Becoming Global Citizens
The College of Arts and Sciences prides itself on the emphasis we place on utilizing the world as a classroom. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 Pandemic has prevented our students from getting to experience education abroad since March. In recent years, we’ve offered a variety of programs to fit the academic needs and interests of our students in some amazing destinations, in over a dozen countries around the world.
We reached out to a few of our students and alumni and asked them to share their perspectives on how international education experiences and adventures have changed their life. Most, if not all, said it not only helped them further their education and gain long-lasting friendships, but gave them a broader and more sophisticated view of the world and increased their self-awareness, confidence, adaptability, and independence. One even decided to donate a scholarship to support Kent State students who study abroad.
“Learning to navigate a foreign culture helped me to become more comfortable learning to navigate parts of myself I was scared to confront,” Howard said.
Ruby graduated cum laude last August with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a minor in Criminology and Justice Studies. She wrote her honors thesis on the treatment and reoffending of domestic violence offenders. In her time at Kent State, she studied abroad in Florence (Italy), Israel, Athens (Greece), Prague (Czech Republic), and Poland to study Polish Jewish life and the massive effect of the Holocaust.
“I was wholeheartedly changed as an individual on that trip (to Poland),” Callen said. “Not only was I learning so much more about traveling abroad, I saw humanity in its rawest form. I feel that everyone should experience the eerie realness of visiting the grounds where it happened. It has made me a stronger activist for the societal outcasts and downtrodden.”
She recently got accepted into a Masters of Legal Studies program at West Virginia University to do exactly that. She believes that it all started with her experiences in Poland.
“I’m so grateful to Chaya Kessler, director of the Jewish Studies Program, for being an amazing leader in Poland and fueling my desire to learn even more once we returned to Ohio,” Callen said.
Alberto Yagüe Vázquez
Alberto, an international student originally from Madrid, Spain is a senior majoring in both Finance and Actuarial Mathematics and minoring in Chinese Language (which he’s been studying since fourth grade). He studied abroad for a month in Xi'an (China) in Summer 2019.
In June 2019, she studied in Xi’an (China) with five other Kent State students who immersed themselves in Chinese culture, learned calligraphy, toured many historic sites, and even learned how to make traditional tea.
In May 2007, she and eight other students from Kent State, studied abroad in Ghana, a nine-day course called “The Real Africa”, led by Assistant Professor Mwatabu Okantah. They stayed in a village, traveled along the Ghana coastline, visited a botanical garden and a rain forest. They also learned how to weave their own kente cloth and dyed the cloth with symbols.
“It was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had in my entire life!” Broome said. “It was also about cultural immersion and learning your roots and your history.”
She said her most emotional and intense experience was visiting the Cape Coast Castle slave dungeon and torture chamber.
Read more about Bobbi’s experiences in Ghana and China.
Read Holly’s story
Holly decided to donate a scholarship to support Kent State students who study abroad. Her advice for students thinking about studying abroad: “Anybody who can, should,” Morris said. “I doubt that anyone would really regret it and it can really rock your world. It can be one of those milestone moments.”