Study Abroad Students Become Ambassadors to World

Posted on: July 23, 2013

Our students frequently hear how we are all so globally connected. However, until CAS students have the opportunity to step on foreign soil, they are often unaware of just how much they can learn from experiencing different cultures. MSU operates arguably the finest study abroad programs in the country, and we encourage our students to take advantage of supplementing their MSU education with an international learning experience.

Our faculty are in awe every year at how they see our students who have studied abroad step up to whole new levels of maturity, inquisitiveness, resourcefulness and creativity. We hear over and over from students that their study abroad experience changed their lives. They recognize that studying abroad is a unique opportunity to reach beyond the familiar and push themselves out of their comfort zone to connect with people, cultures and approaches to problem solving that until then, were beyond their reach.

Studying abroad also gives our faculty a chance to open doors for our students to unique experiences that they have yet to imagine. With MSU faculty members' strong international connections and affiliation with a world-renowned university, they are able to set up behind-the-scene tours with museum curators, artists, scientists, journalists, researchers and business executives that few have the chance to experience in a lifetime.

Too many times I hear parents lament that they pushed their children to get local jobs over the summer and realized that they had put them at a disadvantage when they graduated and started looking for a job. More and more, employers are looking for students who not only have experience from internships, but also have an increased international and cultural awareness from studying abroad during their college years.

We at CAS also realize that these experiences really do give students an advantage in the job market. We are doing everything we can to make sure all of our CAS students have an opportunity to learn through studying abroad and international internships so they can enter their careers with a full sense of all the possibilities for growth and collaboration on a global scale. We are aggressively seeking scholarship funds to remove any financial obstacles for students to take full advantage of these amazing international experiences.

In closing, I would like to share with you an email from Advertising + PR student Charlie Ainsworth who is currently traveling in Europe.

 “I'm going to be a senior this fall and plan on graduating in May 2014. My major is Advertising Management. The study abroad program that I participated in this summer was the Advertising + Public Relations A La Mediterranean, lead by Professor Tom Isaacson. I went on the program trip to Pompeii, and also to Cannes, France, for the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity (big event for Ad majors). Then I went on a trip with 15-20 people from the group to Tuscany, Florence, Pisa and Siena. We visited a vineyard, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and toured some of the smaller cities. The final, free weekend, I went to Positano on the Amalfi Coast with a group of only six total (beautiful views and most relaxing time of my trip was spent in that town). My classes were different in Italy because they taught me how to approach advertising and PR from a different view, rather than just from an American view. They taught me a lot about what outside factors need to be taken into account before you can publish an ad, like with considering the culture, the economy, the government, the social norms, and just the people in general. And with being in a country other than the U.S., this required me to do some research. I didn't know much about Italians, at least not as much as I know about Americans. The most memorable part of my entire trip was the feeling of knowing I'm in a place (Rome) that has thousands of years of history, and once was the strongest empire of the world. Meeting everyone from the program and becoming lifelong friends with all of them was, and is, the most enriching part of the trip. Studying abroad this summer has opened my eyes to possibly working abroad after school. I've never thought about it until this trip, but ever since, I've thought about all the places I would love to see overseas and all the possible places I could work abroad with my major.”

Thank you Charlie for sharing your experience with us, and to our CAS News readers, please stay tuned over the next few weeks as we post more great insights from our students studying abroad!

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