Advice from SmithProfessional

Dear SmithProfessional,

I’m a rising junior and all of my friends are making plans to go abroad next year. For financial and academic reasons, I won’t be going abroad and now am worried that I’ll be missing out. How can I make the best out of my JY-Stay situation?

-Stuck at Smith

Hi there, Stuck!

While going abroad your junior year is an excellent experience, it’s important to remember that not going abroad doesn’t mean your college experience has to be any less cool or inspiring. Going abroad is all about expanding your horizons and immersing yourself in something new and different — which you can do right here at Smith. Here are some tips for making the most of your JY-Stay:

1. If it’s feasible, try a special studies project with your favorite professor. Think of something that fascinates you and find a way to pursue it on an individual basis. Meet with a professor who also loves the topic and can help you navigate a way to explore it. This way you can immerse yourself in something new and exciting academically without having to travel overseas.

2. Take a class outside of your major that you wouldn’t take normally. This is a great way to broaden your scope without going abroad. It allows you to go out of your comfort zone and learn something new without being at a new school. If you’re a history person, show up in an introductory biology class and try your best. If you’re a STEM person, try your hand at an introductory religion class. If you’re concerned about it impacting your GPA, consider taking the course pass/fail — it’ll be an awesome learning experience.

3. Join a new club! If you’re worried about missing your friends who are abroad, find a new way to engage with people on campus. Find out what people are doing at Smith and show up to club meetings and events. Break out of your existing friend group and find a way to meet new people without having to travel.

While study abroad is an awesome experience, staying at Smith can be just as fulfilling. Find ways to try new things and make your JY-Stay an enriching learning experience.

If you have any questions that you want answered, email Smith Professional at All questions will remain completely anonymous.

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