Patriece – Global Interest

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Kristin – South Africa

  • Kristin
  • 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.



International Student Spotlight: Meet Jiaqi

Name: Jiaqi Zheng

Age: 24

Home country: China

Home university: Xi’an University of Architecture & Technology

Field of study: Technology & Innovation, Sports Architecture Management

Why did you decide to study in the United States, specifically at Millersville University?

My personal experience in my undergraduate school helped me to make the decision to go abroad to learn more about sports development. Even though the Chinese government already came up with codes and standards to promote sports to public and more and more people participated in sports, the relatively backward concepts and people’s prejudice are still a problem in China. I hope to do my part and improve this situation in the future. It was my pleasure coming here and accessed to innovative ideas and critical thinking not only in sports but in my life. Millersville University gave me the chance and helped me open my mind in different areas.

What totally freaked you out prior to arriving at Millersville, but turned out to be no big deal?

I was not really good at English before and I was afraid to talk to anyone prior to arriving at Millersville. After I came here, my English skills improved quickly because Global Education, ESL class, and the writing center helped me a lot in speaking, listening, and writing. Most importantly, everyone here is kind and patient and they like to teach me and listen to me carefully.

What did you like best about Millersville and the United States?

I really enjoy learning at MU, not only the environment but also that there were equal opportunities and chances for everyone. It is a place where you can make your life whatever you want to be. You can start a project with your classmates and advisor, join in the clubs which fit your interests, find a job, or intern on the school websites. It’s a microcosm of United States in that there are so many different cultures which vary widely in just one nation.

What is something you tried for the first time while you were studying in the States? Did you enjoy it? (it could be an activity, a type of food, etc)

What I tried for the first time while study in the States is watching a professional baseball game and NBA. It such a huge difference between watching them on TV and going to the stadium. It’s all about the atmosphere and it was my first time felt the passion people have about sports.

What food or drink do you miss most from China?

Different kinds of Hot Pot.

What are you most looking forward to when you return home?

I hope I can work with my advisor in my country to organized the National Games in 2021 with my experience from here. In addition, I will tell my friends and classmates about my experience and encourage them to come here.

What did you learn about yourself personally over the past year?

Taking online or face-to-face classes encouraged me follow a schedule which establish a positive habitat in time management. I have laid out personal goals and made a schedule to achieve my goal. After concentrating on my time management skills, I also learned that by writing down and prioritizing each step I needed to take, I was able to better visualize the journey, which helped me manage my time more effectively.

What did you gain academically and/or professionally?

I have made an effort to develop my skills and experience in numerous different ways. As an operation intern for the local baseball team, Lancaster Barnstormers, I have matured as an individual and my experience of working with colleagues and customers has contributed a lot to my interpersonal skills. Furthermore, I reinvested in my career goal in the field of sports because I understand that sports can influence people’s lives. I met with a customer who has watched baseball games at Clipper Magazine Stadium for 13 years and has made friends with everyone who worked here. I also interviewed a facilities designer who assisted in building the stadium. When he told me the building process and the problems they solve, I saw passion in his eyes.

I am also better able to see the bigger picture and how my role relates to the overall goals of my life and in my program, Technology & Innovation. Taking classes with my professors, I admire their study and achievement. I have learned a range of critical thinking, decision making, and integrative learning skills to handle unusual or difficult situations.

What is your dream job and why?

My dream job is working in the field of sports. I want to be a sports manager or a professor in college. Managers and professors influence people and students on a daily basis. By sharing their knowledge, they make a difference and help guide their workers and the next generation to their goals. I’ll pursue my passion and do what I can to improve sports industry.

Why should other international students come to MU?

MU helps students achieve their goals and find success. It is a chance for students to be adventurous, explore the unknown, and try their hand at activities and feel interactive.  It will be an amazing experience in life.


Gasser – Egypt

My hometown is located in Alexandria, Egypt.

In 2010, I came to the US as an 8th grader and have been here ever since. I have resided in Harrisburg, PA all these years and when it came time for college, I chose to attend Millersville University because it is accredited in my majors (Marketing and International Business) and it also offered the minor that I was looking for (Computer Science). Millersville is also only 45 minutes away from my home in Harrisburg, which made it convenient to move back and forth without having to spend so many hours on the road. Millersville is also very affordable when compared to other universities, yet it offers the same challenging courses as those universities for a much cheaper price tag. Finally, Millersville has a great culture that promotes positive interactions with the local community and raises awareness about international events, diseases, social causes, and so much more, which made me even more excited to attend Millersville.


In Millersville, I have attended the Barnstormers baseball game at the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester with other international students and it was a great opportunity to meet new people. The highlight of my time here in Millersville so far is definitely the Multicultural Showcase. In the showcase, I was manning the stand for Egypt, where I educated other people on my country, its famous foods, culture, language, and other information that makes Egypt such a unique country. It was a wonderful experience showing people the rich history of my country and having them engaged in the conversation and clearing any misconception that they had about it. I also learned about different cultures there such as Jamaica, Australia, and France among others. The highlight of the showcase, however, were the dancers and musicians that were on the stage during that time. It was delightful seeing different cultures through their music and dancing and I really had a great time in the showcase.



