Skyla Renner ’18
Preparing for her trip to the Netherlands and Sweden, Skyla Renner ’18 studied about the two countries sustainability and gender equality in a semester-long class. This was the psychology and sociology double major’s first time abroad.
“My life changed, because I was able to experience what felt like a whole new world. Until you travel and see other countries for yourself, it is difficult to understand other countries, their culture, their people, etc. I also have a desire to travel a lot more now,” said Renner.
Casey Heinlein ’18
From volunteering in Costa Rica as an English as a Second Language teacher, to traveling to Trinidad and Tobago for a Habitat for Humanity trip, Casey Heinlein ’18, a Honors Program Scholar who is a double major in Civic Innovation and Religion with a Minor in Math, has experienced parts of the world most people haven’t. Her most recent adventure was spending a semester studying abroad at Cardiff University in Wales.
While at Cardiff, Heinlein took classes learning about things such as Globalization and Social Change, Reformation History, and Cross Cultural Management. Hitting the books wasn’t the only thing on her agenda while abroad though, Heinlein also took the time to immerse herself in the culture and get involved. She found herself learning the Welsh language, meeting new people, discovering how to cook Welsh Cakes, and trying different things that she normally wouldn’t like.
Heinlein said she credits the “Little bits and pieces of “Well, you should probably get involved in campus activities,” which is a thing Emory & Henry promotes itself,” for why she got involved at the University while there.
With her semester abroad over, Heinlein isn’t just walking away having only learned what she was taught in the classroom and from the people and culture, she is also walking away having learned a little bit more about herself.
“I am a very independent person, but I’m not very confident. When it comes to making decisions? Not confident at all. This trip, there were so many times when I was scheduled to get on a bus, and then I would miss that bus and I would have to think on the spot and make a plan and problem solve. It made me more confident in my problem solving and decision making skills and capabilities, which is really awesome for me,” Heinlein said.
What began as a simple desire to travel to a place she had never been before, Europe, ended as an experience Heinlein will never forget. Along with newfound discoveries about the world and herself, her time abroad is certainly one for the books.
Emily Jones ’18
Deciding to spend her fall ’16 semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland, wasn’t a hard decision for Emily Jones ’18, a Honors Program Scholar, to make. Having the opportunity to be a part of an International Partnership for Service Learning program (IPSL), allowed Jones to further explore her Civic Innovation and Environmental Studies double major in a different country.
“My experience abroad was incredible and I would go back in a heartbeat. Both of my majors and advisors helped to make sure that I was prepared academically and personally,” Jones said.
Joining clubs and taking classes at Dublin City University, and making friendships with students from France, the United States, Malaysia and Kenya, were just a few highlights of her trip. She also spent around 15 hours a week, as part of the IPSL program, at a service site in Dublin with an organization called Global Action Plan Ireland (GAP) working with their Environmental Education Coordinator.
“I helped to design and facilitate environmental education programs in the primary and secondary schools in Dublin. While working with this organization I was able to learn about the environment in Ireland, how they deal with environmental issues and about ways they promote solutions through education. Engaging with Ireland through a service-learning program allowed me to also reflect on global citizenship, the idea of place and connections across cultures. This was one of the most rewarding parts about my experience abroad,” said Jones.
Even though her trip is over, Jones has made lasting relationships and connections, including still talking to her host family she stayed with in Ireland. “My semester abroad I call my life-challenging experience because you are pushed out of your comfort zone and learn about adaptability, communication, global citizenship, critical thinking, reflecting, and confidence. I would recommend living and studying in a foreign country to anyone,” said Jones.
Achille Wangam ’18
Eager to further broaden his horizons and expand his network, Achille Wangam ’18 studied abroad in France for six months and in Spain for two months. The European Studies major and French and Spanish minor is familiar with being put in situations that require him to meet new people and adapt to different social situations, since he is on the cheer team, dance team, and a brother of Theta Chi Epsilon.
“The language, culture and the ability to live with different people are skills I learned at Emory that prepared me for my trips,” Wangam said of his time abroad. “I learned that I can never stop learning and that there’s more out there to discover and learn about everyday.”
