Study abroad offers ‘personal growth’ for students

Tre' Jones

(Back) Nate Mitchell, (middle) Tiffanie Gonzales, Raphael Muchabaya, Laura Rubio, Cassie Jarrett, Nolita Isbell, (bottom) Carrie Valencia, Tsion Desta and Aroob Bhatti, nursing seniors, in Venice, Italy during the five-day mini break. Photo contributed by Tiffanie Gonzales

To help educate students about the details and benefits of the study abroad programs, Michael Mills, international education director, gave a presentation Nov. 13-14.

Mills went into detail about each study abroad program, the places students would go, the classes they would be taking, the estimated cost of each trip and the other opportunities students will have if they choose to go overseas for the programs.

“The purpose of the panel was to go over the exact programs that are available to MSU students, so students that want to study abroad will know the locations, the classes, the classes that they can get and some of the stuff associated with potentially studying abroad,” Mills said.

The university is offering four different trips to students that will be taking place during this summer and the following summer: global health and wellness on the island of Grenada at St. George’s Medical School; language based programs in Tours, France and Granada, Spain; comparative study courses in London for different academic disciplines.

Joshua Gribble, biology sophomore, said he is looking forward to getting the opportunity to study abroad in London in summer 2018.

“I am really interested in traveling, and I want to see which culture I would want to visit. I have a really big interest in World War II history, so I want to go and study that history over in London,” Gribble said.

Mills gave a full layout of when each trip is and the timetable and schedule he has planned out for the students. The St. George’s Grenada trip is from May 18 to June 3, the France and Granada trips are from May 24 to June 25 and the London trip is from July 5 to Aug. 6.

Aaron DeVaul, Luke Saunders, Luke Hellmuth, Charles Reeves, psychology seniors, at the Blind Beggar pub in East London. Photo contributed by Aaron DeVaul

Mills said one of the biggest benefits for these trips for students is that they will be getting up to six credit hours towards their degree. He also mentioned that students’ financial aid will be able to help pay for their fees.

When talking about what other benefits students could achieve from studying abroad, Mills went over how it can be a wonderful experience for them.

Mills said, “The biggest benefits that students can get from studying abroad is what an eye-opening experience it is to see what the world is like. Oftentimes students don’t have the opportunity to travel. They haven’t had the chance to experience life in a different culture outside the United States or even this region of Texas. It’s personal growth in terms of what they learn about themselves and their independence, and it’s also really incredible what it does from an academic standpoint of learning.”

Former students that have done the study abroad programs and instructors that have traveled with students came up to the front and discussed their own personal experiences and what they gained from taking these opportunities.

Students were able to ask questions about other things they were curious about such as how much money they should bring with them to spend, what they could do during their time away from classes while on the trips and how housing would be on the different locations.

Isaac Nunez, biology sophomore, said, “I am looking forward to studying abroad and very excited to just travel the world.”