I came to the US to achieve personal, academic, and professional goals. My personal goals were that I wanted to experience a different country that I have admired ever since I was a child and become more open minded as I, someone from a different country, interact with people here in the US and understand their customs and traditions. My academic goals are that I want to excel in school, obtain my degree with honors, and learn valuable information that I will be able to use for the rest of my life. My professional goals are to work for a global Fortune 500 company in a corporate culture to contribute my international skills and provide a new perspective into the organization. I am working towards these goals everyday by enhancing and diversifying my skill set to make myself a more appealing job candidate and set myself apart from the competition.


One cultural thing that I learned in the US is how many national holidays are celebrated here! It’s great to see so many occasions where people get together, celebrate, and enjoy their time together with friends and family.

My one thing that I would to share with the campus community is, although I was tempted to, I did not ride camels to school every day. I also did not live in pyramids, but I plan on building my future house in the shape of a pyramid.

In all seriousness, there is a misconception in the US that Egypt is not a safe country, when in fact it is. It is very safe to travel there, enjoy the sights, and experience the rich history and culture through tourism, which operates year round!


Celine – France

  • Celine
  • Studied abroad as a Sophomore in Spring 2017, and still currently abroad!
  • Studied at: American Business School Paris in Paris,France
  • When on campus, Celine works at the University Store

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I chose to study abroad at ABS Paris because I am a French minor and I love fashion and art. Paris is a fashion capital and has some of the best art museums in the world. In addition, the city is beautiful and there is always something fun to do, whether it was sitting at the Eiffel Tower, boating down the Seine river or even going out on the town at night!

My goals for study abroad were to learn more about fashion and international business, learn French, and get out of my comfort zone to make new friends and live on my own. I did accomplish all my goals and more!


I have gone to Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Germany. My favorite was Germany because I went to Spring Fest for the weekend!

Millersville students should study abroad because it is a chance to meet new people, immerse yourself in a different culture, and have fun traveling while you do it! Sometimes you will even learn a new language, and learn things about yourself that you wouldn’t have if you never left your comfort zone.

Be open minded, and always be aware of different cultures and traditions. Not every place has the same customs you do, so you have to be ready to experience differences. In addition, try as many new things as you can! Whether it be food, activities, or even classes you would not get to take if you were not abroad.


Remember that even though you are having fun and traveling, you are also there for educational and/or professional purposes! I was able to adequately give effort to both and I ended up having fun in many different countries, while also gaining a professional opportunity! One good thing to know about ABS is they let study abroad students have the option to team up with the permanent students to participate in a company case project with various big name companies! I was able to work with Swarovski Paris for two months at their home office, and was able to add it to my resume afterwards and get priority for internships. I would highly recommend participating in this if you plan to attend ABS.

Kenny – Chile

  • Kenny
  • Studied abroad as a Junior
  • Studied at: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) in Valparaiso, Chile
  • On campus, Kenny is a peer tutor for learning services, part of the SHARP team with admissions, a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, and involved in intramural sports!


I chose this PUCV not only because it fit my preferences academically, but because Chile is such a distinct place and its very authentic culture and diverse terrain drew me right in.

I had a few goals for my trip down to Chile, including:

  • Pass all of my classes
  • Meet a person from each continent/Make a few lifelong friends
  • Break out of my introverted bubble
  • Visit Machu Picchu in Peru
  • Network with native Chileans for possible job opportunities

I think its safe to say that I reached these goals and so much more!


While in South America I had the pleasure of exploring Northern Chile, the metropolitan area of Santiago, Machu Picchu in Peru, famous vineyards, all 3 of Pablo Neruda’s homes, LOTS of trekking/hiking, visiting the Andes, learning how to surf, participating in a small soccer league, and so much more.

I think that with our highly capable Global Education office and all the opportunities and exchange programs they offer, there is not one good reason I can think of to NOT study abroad. It’s important to recognize that although we live in a highly connected world, we sometimes forget that there are other ways to live life and other perspectives. Studying abroad is a way to introduce yourself to the world and really branch out and broaden your horizons. It can also provide you with very important interpersonal and networking skills that will aid you personally and professionally. Overall, I think that MU students should consider studying in another country because it allows you to leave your comfort zone and really get to know yourself and the world in which we live first-hand.


If there is one crucial piece of advice I’d give, it’d be to diligently complete your application process, buy your tickets, etc. with plenty of time to spare (if possible) because once you’re a few weeks out from departing, all you’re going to be thinking about is that first day you step foot in your destination of choice. With that being said, the application process is 100% worth it once you are all set to go.

Try things you never imagined trying, force yourself out of your comfort zone and put down your phone! One thing I’d like to stress is that you need to live the experience. Although pictures are nice, I feel that for many of my fellow exchange students abroad their experience was about being connected instead of really living it.


