Brycen Johnson: Here for the Long Term


Brycen Johnson sees himself staying at MSU for a long term. Photo courtesy of Brycen Johnson.

“I was born and raised in Colorado, I even went to the University of Colorado; I’ve lived there my entire life up until about two months ago,” Brycen Johnson said.

Johnson is the newest addition to the Global Education office, coming in as a Study Abroad Specialist. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in International Affairs, Johnson said that he knew he enjoyed working with students and being in the education sphere.

“While in the pandemic, I was actually working from home and was just thinking to myself, what jobs could let me get the best of both worlds and allow me to do what I love. This job combines my interest in education and traveling and doing study abroad; it is just a really good fit for me, was right up my alley and especially after my interview with Dr. Mills, I just saw myself here,” Johnson said.

Johnson had the opportunity to participate in Study Abroad himself as a student at the University of Colorado. Although having already traveled outside the country before, this was his first long stay experience outside the U.S. that eventually led him to where he is now here at MSU.

“While at Colorado State I actually did study abroad in France. My experience doing study abroad really impacted and changed my life. I had never been out the country for more than two, maybe three weeks at a time, and in France, I actually spent around seven – eight months there, I didn’t know what to expect, I was nervous. I was essentially there for two semesters, almost a year. While being there, I stayed with a host family in their house in southern France. Having that experience made me understand the importance for having an international background and being able to work cross culturally,” Johnson said.

During his study abroad experience, Johnson took advantage of the easy access of traveling within countries in Europe. Johnson says he is excited to return back to Europe next year in July with the MSU Study Abroad program.

“It was so easy. I went to the U.K. Spain, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy and Iceland. You know, MSU has the London study abroad program and I will be accompanying Dr. Mills and helping him run the program coming up in July and that will be my Europe trip for the year, which I’m looking forward to. Further down the line, I would still like to visit Sweden, Portugal, and Greece. At the end of the day, the global education office is always looking to expand, I’ve never been to Latin America and would like to and one day, this job may lead me there too,” Johnson said.

Johnson sees himself at MSU for the long term. He says that once you get a new position you are able to tell whether you will be there a short term or long term – and had no doubt in his mind that this is the place he wants to be at – at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls.

“I enjoy the warmer weather and actually, I also enjoy the small town – Wichita is like a big, small town, it is big but has the environment of a small town. People here are a lot more outwardly friendly, they hit you with the ‘Hey, how are you doing’ with the little Texan accent. Also, I lived in Boulder, Colorado and there was just always so much traffic, I enjoy biking and I actually only live about a mile away from campus so if I want to bike, I can. When I first got  in my office and just getting to know my boss, and co-workers, I like it here. You usually know how long you’re going to be able to stick it out at a new place and I am truly here for the long term. This isn’t a position that I could leave after two years – I feel I wouldn’t experience everything I want to if I were to do that,” Johnson said.

Only being in Texas for under just two months, Johnson still has a lot to explore in Wichita Falls and the Lone Star state in general.

“I’ve gone to the art walk before, I’ve gone to the Wichita Falls brewery, I didn’t participate in Hotter N’Hell but I was there at the end of the route and there a bunch of food trucks and activities there, and I’m waiting to attend Caribfest. I know there’s hiking, like the Wichita Mountains. I’m really excited to see all that Wichita Falls has to offer me. I would also like to see the beaches in Texas, around Corpus Christi and Galveston. I also want to go to Austin, I haven’t gone yet, and also El Paso. So far, I’ve gone to Dallas – many times, San Antonio and Houston. Other than that, I’m also interested in going to Oklahoma City,” Johnson said.

Besides traveling and getting to know the area more, Johnson says that he is most looking forward to meeting more people and wants everyone to know that his door is always open to speak about Study Abroad. His mission is wanting students to know that if they have a desire to study abroad, he can help you do just that.