Photo Highlights – Contest Winners

Each semester our study abroad participants are invited to submit their most impressive and impactful photos that encapsulate a unique experience abroad. The photos are judged within four different categories. The following are the Spring 2013 Winners, accompanied by excerpts from each student’s photo explanation!

Category – Marauders Abroad

“On Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge”
Antrim, Northern Ireland
Northern Hemisphere
Melanie Huth

“The photo was taken as I was crossing the Carrick-A-Rede, which is a rope bridge about 90 feet above water that basically connects a cliff to the mainland. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about crossing the bridge because I have a slight fear of heights, but the views on the bridge were totally worth it. The photo brings back wonderful memories of a great weekend in Northern Ireland, seeing absolutely breathtaking scenery, eating authentic Irish food, and enjoying time with friends abroad.”

“Where Else to Go”
Valpariso, Chile
Southern Hemisphere
Jacinta Sanchez

I named this photo “Where else to go?” Because that’s what the day was like for me. I was adventuring the Hermosa! (Beautiful) City of Valparaíso with a sweet friend of mine, Sage Narbonne, who is from North Carolina. She and I would take turns at taking photos for each other. This particular day was the first time she and I went alone to some of these back streets of the city! We stumbled upon colorful houses, inspiring murals and stray dogs. All while trying to keep our tourist status on a less obvious note.


Category – Marauders in Action

“Petting the ‘electric mower’ in Lochness”
Fort Augustus, Scotland
Northern Hemisphere
Melanie Huth

This picture was taken on a day trip to Lochness, in Scotland.  Our tour guide, Gary, got special permission to take us to a property in the area not open to the public.  The woman whose property we went to had the most gorgeous house right by the lake, with woods nearby.  She also owned three horses, but she did not refer to them as horses; she called them ‘electric mowers’ and said they cut the grass on her whole property.  Going to her place in Lochness was really special to me because it was different and not the typical area people go to see when they go to Lochness.  Plus, Lochness is one of those places you must go to at least once while you are in Scotland because everyone wants to know whether you have seen the “Lochness monster.”

“Top of the World Facing Our Fears”
Portillo Ski Resort, Chile
Southern Hemisphere
Jacinta Sanchez

This was photo taken on the Andes Mountains at the Chilean Ski resort in Portillo. It was medium alright…. This was a very unforgiving next level up from the baby beginner slopes, but we braved it!  This day was breathtakingly gorgeous and the nature of skiing opened my eyes to many life analogies, one I am willing to share is: nothing is TOO HARD FOR GOD! He made all of these mountains and so he can surely help me figure out my way in life! I will ALWAYS remember this day! There were points on that very slope I felt like I am absolutely NUTS for coming up here but I HAD TO make it down alive so I pretended to be brave.  A day to always remember.

Category – Landscapes & Landmarks

Schwangau, Germany
Northern Hemisphere
Theresa Selmer

I encountered this view of King Ludwig’s castle on purpose.  One of my traveling companions I had met earlier in the day heard that there were fantastic views of the castle from a bridge crossing a ravine.  We walked about ten minutes from the actual castle to the bridge and I was taken away by the beautiful views.  I had seen this view of the castle in travel documentaries and photos of Europe and Germany but seeing it in person was such an experience, one that I will never forget.  The view from this bridge is so great that you forget that this little metal bridge is all that stands between you and the rocky ravine below.   In fact, I tell everyone that coming here is something you should strive to see if the means and sense of adventure allows.

“This City is Beautiful”
Valparaiso, Chile
Southern Hemisphere
Jacinta Sanchez

“This City is Beautiful” was a curious walk I went on with my friend Sage. We wanted to go to parts of the city that were not mainstream so we headed a las Colinas (to the hills)! Here we found many small item grocery outlets in which to purchase Palta or avocado as we know it! This photo brings back some of the sweetest memories of my life thus far. The people of Chile are a special people that know what it means to deeply enjoy life through the things that really matter: family, friends, love.

Category – People and Culture

“Local Scottish Band”
Edinburgh, Scotland
Northern Hemisphere
Melanie Huth

I came across the local Scottish band after a long day in Edinburgh.  It was the first day I visited Edinburgh while in Scotland, and the bus tour I was on met near the National Gallery in Edinburgh at the end of the day.  The Scottish band was playing right next to there, so I listened to them before I left Edinburgh that day.  It was a really interesting experience to listen to an authentic band from Scotland, and they were actually really good.  I very much enjoyed listening to them, and I honestly wish I could have listened to them longer.  The photo brings back wonderful memories of experiencing my first day in Edinburgh, which happens to be my favorite city in Scotland, and listening to the band was a very good end to a very good first day there.

“Ready to Dance Hyuano”
Valpariso, Chile
Southern Hemisphere
Laura Brito

This picture is so special to me because the dance performance helped me wrap up my time in Chile and reminded me why I decided to study in Chile. The first day of orientation a group of Chilean students danced traditional dances for all the exchange students. Throughout the semester I took a course on these traditional dances and learn the history behind each. It was a class I will never forget because I have always loved dancing and the professor made me even more interested by showing me new dances. At the end of the semester the professor asked other students and me if we would like to perform for the Chilean students as a way of thanking them for their hospitality. I immediately said yes as I knew it would mean a lot to the Chilean students and faculty. I danced to two different dances, one being the national Chilean dance and wore the traditional outfits. After the performance I had Chilean students, faculty, staff, and even just guest at the university thanking me for embracing their culture that it really showed me how much it meant to them. Who knew that a simple performance would mean so much. Dancing for the university will always mean so much to me.