Hannah – Japan

My name is Hannah, and I am a double major in Psychology and Philosophy. I studied abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. I was interested in studying abroad to fulfill a lifelong dream of traveling to Japan and experiencing aspects of the culture, such as Shintoism and traditional tea ceremonies. I also chose Japan largely because I am currently working on two theses regarding canine breed-specific behavior and cognition, and some of the best research I have encountered has come from universities in Japan.

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One of the fun things I have done so far is visit the Todai-ji Temple in the city of Nara. The Todai-ji Temple, built in 752, is the largest wooden structure in the world, and houses one of the largest Buddhas in Japan. We were able to donate a tile for temple reconstruction, wherein we wrote our names in Katakana. One of the most fun things was getting to feed and cuddle with all the deer that roam around Nara Park, and whose spirits are believed to protect the city at night.

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Meet Katarzyna: New Faculty Coordinator

What university did you attend?

I attended the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland for my undergraduate education and my magister degree. Then, I got an M.A. from the University of Northern Iowa, and a Ph.D.  from Illinois State University.

Do you have any study abroad or international experiences? Can you elaborate?

I was born and raised in Poland.  I originally came to the United States as an international student in 1997 to get my M.A., then I came back in 2001 to pursue my Ph.D., and eventually I decided to live and work here.  I have visited over 20 countries throughout my life. When I was a child my parents took me travelling all over Europe every summer, so I really caught that wanderlust bug from them.  Recently, I haven’t been able to travel much because my children are still too young, and I have to admit I’m getting a little restless.

Can you speak another language besides English? Is there one that you would love to learn?

Polish is my native language. I also know some French, though I used to speak it much better, and I wish I had time to brush up on it. When I was a student in Poland, I had some basic education in Russian, Latin and modern Hebrew. I would love to study many more languages, but my top choice would be Spanish. Whenever I see a Spanish text I’m surprised at how much of it I can understand without any prior knowledge, so I have an impression that it would be easy for me to learn.

What attracted you to working at Global Education?

When I studied at Illinois State University, I was part of a vibrant international community of students from all over the world. This was a very impactful part of my education, and I feel that I learned as much from interactions with my international friends as I did from my academic courses.  That’s why I welcomed the opportunity to join Global Education and help further its goals of internationalizing the campus. I would love to expand MU’s international community and give all MU students a similarly enriching experience as the one I had at Illinois State.  My other motivation for joining Global Education was simply to give back. I am well familiar with the challenges of being an international student in the US, and I thought I would be in a good position to advise MU’s international students.

What are your goals for Global Education?

Even though our office is more engaged than ever with the university community, I would still like us to develop a stronger connection with MU students and faculty, and to encourage them to recognize internationalization as a valuable component of academic experience. I would also very much like us to engage with the Lancaster community; I think we should take advantage of the creative and educational potential of the diverse groups of residents in our area.

What has been your most rewarding project that you’ve worked on for Global Education?

I love the monthly Tea Time with Global Education, a social hour that I launched with the help of Global Education staff. Because so much of our social interaction happens online these days, I really cherish the opportunity to personally connect with MU students, faculty and staff who are interested in international issues. I have a real sense of community during these monthly  gatherings – people coming together to spend time with each other, share stories about their cultures as well as delicious international snack and beverages. Another most rewarding part of my job is the day-to-day help I provide to MU’s international and study-abroad students. It’s great to be able to fix the little problems that make student lives difficult: whether it’s issues with the transfer of credit, adaptation to different education systems, or helping students feel comfortable in a new culture.

If you could travel somewhere new, where would you go and why?

I would really like to go to Cuba. I love Cuban music and literature; authors like Reinaldo Arenas, Cristina Garcia or Jesus Diaz have already painted a pretty vivid picture of the country in my head and I would like to see it for myself. I also hope that one day I can travel to Haiti. In my academic work, as a professor of English, I focus on African diaspora literatures and cultural translation, and through my research I’ve discovered some fascinating connections between Haitian history and the history of my native country, Poland. I would like to conduct on-site research about this topic at some point.

What is an interesting fact about yourself that most people don’t know?

During my student days I used to support myself translating books from English into Polish. I am the author of one of the Polish translations of Anne of Green Gables. Another popular book I translated is Koji Suzuki’s The Ring, which was the basis of the well-known horror film. This was a second-hand translation because the original book is written in Japanese. I do not fully support this kind of publishing practice, but at that time I was a poor graduate student and the task was not only profitable but also enthralling.

What advice do you have for students thinking about studying in another country?

Do some research about the country you plan to study in.  Read books, watch films, talk to people who come from there. This will enable you to get the most out of your time in the foreign country and will also help you avoid some awkward situations. But you should also be willing to accept surprises. No matter how much you research another culture, you will get to know it well only by living in it, which is one of the great benefits of study abroad experience.


Marie – Germany


Class standing while abroad: Junior
Other activities on campus: Kappa Delta Pi – International Honor Society in Education, Student Pennsylvania State Educators Association, Council for Exceptional Children
Country where you studied abroad: Marburg, Germany

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