Behrend Students' Study Abroad Testimonials

Behrend Students' Study Abroad Testimonials

Madison Start

MADISON MARIE START, BCBUS

Embedded Program, Italy
 

My time in Italy was easily the best week or so of my life! I learned so much while traveling—way more than I have ever learned in school. To experience a culture first-hand was absolutely incredible. Being able to see all of the amazing churches that Rome has to offer along with the museums and the different buildings and monuments was so surreal. If I could, I would go back and do it all again. The trip truly changed my outlook on life. Growing up in the United States, I could never understand why someone would not want to live here, but after traveling and seeing what Rome has to offer, I can easily understand why not everyone wants to live here.

If you are a student and are hesitant on whether you should go on a trip, do it! You will not regret it. It was the best money I have ever spent and I know I will never forget what I saw, learned, and experienced.

 


Aruna Venkataraman

ARUNA M. VENKATARAMAN, International Business

University of Sussex, Brighton, England
 

Were you nervous about going, and if so, how did you get over your fear?

Initially, it is a very different experience when traveling alone. When studying abroad in Brighton, UK, the first fear I had was if I would make it there successfully without getting lost. Once I got past that fear, I dealt with the normal culture shock and eventually adapted to the environment. Studying abroad is a very memorable experience!

 


JAIMIE MARIE LUNGER, Accounting

Dublin, Ireland
 

Were you nervous about going, and if so, how did you get over your fear?

I was pretty nervous about going, but it was mostly getting all my finances together and getting everything to line up perfectly. The scholarship that was offered by Behrend helped tremendously! Definitely take the time to fill out scholarship applications. As for the actual traveling part, it was fun and everyone was in the same situation, so we all kind of felt a few pre-game jitters.

If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?

Studying abroad was awesome. I went with only students from the University Park campus and I've made some lasting friends who I have visited frequently. 

How have you used the skills you learned abroad now that you are back; either in job searching, or in other activities?

The skills I've learned have helped me communicate better and also realize that there are some creative, amazing minds out in the world!

Attending an art class while traveling to Ireland definitely taught me a lot about myself. I didn't even think I really appreciated it as much as I thought but it was truly amazing how much emotion and pride that artists in Ireland take, even if the entire world doesn't know them.

 


Hayden Weaver

HAYDEN WEAVER, International Business

Marburg, Germany
 

My semester abroad allowed me to live and explore on my own and with many new lifelong friends from all over the world. I can honestly say it was my best semester of school and helped me shape my future professional career after college.

 


 

Kristin Owens

KRISTIN T. OWENS, BCBUS

University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
 

Were you nervous about going, and if so, how did you get over your fear?

I was nervous about going, I don’t think I really overcame my fear until I got to Ireland and realized that everyone (all the international students) was in the same boat I was. I think I figured I wasn’t the only one that boarded a plane by myself and went to a new country; everyone that I lived with was an international student, so we all helped each other throughout the semester.

If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?

It’s a great learning experience, you are there to go to class and study, but you learn a lot more from the experiences that you have while abroad.

How have you used the skills you learned abroad now that you are back; either in job searching, or in other activities?

I have used the skills I’ve learned abroad to make connections to find internships abroad. I’ve also learned to look at things with a new perspective. 

 


John Moy

JOHN MOY, International Business

Shanghai, China — Spring 2015
 

Were you nervous about going, and if so, how did you get over your fear?

I was extremely nervous and was constantly thinking, “Just get this over with.” Once I was there, it took a few days to get over the homesickness and jet lag, but I instantly began loving it there. The people that ran the program knew what they were doing and all the other people in the program were great. I would do it again tomorrow if I could. The best way to get over your fear of traveling abroad is to not only realize how great of an opportunity it is, but also, when you get there, it helps to immerse yourself in the culture. Don’t go eat at the McDonalds, go find a small, family-owned place and eat the food of that country. You’ll appreciate it more, learn the language in ways you can’t in a classroom, and find good food!

If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?

If I could give one reason, it would be how much it opens your eyes and changes the way you look at everything. You see your country and the other countries of the world through a different perspective. Staying in a country for a week might not do this, but when you immerse yourself in another country’s culture for months, you change. It helps you grow up and see things from a macro point of view. Not to mention you’ll do life-changing things that not many other people can say they’ve done.

How have you used the skills you learned abroad now that you are back; either in job searching, or in other activities?

The number one thing that interviewers ask me about is my study-abroad experience in China. I got an internship the summer I came back and the person that hired me said I beat out 35 candidates and the big reason was because I had international experience. It's different and it will help differentiate yourself from the thousands of other college grads hunting for jobs.

Share a particular story of an experience where you interacted from someone in your host culture in a way that taught you something about yourself, your host country, or the world in general. Describe the experience and what you learned.

One day that will always stay with me was the day that I traveled outside of Beijing for a weekend to go sight-seeing. In order to get to the part of the Great Wall that I wanted to visit, I had to take two buses, a taxi, and then walk 40 minutes just to get to the Wall. The whole time, I had to communicate in Chinese who I was and where I was going. Your language skills are really tested when you are in the Chinese mountains and don’t know how to get where you want to go. After visiting the Wall, I found that I missed the last bus back to Beijing. I had to negotiate, fully in Mandarin, with a cab driver to drive me to the nearest metro station, which was about 2 hours away. While driving there, I talked to him about China and about its relationship with America. He was pleased with me because I was the first foreigner he had driven that knew how to speak Mandarin. This day will always represent why I love study abroad and why I would love to go back.

Anything else you would like to share?

The pricing is very reasonable and the estimates that the school and the program give you are accurate.

 


 

BLACK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS STUDENTS VISIT CUBAStudents in Cuba

Cuba will be a hotbed of activity, both politically and economically, over the next few years. Three Black School of Business students—Alex Colletti, Alexa Haverly, and LaTisha Perry,—have prepared themselves to be part of the global marketplace by visiting Cuba this spring as part of an embedded course

While in Cuba, they attended lectures from Cuban scholars on topics such as Jose Marti, Cuban musical rhythms, and U.S. and Cuban relations. They also visited many cultural sites. Although they had prepared themselves for cultural differences, they were still surprised by how different things were on this neighboring island.

“It was an honor to be among the first U.S. citizens who have been allowed to visit Cuba and we will all be interested in the changes that occur in Cuba now that the U.S. embargo on Cuba is being lifted,” said student Alexa Haverly.