Cody Carruth ’18
Traveling for the first time out of the country, Cody Carruth ’18, a double major in Sociology: Crime and Society and History, was able to see the differences between the Netherlands and Sweden compared to the United States, saying that “at times it felt like a totally different world.”
“This trip was a huge eye opener for me, with taking in the different cultures and the ways of life we witnessed. I feel like it opened up a new door to myself, showing myself that no matter where I am, or who I am communicating with from a foreign country, that I am comfortable to attempt to communicate with someone and learn from them and their culture,” said Carruth.
Brice Quillen ’19
Juggling work is nothing new for Brice Quillen ’19, who is a triple major, studying International Spanish Commerce, Business Management, and Geography. So, it’s no surprise that she was able to handle meeting, and teaching, almost a thousand different students over the course of her thirty-two day stay in Piracicaba, Brazil as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher.
“Where I was, all of the grades go to the same building they just go at different times. So, I taught from preschool to 12th grade. I taught everyone. It was about five or six different classes each day. The older kids go from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the younger kids come after 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. and stay until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. The population is so big that they don’t have enough room to have four different school buildings, so they just use the same building and just go at different times of the day,” Quillen explained.
When Quillen attended an event where students talk about their study abroad experiences, and heard Laken Brooks ’17 talk about how much she enjoyed her time in Brazil as an ESL teacher, and then when she heard it was free, it led her to apply for the trip. She was pleasantly surprised when her application was the one chosen as the student who would get to go to Brazil and was grateful for the lessons she learned while abroad.
“Sometimes the best moments go uncaptured, I think that’s something really important that I took away. Because a lot of times I’m like, “oh wow, this is amazing, let me take a picture of it, let me pose for a picture of it” and then you miss the moment a little bit. I went to the Atlantic Rainforest while I was in Brazil and we had to go through caves that you had to swim in, it was amazing. I was swimming in a natural swimming pool, inside of a cave, with around 20 of my friends from Brazil and it was amazing, but I have no pictures of it, but I wasn’t disappointed when I left, I was happy just to be enjoying the moment I guess.”
Annie Lenhart ’18
Following a semester-long class comparing and contrasting the Swedish, Dutch, and American approaches to sustainability, Annie Lenhart ’18, a biology major, travelled with her classmates and others for eleven days throughout Amsterdam and Stockholm.
“This was my first time abroad and it changed my life. I never expected that a Sociology class studying different cultures would change me, but seeing how people live differently than me was really eye opening. In Amsterdam, talking to the women about their maternity leave and their rights, to talking to Syrian refugees about their battle of escaping their homeland, was unbelievable. It definitely made me take a step back and reflect on my own life,” said Lenhart.
Sean Collier ’18
Mathematics and Music major, Sean Collier ’18, spent around three weeks at the University of Cambridge as part of an international summer program. He had an intensive course schedule where he focused on Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, and Cryptography.
“Much of the coursework had prerequisites,” said Collier ’18 of the class work he was doing abroad, “E&H provided me with the solid background necessary to succeed and get the most out of my experience. Emory & Henry molds you to think critically and ask deeper questions, and this powerful lesson allowed me to dive entirely into the subjects I was studying.”
Madison Seidel ’18
Business Management major, Madison Seidel ’18, travelled with a group of students and faculty to Spain, spending ten days exploring the country. The trip followed a semester-long class where the students explored the world of sport throughout different countries in the world, also exploring the sports organizations and culture. Seidel was able to have a bike tour, take in some of the country’s history, visit famous sporting venues, and even got to attend a bullfight.
“It was definitely an eye-opening experience. You know, I always knew that there was so much to the world that every person, when given the chance, should explore, however, to be able to actually live what you see on social media or read about in books or even see in movies, was very humbling to me. The biggest thing I learned was probably that life, in the long run, is so short and so precious and we should honestly never take our time here for granted. Explore out of your comfort, do things you normally wouldn’t do. Just live life, it’s so beautiful,” said Seidel.
Sara Foster ’18
Studying for a semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain, a city with 1.6 million people, was quite a difference for Sara Foster ’18, who is use to living in Southwest Virginia. When the mass communications and math double major wasn’t spending her time studying design Elisava, she was visiting 18 cities in 8 different countries, making new friends, meeting up with old friends who were also studying abroad, and enjoying the phenomenal food.