Student Testimonials

Check out recent Study Abroad alumni:






Alrick Russell

Name: Alrick Russell
Major: MBA
Abroad Country: Germany

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad?
I am incredibly satisfied with my decision to study abroad in Germany because the International Summer School 2016 program at the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule Südwestfalen) afforded me a unique opportunity. It was a life-long dream of mine to immerse myself in German culture, but to also get closely acquainted with iconic German companies, institutions, and landmarks. The marriage of comprehensive instruction in the classroom and exclusive access to operations in the corporate/industrial environment resulted in a robust experiential education program that formed a solid basis for my understanding of German life, culture, history, geography, education, government, economy, business, and finance.


Brayden Sorenson

Name: Brayden Sorenson
Major: Computer Science
Abroad Country: Denmark

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad? Studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark was an incredible, unforgettable experience. One reason I am glad I took the chance is because I made so many new friends. Moving to a new country is like pressing a “reset” button for your entire life. I remember feeling uncomfortable, lonely, and homesick at first. However, all of that changed when I met a dozen other exchange students at introduction day. Even though we were from vastly different places around the world, we were all going through the same emotions and experiences. This allowed us to form a special bond from the beginning. All of them were very willing to talk about life in their home countries, and they asked lots of questions about my own. By openly discussing our backgrounds, we learned a lot about each other, and ourselves. These new friendships helped me to grow immensely, and they even became my travel buddies for exploring other countries in Europe.


ALT

Name: Kazi Nosin Tabassum
Major: Architecture
Abroad Program: Italy

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad?
Taking the opportunity to study architecture abroad for a month in Italy was one of the best decisions of my life. When we had our first meeting, I was not 100% sure that I wanted to attend the trip. But as time passed, and I talked to professors and to previous students who had attended the trip, I became more at ease.

It is a dream for any person who likes art or architecture to visit Italy at least once in their lifetime! We covered so many places and learned so much material in such a short period of time. We were truly able to understand the history and significance of what we saw through our professors and by sketching. Not only were we exposed to a new language, culture, and customs, but we met many people as we traveled, including great architects and artists. We had so much fun getting to know each other and traveling to new places every day. It was an amazing experience! Learning as we traveled was a great way to gain knowledge.


Suhail Iqbal

Name: Suhail Iqbal
Major: Hospitality Management
Abroad Program: Semester at Sea Fall 2014 and Spring 2016

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad?
Studying abroad provided me with a hands-on learning experience that has opened new personal and career opportunities. I was given the chance to experience different styles of education and perspectives in my host country while engaging with individuals who I may have never crossed paths with otherwise. Unlike traditional education, studying abroad gave me the resources to spend a day in class learning about a certain topic and then, the next day, a chance to experience it firsthand. Some examples include learning about French diets and waking through markets with a French nutritionist and learning about apartheid from Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa.

What was a typical day like in your country?
I had the opportunity to participate on a Semester at Sea which took place aboard a cruise ship, also known as our “floating campus” where we attended classes while at sea traveling to our next port. Living on a ship provided a very unique and excellent learning atmosphere. My mornings usually started with me watching the sunrise at sea while enjoying breakfast outside on the deck before my 9am World Religions class, where we would discuss the religion and views of the next country we were scheduled to visit. After class, it was time for lunch. Meal times were some of my favorites, as they provided the opportunity to make new friends and have personal connections, unlike at home, where often people will be on their phones or in a rush. After lunch, it was time for my second class of the day, Gender and Society, where we discussed gender and social issues in our next port of call. Classes were usually small and students were able to develop close relationships with professors, as we all get to live together with them and their families on the ship. After class, I spent most of my time catching up on homework, reading outside with the ocean as my backdrop, or researching and planning my activities for the next country. As the evening went on, activities such as sunset yoga and dance club would start to begin. After dinner, it was time to head to the piano lounge to complete all homework or to the garden lounge to play some board games or watch a movie with my fellow shipmates. My nights usually ended with me at the snack bar, chatting with the crew members and learning about their lives; we had crew members from over 17 countries.