Number Crunch – 100%!

The Office of Global Education & Partnerships has been sending students around the world for many years, and we are proud to say that 100% of our participants would study/intern abroad again and recommend other students to study abroad as well. This is a sample of what recent participants commonly state about how meaningful a study abroad experience was for their undergraduate career at MU:

“The most rewarding aspect of studying abroad was definitely becoming fluent in a language that I have been studying since high school. I have also met so many friends from around the world that I will continue to stay in touch with. Making friends and learning the language were definitely the top rewarding aspects of my experience. Oh, and traveling the world!” – Justin Abell, Universite de Caen in Caen, France: Spring 2013

Justin Abell


This was a wonderful and life-changing experience and I am so glad I had the opportunity to do it! I can’t wait to go abroad again.” Melinda Hatt, Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Summer 2013

Melinda Hatt


“I enjoyed being part of the South African community the most. I thought getting to know the students on campus and traveling to their home towns was the most amazing part. I had the chance to explore the entire country and it was endlessly beautiful and full of surprises.”– Dillion Payne, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa: Spring 2013

Dillion Payne


“Studying abroad was the best experience of my life and I think it has had positive impacts on all aspects of my life. I would encourage every student to take the opportunity to study abroad. Meeting new people from around the world and having interesting and unique conversations with those people was probably my favorite part of my experience. Although studying abroad can be somewhat expensive, I like to tell people that I would spend 3x the amount that I spent to have the same exact experience, because the people you meet and the new and unique experiences you have are absolutely worth it.” -Kevin Koehn, University of the Sunshine Coast in Maroochydore, Australia: Spring 2013

Kevin Koehn


“I expected to go off to study abroad and come back with a feeling of how incredibly small my place in the world is, but it’s the exact opposite! I learned that people from all over the world can easily come together and collaborate on amazing things. The globe is indeed shrinking. It gave me the ambition to do so much more than just sit at home—I can’t wait to see where this takes my career.”-Kerri Milliken, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland: Spring 2013

Kerri Milliken

A Celebration of International Education

Attendees were invited to stick a pin on the world map, indicating where they have traveled.

What do a cultural dinner, exceptional faculty and staff, and a hands-on world map have in common? All of these things could be found at the 4th Annual Celebration of International Education at Millersville University on May 9, 2013. This annual event was hosted by The Office of Global Education & Partnerships and The International Studies Program. Among those in attendance were faculty and staff from the two aforementioned programs, international exchange students, scholarship donors and recipients, and past study abroad participants. Highlights of the evening included a humorous and insightful guest speaker, a ceremony to honor outstanding international student work, and an emotional farewell to the Director of Global Education and Partnerships, which made the evening one to remember.

Representative Jordan Harris

Guest speaker of the evening, the Honorable Jordan Harris (Millersville University ’06) gave an invigorating speech on the value of international education for undergraduate students. Representative Harris was elected to the State Legislature in Nov. 2012, representing the 186th Legislative District in Philadelphia, and he credits his success in large part to his experience at the London Metropolitan University as a study abroad student. Representative Harris claimed he “achieved the impossible” when he studied abroad, which gave him the confidence and motivation to push himself to achieve great things, such as becoming the youngest elected official in the House. Because of his experience, he encourages all young people to push their own international boundaries, which will challenge and benefit them in the future.

Dr. Kirsten Bookmiller

Later in the evening, Dr. Kirsten Bookmiller, Director of Global Education & Partnerships, spoke on her decision to step down as director and move on to other exciting, international education ventures. Having held the position of Director for 16 years, Dr. Bookmiller has impacted many students, faculty, and staff, and has been a driving force behind the study abroad programs at Millersville. Study abroad participation has increased significantly since she began, and the number of Millersville international partner programs has increased from three to eighteen partners. Dr. Timothy Shea, associate professor of English at Millersville, has joined the Global Education staff as the Director of the Office of Global Education and Partnerships . The Office of Global Education will miss Dr. Bookmiller dearly, but its staff is also excited about and looking forward to the positive energy this transition will bring!

In addition to Dr. Bookmiller, several other international faculty and staff members also moved on at the end of the Spring 2013 semester. Dr. Dominic Scott, Chair of the International Studies Curriculum Committee, is retiring from Millersville. Ms.Emma Weber, Program Coordinator at the Office of Global Education for 12 years, is moving on to pursue other ventures.

Several students were recognized for their exceptional dedication to international study. Dr. Robert Bookmiller, Director of the International Studies Program, and Dr. Scott inducted five students into the Gamma Phi chapter of Sigma Iota Rho, the International Honors Society of Millersville University. Dr. Kirsten Bookmiller and Dr. Shea recognized nine students as the 2013 Millersville University Global Education Ambassadors. The Global Education Ambassadors program was developed as a creative outlet for returned study abroad students who wanted to share their experiences and passion for the program.

In addition to these students, several select students were recognized as the 2013 Study Abroad Scholarship Recipients. These scholarships are made possible by the donation of generous benefactors. Below are the scholarships awarded and their respective recipients:

  • James E. Harf ’61 PhD, Study Abroad Scholarship, awarded to Marie Friesleben (Italy)
  • Jackson Family International Education Scholarship, awarded to Jessica Hernandez (Colombia)
  • Dr. Erik & Mrs. Jeanne Nakjavani Award for International Study, awarded to Kimberly Gardyasz (Costa Rica)
  • University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Fall 2013 Exchange Program Scholarship, awarded to Julia Schmutz (Australia)

Overall, the evening was filled with good food, great speakers, and was a celebration of all things international!

Skip to toolbar