It almost seems silly that I would write a blog post on what’s wrong with the idea of studying abroad when I’m doing just that at this time. However, it’s important to challenge the decisions that we make and truly understand why we decide to do things like studying abroad for a period of time.
Over the last couple of years, I have consistently been asked these two questions: “why this major?” and “what do you plan to do with it in the future?” I then respond with an, “I’m not sure yet… still trying to figure it out,” knowing that my answer wasn’t satisfying to both the person asking and to myself.
If there were two words to accurately convey the thoughts running through my mind now, it would be these: cold feet.
For those of you that don’t know, I will be departing for Quito, Ecuador tomorrow, where I will be studying Spanish, intercultural communication, and other various subjects for the duration of the fall semester. This program entails the exploration of the highest capital city in the world (Quito sits at almost 10,000 ft elevation), the Amazon jungle, the Galápagos Islands, among other extraordinary locations. I will be living with 19 other students from other universities across the country, staying in both apartments and home-stays.
APU has agreed to allow only faculty to use its recently purchased 12 homes in Rosedale after significant protests from the community against using the homes as alternate housing options for students.
APU originally purchased the town homes this year due to their value, proximity to campus and potential to house faculty, staff, graduate students, visiting scholars and ministers as well as some undergraduate students, according to Mark Dickerson, APU’s senior vice president and general counsel.
But Rosedale residents spoke out and created a petition in June against APU students occupying the homes because of complaints based primarily on the actions of students who do not live in school-owned homes, Dickerson said. Other common complaints are about APU students who do not live in Rosedale but use the community’s swimming pools and other facilities.
Bowing to the pressure from Rosedale residents, APU has agreed to allow only its faculty, not students, to use the units, and also to rent to other families unaffiliated with APU.Rosedale is not zoned for commercial use, so APU is not allowed to only rent to its own faculty and students. The school has also agreed not to offer new leases to students who currently occupy the homes.
ManLin-Kitty Huang, a Rosedale resident, expressed last year in an online thread between Rosedale residents her concerns over the prospect of potential university housing in Rosedale. The thread discussed the idea of creating a petition to not allow APU to use the Rosedale homes as a dorm option.
“Just to clarify, I am sorry if I offend APU alumni,” Huang wrote. “I don’t have problems with APU. … I am concerned because home owners signed the paper that the owner cannot transfer and/or rent the house after moving in the first year.”
However, not all Rosedale residents think the possibility of APU students living in their community is negative.
The complaints that have been reported are not valid enough to altogether reject Azusa Pacific students from the community, said senior business marketing major Katherine Barton, a Rosedale resident.
“I think APU and Rosedale both benefit one another, and it has been a huge blessing getting to live in Rosedale,” Barton said. “It’s been great getting to know our neighbors and getting to love on them.”
Barton expressed her desire for the APU community in Rosedale to proceed on a positive note with the continuation of the already-existing barbeques and pool days.
Despite the fact that the university no longer can use these Rosedale homes as student housing because of the petition, it is important to APU that students remember to be respectful of neighboring communities in Azusa.
“Student Life has tried to remind students of the importance of being good neighbors and representing APU well,” Dickerson said.