Studying abroad offers experience, education, maybe even love

Nicole Weible

Some students are taking Taekwondo in Korea, studying the Renaissance in Italy and watching the cliff divers in Acapulco while receiving academic credit.

Kenneth Cushner, executive director of the Office of International Affairs, said there were more than 400 students from Kent State studying abroad during the spring semester.

Kent State offers both long-term and short-term programs abroad.

Students are able to choose between traveling for a week, two weeks, a month and a semester and credits can range from two credit hours to 14 credit hours depending on the length and course work, Cushner said.

Senior business management major David Ede traveled to Puebla, Mexico last summer for two weeks. He received three credit hours for business.

“If the opportunity to study abroad rises, I will do it again,” Ede said. “I would advise it to all students because businesses are looking for culturally diverse employees.”

Sophomore business and translation major Katie Callahan traveled to Puebla with Ede, and both students agree that all business majors should study abroad.

“You get to see the practices of other countries compared to the United States,” Callahan said. “You get to see how these different practices combine under international trade organizations.”

Callahan said the students visited different industries to tour the companies and learn their practices.

“It was very helpful,” Callahan said. “We got to see companies that import products they need, in order to assemble and export them to everywhere except Mexico.”

Alan Coe, assistant director for the Center for International and Comparative Programs, said some students from other colleges enroll at Kent State for a semester or the summer, and they pay tuition to study abroad through Kent State programs.

Some students even pay out-of-state tuition to Kent State to study abroad, from universities in states such as Georgia, Wisconsin and Maine.

Coe said students who attend the Geneva Semester have the opportunity to study French, international business, economics, international relations and more.

Many of the study abroad programs offer excursions and sometimes a week-long vacation. Ede said students who study in Cuernavaca are able to visit Acapulco.

“The excursions were very informative,” Ede said. “I got to see so many things that people don’t normally see in their lifetimes.”

Although some students choose not to return after study abroad programs, some go back to visit international friends and, for one student, the man she fell in love with.

Junior fashion design major Dawn Michelucci went to Italy during the fall semester to study fashion design and had to go back.

“I loved it so much there.” Michelucci said. “I met my future husband, and I went back to see him over spring break.”

While in Italy, Michelucci studied the architecture in order to implement it into design courses.

“Being there in a different country, you can see specifically how fashion changes,” said Michelucci. “There is a big distinction between different countries and fashion.”

Michelucci said it has helped her for her classes at Kent State.

“I have taken what I learned in fashion in Italy and brought it back with me to America,” Michelucci said. “It really shows in my work.”

The study abroad programs are offered to many different majors and offer a wide variety of courses. According to the Center for International and Comparative Programs, a semester in Florence, Italy offers over 10 courses to students.

Professor Theresa Minick said students are able to look up study abroad programs at Kent State on a Web site provided by study abroad subcommittee of the Kent Academic Support and Advising Association.

Along with studying abroad, Kent State offers internship programs abroad. According to the Center for International and Comparative Programs, students in arts and culture, business, finance and economics, marketing, public relations, advertising, television, film, journalism, politics, government and ethics, healthcare and social services are able to intern in London.

Coe said he was surprised to learn students believe they have become more independent because of study abroad.

“I thought they were independent enough because they decided to study abroad,” Coe said. “Students said they feel more independent after their study abroad experience.”

Contact general assignment reporter Nicole Weible at [email protected].