Matthew Acer

Name: Matthew Acer
Major: Architecture
Abroad Program: Spain and Portugal

What interests you most about your host country?
Living in New York City and being familiar with the urban fabric sparked an early interest for me about how cities in Spain could bear resemblance or contrast. Barcelona, dating back to Roman times, happens to be a great example of how a city of the past can be transformed into a city for the future. Barcelona imposed order and extension onto a previously created city grid to include areas on the outskirts of the old city. Visiting today, we can still see the city altering and changing, as the plan allows for future growth and development. I am fascinated by the possibility of using this city as a master plan for future cities to prosper under.

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad?
Experiencing real architecture for the first time made my trip worthwhile. You can spend your entire academic career reading, studying, and speculating what a place could be. It is only through a firsthand account that it can be possible to truly understand a place. Walking through and feeling a space helps you create a list of stored experiences that will aid in a future career. Going abroad is invaluable to students and young professionals that want to succeed in their future careers. I look forward to and plan to study abroad again in the years to come.


Jie Wang

Name: Jie Wang
Major: MBA
Abroad Program: India

What interests you most about your host country?
India has a large population, similar to China. Both of them are Asian, but India has a totally different cultural background than China. India has their own food, culture, business style and own government policy.  

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad?
I always think we only have one life. School gives us the opportunity to discover the world and our mission for life. I want to take this chance and get to know the world and the people who live in another country. I do not want to be a person who rejects people who have a different culture than me. Exposure to different cultures can help further my thinking and give me the chance to help people.


Maylan Studart

Name: Maylan Studart
Major: Communication Arts
Abroad Program: Germany

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad?
Going to Germany was a great decision, not only for my future career but also for personal life experience. I have studied and been fascinated by Germany since I started studying World War II subjects in my freshman year of college. I wanted to take advantage of this study abroad opportunity to learn about the German people and about the European Union. I had a long list of questions about Germany, how Europeans live, business relations, and politics. Our professors made the difference in the success of this program by showing patience and sharing their personal accounts of Europe, Germany, and America. There was not one question left unanswered from our group. Our professors taught us everything about German life, culture, cross-cultural communications, and understanding cultural barriers in business. I learned so much on this program, including skills I can use in my future career in communications.

What was a typical day like in your country?

A typical day in Germany was full of learning and exploring. After breakfast, we would walk to class at Fachhochschule Sudwestfalen and attend a lecture or go on a company tour. We would have a lunch break where we would get to know each other and learn about the different cultures in our group. For the company tours, we visited one of the world’s largest steel production plants in the world, ThyssenKrupp! Afterwards, we would have free time to have a typical German dinner in our traditional host city, Soest. It was nice to relax and talk to each other about so many different things that we experienced.


Mojgan Masuomi

Name: Mojgan Masuomi
Major: Communication Arts
Abroad Program: France

What interests you most about your host country?
France is all about history and culture, and that was exactly the reason for me to travel.

Walking long hours was the best option to explore Paris. Every part of this city gives the visitor a great understanding of the past and future. The culture has combined with the modern age to create a fascinating place. Paris has a fantastic way of showing its history through art museums and great architecture. All types of people with different tastes can enjoy and appreciate its beauty.

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad?
There were so many reasons why I decided to study abroad! Most importantly, I wanted the experience to learn about other countries and different languages. Also it is extremely important to travel to another country to help build your resume; it can lead to future career opportunities. Study abroad is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as well. It is the best way to make international friendships and gain a wider prospective.


Roxanne Tan

Name: Roxanne Tan
Major: MBA
Abroad Program: Germany

What interests you most about your host country?
Germany, the country of beer and schnitzels, was very intriguing. We first learned in class about their culture and how Germans tend not to smile and are always punctual. Smiling at strangers is not the norm in Germany. However, with my friendly personality, I tend to smile casually at anyone who comes across my way. I never did get any negativity or strange looks from them. Since we would have classroom meetings and company visits, we were notified ahead of time to be on time. If there was a student or two who came in late, we could tell how unimpressed our professor was by her facial expression. Also, Germans are very direct. In one of our classroom meetings, before introducing herself, one of our professors blatantly told everyone, “We Germans are punctual.”

