature