Three Communication Studies Graduate Students Complete Lisbon Global Scholar Exchange Program

Three communication studies graduate students recently returned from Lisbon, Portugal after studying abroad in the School of Communication Studies’ Global Scholar Exchange program during the Fall of 2015. 

Samyak Moktan, a second-year global communication studies graduate student, came to Kent State University in 2014 from Kathmandu, Nepal after obtaining her undergraduate degree in mass communication and journalism from Purbanchal University in Nepal. She is currently a teaching assistant for the School of Communication Studies and decided to travel to Lisbon to gain a more global perspective. 

“I was in an especially interesting situation because I am an international student at Kent State who studied abroad,” Moktan said. “And being a global communication student, Lisbon was an amazing experience for me.” 

Yuandong Chen is a second-year global and intercultural communication studies graduate student from the Henan province in China. She completed her undergraduate degree in communications from Ohio State University and was then offered an assistantship opportunity in the graduate program here at Kent State. She enrolled in the Lisbon program because she had already experienced Chinese and American culture and wanted to continue learning about other cultures. 

“I wanted to go to experience different things, not just academically, but more of experiencing a different lifestyle,” Chen said. “It’s a more relaxing atmosphere in Lisbon, it’s not as stressful, which might partly have to do with the beautiful weather.”

Tongfei Wang is a second-year global communication studies graduate student from the Shanghai, China. She has a degree in advertising from Shanghai International Studies University. Since her program was a joint-program with Kent State, she completed the last year of her undergraduate degree while enrolled in her first year of the graduate program here at Kent State.

“I am very interested in learning about European culture, well, any international culture in general, so Lisbon was a perfect fit for me,” Wang said. 

The Global Scholar Exchange program in the School of Communication Studies is a two-year collaborative program offering students the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts degree in communication studies while exploring and learning a new culture. Students enrolled in the program spend a semester abroad studying global media and systems at the Catholic University of Portugal (UPC) in Lisbon. 

 “In Lisbon, students are from all over Europe, so you really gain that global perspective,” Moktan said.

All three students said the people, culture, weather and beaches were their favorite things about the city of Lisbon.

“It was also a great way to travel,” Moktan said. “I got to visit cities all over Europe which was a truly amazing experience.”

While in Lisbon, students take courses taught in English by UPC professors and gain global working experience with Portuguese graduate students and faculty. 

“Studying in Lisbon looks great on my resume,” Moktan said. "I learned all about a different country and their language – no one should miss out on this opportunity.” 

The structure of program is broken down as follows: During the first semester students from both cohorts remain at their home institutions. In the second semester, Portuguese students arrive at Kent State and take courses here. In the third semester, Kent State students study abroad in Lisbon and take course at UPC. During the last semester, students finish their remaining course at their home institutions. 

“The exchange element of the program helps because you already know a few Portuguese students when you go to Lisbon, so you don’t experience that feeling of being alone,” Moktan said. “I made tons of friends while I was there and I hope to return one day.” 

For more information on the Global Scholar Exchange program visit, 

POSTED: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 03:35 PM
Updated: Sunday, January 29, 2023 04:03 AM
Rachel Gill