Also, Germans do not like jaywalking. Here in New York City, many of us jaywalk to get to where we need to be. We normally don’t follow the rules when it comes to the red hand signal in the corner. A person can actually get a hefty fine when caught jaywalking in Germany. I was also surprised how they do not serve water or tap water when dining. Unlike in the States, we had to order our water, which can be more expensive than beers. In fact, one of the most interesting and entertaining parts of the trip was fighting for still water. During each break from our classes, we would all head to the cafeteria. Most of the water bottles they offer are sparkling, and those who wanted still water would shake every single water bottle to make sure it was not sparkling.

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad?
I did not get a chance to do study abroad during my undergraduate career. When I saw the advertisement offering it for graduate programs, I took advantage and am glad I did. Looking back, I met new friends and other interesting people. I even witnessed a marriage proposal in front of the Cologne Cathedral, a new love blossoming right before our student group. I am glad to have visited the companies, especially Warsteiner Brewery. It was interesting to compare companies that are running privately and publicly. The difference between the two can be huge, especially when compared to their values and mission.

Also, I am glad I got to experience the program with a group of people from different cultural backgrounds. The discussions we had during classroom meetings and workshops were very interesting. I see traveling as an educational experience as it opens up new possibilities. Personally, studying abroad is breaking out of our comfort zone and a challenge with uncommon experience which can strengthen values and beliefs. The short two weeks of studying abroad created lasting memories for me where I learned a lot.


Timothy Greening

Name: Timothy Greening
Major: Architecture
Abroad Program: Italy

Understanding another culture is an eye-opening, introspective, and enriching experience.

Timothy Greening

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad?
Studying abroad is a great experience for both academic and personal reasons. In addition to being able to better understand architectural concepts and timelines, understanding another culture is an eye-opening, introspective, and enriching experience. Seeing the material first-hand helps a person to grasp the theoretical and practical concepts on a much higher level. It is truly awe-inspiring and cannot be compared. Especially in a field like architecture, seeing and interacting with a space or building is more enlightening than finding that information in a book. I am glad that I was able to make observations for myself and also come to my own conclusions in analyzing the architecture. I am also thankful for the opportunity to be immersed in another culture, having lived there for over a month and travelling through several beautiful Italian cities and towns.

What was a typical day like in your country?
To start a typical day, the group would meet the professors or guest professors at around 8:00 am. Unlike many other programs that are lecture and classroom based, the focus of this program was to learn through exploration and visual examination, so after meeting we would begin our daily walk. Each walk would be focused on a specific topic or period of architecture. Walking around, we were able to observe the concepts and elements with our own eyes. We were able to see the development of these cities through time as if it were happening right in front of us and experience major spaces and structures nearly as they were when they were conceived. The “walks and talks,” as they were called, were directed by the professors and gave us a chance to sketch, document, and discuss important concepts, structures, connections, materials, elements, etc. This would last until the early afternoon, when we would have time to return to what we saw earlier in the day to continue sketching and documenting what we felt was important; we also completed required drawings for the course. In the late afternoon and evenings, we were free to continue exploring the city on our own and to take in the local element. Each day was a great adventure full of excitement, enlightenment, and awe.


Peter Izzo

Name: Peter Izzo
Major: Hospitality Management
Abroad Program: Italy

What interests you most about your host country?
My biggest interest while studying abroad in Florence was the culture. My father was born in Napoli (Naples), and being able to live only a train ride away from my relatives, and being so close to where my father spent a big part of his life, really meant a lot to me. The culture there was so warm and loving that I felt that I was at home. Everywhere I went, I got nothing but warm welcomes and sad faces when it was time to leave. The food was absolutely to die for, and once I got familiar with my area, I found the fresh market and visited it two or three times a week to see my regular butcher that knew me by name! This was an experience for me like no other: the butcher wanted to feed me nonstop, and I loved every second of it.

What makes you glad you decided to study abroad?
What made me glad that I decided to study abroad was the relationships I have established that I know will never disappear. I am still in frequent contact with my friends that live in Italy, and I talk with them a few times a week. In Florence, everywhere you go has significance, and by the second week all you can do is open up your eyes, heart, and mind, and embrace it. It is a feeling I have never felt in my life, and now that I am back, I search for it for time and time again.