I figured that would be the best place to start. The beginning, that is. My name is Katherine Stroh and however you happened to stumble upon my blog, thanks for being here.
My probably not-so-humble beginnings were in a suburb of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where I was introduced to this crazy thing we call the world in January of 1998. I can’t remember when I first fell in love with it, but as far as I know the world and all of its wonders have always fascinated me. I grew up constantly seeking to learn new things about new places and to cram as many facts as I could possibly fit into my head. When I was younger, reading was one of my favorite things to do (and it honestly still is). It allowed me to transport myself to so many places that I knew I could never actually see, and I spent countless hours living vicariously through the experiences and travels of other people.
I am, as of Fall 2016, a first year student at the University of Oklahoma and thanks to this wonderful group called the Global Engagement Fellowship, I no longer only get to travel through books or other people’s vacation photos. For a kid from Middle of Nowhere, Oklahoma who has never been out of the country unless you count Alaska (which, if we’re being honest, could technically be it’s own entity; it definitely does not have the same vibe as the contiguous U.S.), GEF is pretty close to heaven on Earth. Through the fellowship I have the opportunity to take two trips abroad to virtually anywhere I want to go with a scholarship divided into a semester or year-long trip and a summer excursion. And the only real stipulations are this little blog, some campus involvement, a course called Understanding the Global Community, and good grades. What a deal, right? For me, the only problem is the fact that I have to limit myself to just two places to study abroad. I want to experience the entire world- visit every country, taste food from every region, be multilingual (I’m talking like 5 to 7 languages here), meet people with different cultures and beliefs and languages and life stories, to see things and do things and go places and learn something new from each person I meet- and that’s hard with only two trips. But two is definitely greater than zero, and I’ll gladly take the opportunity that I’ve been given for the present and then see where the future takes me (and hopefully it takes me abroad).