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Study abroad fair adds two programs, students reflect

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OIE, office of international education, invited students to explore global perspectives at the study abroad fair Wednesday, Sep. 5, inside the Alumni Memorial Union.

This year, two new programs were added to the list. Monash University in Australia invites nursing students to study abroad during the fall semester. The second study abroad opportunity is for global health with a community-based approach offered over spring break in Brazil.

“Students typically study abroad during their sophomore or junior years, and have various reasons for studying abroad, such as exploring their heritage or learning from a new perspective,” said Karli Webster, associate director and manager of education abroad.

Webster said since faculty-led programs can vary each year, some programs may be offered every two to three years instead of each year. However, no study abroad programs have been canceled.  

According to the university’s office of institutional research and analysis, 665 students studied abroad in the 2016-2017 school year. As stated on the OIE website, study abroad learning outcomes include increasing intercultural competence, developing global perspectives, personal growth and second language acquisition.

Class of 2017 Marquette alumnus, Connor Gwinn traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to study abroad in 2015.  Gwinn said he had no idea that one trip would change his life.

“[Studying abroad] shaped what I wanted to do in medicine more than anything else.”  Gwinn was a junior in the College of Health Sciences when he traveled abroad. 

Gwinn spent time in a classroom and in a service site at the South African Red Cross.  “At my site, we would go through townships where they had crazy wildfires every weekend,” Gwinn said.  “Hundreds of people would be homeless and in this place at the end of the week and we would go in with food and blankets.”

While abroad, Gwinn and his team started two projects to aid the site – making a map to point out areas prone to fire and installing homemade fire detectors in those areas.  

Webster hopes students have many takeaways from their experiences.  “The OIE strongly emphasizes the importance of global understanding in today’s increasingly interconnected world.”

Jordan Pajeau, freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, hopes to accomplish those goals and more when she continues her French education abroad in France.

“I would like to study abroad because I want to throw myself into the [French] culture,” said Pajeau. “I think it’ll help me with the language because I won’t be surrounded by people who speak English, so I’ll be forced to speak French.”

Pajeau said she hopes to minor in French to sharpen her language skills so that she can use them in the future. 

“In a lot of ways, you are left to your own devices.  You’re far from home, you learn to be self-sufficient.  You learn to make friends everywhere you go,” said Gwinn.

Gwinn said his experience abroad not only shaped him to prepare for his career and help others, but it introduced him to many people he is still close with today.

“[When studying abroad] I hope to become more open-minded and see how people live differently than we do in the U.S.,” said Pajeau.  

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About the Writer
Emma Tomsich, News Reporter

Emma is a freshman News Reporter from Detroit, Michigan. She plans on majoring in Journalism and Public Relations.

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