I studied abroad in Haifa, Israel for the Spring 2017 semester. I wanted a location a bit more off the beaten path, and Israel appealed to me for its ancient history, as well as for being in a location completely new to me.
My goals in going included stretching myself, gaining a wider perspective of the world, and experiment with living abroad, as it is something I am considering for the long term. The people I encountered taught me so much and I feel like I gained a deeper understanding of topics like conflict in the Middle East, through there’s still much to learn. Furthermore, I loved the independence of living abroad and having to problem solve when situations came up.
My program took us on field trips almost every weekend, but there was also a lot of opportunity for independent travel. I got to visit the West Bank, Jordan, Cyprus, Turkey, and France.
For other students considering studying abroad, I would highly recommend it. It’s scary and challenging, but it’s the things that push us that cause us to grow. The benefits are so rewarding, from becoming more globally aware, to increased confidence.
My advice to students studying abroad would be to fully embrace the opportunity, event when it’s hard and you feel like holing up in your down room. Get outside, join a club, explore the area, etc. It will go by fast, and there’s so much potential growth and learning that can happen when you’re fully invested.
- Studied abroad as a junior
- While at Millersville, Nikole was the Secretary for the Society on latino Affairs, a Student Ambassador (SHARP team), and is in Delta Phi Eta honors fraternity.
I studied abroad in Chile because I love South America. My mom is from Uruguay and I lived there for 1.5 months right before going to Chile. I chose Chile because I liked that I could live in Viña del Mar, but also experience the city life by going to school in Valparaíso. I also enjoyed all of what Chile had to offer in regards to nature. The North of Chile is extremely different from the South, and I was fortunate enough to experience both regions. One weekend I got to go sand boarding in the desert, and the following weekend I was skiing in the Andes. Chile is a huge country and I still have so much left to explore of it. Chile has something to offer for everyone. You can relax on one of the thousands of beaches, or take a hike to a beautiful destination.
Academically, I wanted to speak as much Spanish as possible so that I could feel comfortable with the language and become completely fluent. I was able to do this by becoming friends with Chileans, which forced me to only speak in Spanish. I needed to put in the effort and make and spend time with my Chilean friends so that I could meet my goals. Personally, I wanted to break out of my comfort zone and become more outgoing. I tend to be more of an introvert, but through this experience, I was able to break out of my shell. I made friends and built connections with people from all over the world, and I even volunteered to teach English classes to Chileans twice a week. Becoming more outgoing also helped me to accomplish one of my other goals, which was to immerse myself in the culture. I was able to accomplish this by becoming friends with Chileans, building a relationship with my host family, and being actively involved in school activities and events.
Weekend trips to Santiago, sand boarding, bike and wine tour, day trip to Cajón del Maipo to bungee jump and hike the mountains, rafting and hot springs in Pucón, surfing in Pichilemu, San Pedro de Atacama desert and the geysers, day trip to Horcón, visited two of the houses of author Pablo Neruda, and skiing in the Andes. I also had the opportunity to spend a week and a half in Peru.
My advice would be to not hesitate; just do it! This is a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone, because you don’t want to live with any regrets after your study abroad experience is over. Always be open minded and willing to try new things. Most importantly, know that you are going to make many mistakes, never be afraid to make these mistakes and don’t be embarrassed when you do, because that is how you grow personally and learn the most.
I studied abroad in Japan. Japan is a location where nothing but beauty and history is displayed in the modern day. An opportunity to experience what the absolutely unique image that is Japan was a must within my educational career. My goal as a student was to learn as much as possible about the Japanese media and entertainment industry. I’ve learned quite a hefty amount of the mannerisms in comedy within Japanese humor and it is completely different to western comedy. Inside the four months of studying Japanese, I’ve gone from being a beginner to somewhat competent. I’ve grown quite experienced with speaking and pronunciation, but writing and reading is still quite difficult within the two other alphabets. With the time I was able to allocate in my free time, I’ve traveled to Tokyo and various parts of Kyoto and Osaka which allowed me to take in the modern with traditional.
Millersville students should take the opportunity to travel to Japan or anywhere in the world where its offered as it does not only give you a taste of what the educational world spectrum has to offer, but it allows you to grow as an individual. If any student is wishing to study abroad, do take in to consideration that anything you’ve come to know now through self-research within the media, DO NOT take it as absolute facts. Always make sure to get in contact with those who have studied in those areas or speak to someone who is from the country. Never allow yourself to go with pre-made expectations as those expectations will only hinder your experience and dissatisfaction will be 100% guaranteed because the pre-made expectations weren’t met.
I’ve become interested in international initiatives due to the fact that it allows me to make connections with other students from all over the world. It’s such a wonderful experience to create those friendships which in turn allows you to learn from other cultures. I feel students should get involved with Millersville Global Education due to having the opportunity to study abroad and allowing more and more students from abroad also get the chance to experience what a wonderful place Millersville and Pennsylvania is as a whole. It would bring so many experiences and ideas from all over the world to one location and vice versa.
I am from Jamaica. I came to Millersville for work opportunity (Director of International Programs & Services). Prior to that, I spent 16 years living and working in Michigan.
I initially came to the United States to pursue an Engineering degree, but quickly fell in love with higher education and the desire to assist in easing the path for fellow international students that would come after me. After graduation, I was offered the opportunity to lead the planning and building of a newly formed International Center, and felt privilege to be a part of that up until 2016 when I came to MU.
I have been in the U.S. a long time, but I would say that the concept of “time is money” and personal space was something that I learned about early on… sometimes I still struggle to not fall into an island rhythm of doing things.
I think that as a country, Jamaica was born out of the struggle and pain of slavery. As a people, we are proud of our heritage and the impact that our small island nation has on the world culturally, especially regarding food, music and dance. My favorite Jamaican saying is “wi likkle, but we tallawah” which means “we are small, but mighty.” We leave an impression anywhere we go. I am an Ambassador to Jamaica for those who will never visit my home country, or have never met my fellow citizen.
- Studied abroad as a Post-Baccalaureate student/Graduate student for Education
- Involved in the Professional Development School (PDS)
I leapt on the option to finish the second half of my student teaching abroad, and I would encourage ALL student teachers to pursue this option. I hated leaving my two cooperating teachers at Manheim Township High School, who were experts, and all of my students, but it was So. Worth. It. for me as a teacher and a person to take advantage of this opportunity!
I chose Cape Town, South Africa, because it had been on my bucket list for so long, and I was delighted to find out that apart from the ticket, it was much cheaper to go there than to Europe. Cape Town is such a beautiful town–no bad views with the mountains and the ocean!–and very cheap, and South Africa is stunning. Very early in my stay I climbed Table Mountain, which is no small feat! The photo is of me after my 6-hour hike up the mountain to the cable car station, my two big trips from the three months that I was there, a 5-day safari in Kruger Park in eastern South Africa, and a 4-day tour of the Garden Route much closer to home, in the Western Cape. I got to hold the Western Cape Vulture as part of my safari package, and the elephants and beach photos are highlights of the Garden Route trip.
I jumped right from my trips into my student teaching, where I did my best to adjust to a vastly different education system, and it was not always easy to take the methods I’d learned at Township and apply them to my classes in Cape Town. But oh, I bonded so quickly with my students, who were much more engaged in learning and in classroom discussion than I had expected. The photo I included is the last day with my 9th graders, who I’d differentiated into learning groups that were named after big cats–it was fun thwarting them when they tried to figure out why I had done that!
If you choose to study abroad, definitely research it and talk to participants from previous years–invaluable. But above all, know that it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you may never get again. I was so lucky that as a returning student I could go, since normally the doors slam shut on such opportunities once you graduate.