JAGUARS ON THE MAP
While most GSU students relaxed after finals week this past
May, three groups of participants postured themselves for an international
expedition. Three faculty-led study abroad programs traveled to various parts
of the world this past month. Dr. Olumide Ijose from the college of Business,
along with Dr. Cynthia Carr and 13 GSU student participants, studied the
culture and business of South Africa. Dr. Caren Rossow and Dr. Jennifer
Groebner, along with nine students, visited the Swedish Healthcare Academy in
Sweden to learn about the top healthcare system in the world. While the third
group, led by Dr. Rebecca Michel, studied the counseling profession throughout
Joanne Bockmann, a graduate student in the Masters of Health
Administration program, initially became interested in the Sweden abroad
opportunity through her professor, Dr. Rossow. The inspiration for her desire
to study abroad, particularly in Sweden, came from both a professional and
personal place. “Because I was completing my MHA, I wanted to learn more about
another country’s healthcare system. I am also Swedish and felt that this was a
great opportunity to visit the homeland of my great-grand parents”.
Linda Coleman, a transfer student in the Dual-Degree Program
and a Healthcare Administration major, shares that participants were encouraged
to view their abroad experience through the lens of three elements: cultural,
personal and professional. For Linda, Sweden’s unisex facilities was the most
memorable cultural adjustment. “Every restroom we encountered, even the ones
outdoors in the grasslands were designed as unisex. No one was uncomfortable.
It is their custom.” Her highlight for the personal element was Sweden’s
diversification. “It is a vastly diversified area. I greatly appreciated being
surrounded by various kinds of people. I did not quite expect it to be that way”.
For the professional element, she shares how the experience of working
one-on-one with top healthcare professionals was invaluable and unforgettable.
“There were times we did not even recognize the professional level of those
instructing us. We arrived at a facility and received such warm greeting from
everyone. There was one particular individual named, “Bo”, who was very
hands-on with us and we later realized that he was at the very top of the organization’s
hierarchy. There were no heirs. Their system is very people-focused and
Student Katelyn Frickenstein feels that the Sweden
experience has given her a greater appreciation for different culture and a
deeper level of gratitude for her personal life. “Since going on this trip I
have been more receptive of different people and their ideas as well as really
appreciative for what I am learning here at GSU. I find myself thinking in
different ways about the content I am learning in class”.
While the Sweden participants studied the top healthcare
system in the world, thirteen other GSU students visited Cape Town, Port
Elizabeth and Grahamstown in South Africa. Karen Bryant, who recently received
her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from GSU, wanted to have an authentic
encounter with South African culture. “I wanted to have a firsthand experience
with the people and institutions and gauge how the country was functioning
post-apartheid”. She holds the beauty of
the country as a personal highlight. “Upon arrival, I was taken by the natural
beauty. There were mountains, valleys, lots of foliage, sandy beaches and
bodies of water. It was easy to see why people wanted to live there and control
the country’s natural resources”. Karen was also deeply moved by the South
African students’ focus and dedication. “The people who left the greatest
impression were the students at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. The students
are in the MBA program studying to become leaders in their respective fields. What
I found most interesting about them is their desire to honor the past, find
solutions to present problems while forging a future for every citizen of South
Another student participant, Devonna Walker, hopes to stay
in contact with the students she met at Rhodes University. “They hosted a
barbeque for us and we traded stories with them, learning that we have more in
common than we initially thought. We exchanged Facebook information and plan to
keep in touch. I enjoyed our time there”.
GSU students returned home with countless memories and photographs,
however, student travel is not the only aspect of the Study Abroad program. Classes
for the Sweden, South Africa and Italy abroad courses started in February of
the 2016 spring semester and was a mixture of online and in-class meetings, also
known as hybrid courses.
In addition to the faculty-led programs, GSU currently has
students studying in Ghana and India for four weeks. Three more students will
also travel to China in July with our partner school, Hangzhou Normal
University. The study abroad participants will have the opportunity to share
more in-depth about their once in a lifetime experience with the entire GSU
community this fall at a symposium during the Study Abroad Fair in September
and during International Education Week in November.
If you want to study abroad, the Office of International Services can help facilitate the education abroad process for both GSU students and faculty. We also provide information for the parents of GSU education abroad students.
Each semester we offer programming to inform the GSU community about the latest opportunities and guide them in making their dreams a reality.
Public Health Brigade - Nicaragua
Dates: January 4-10, 2017
Application Status: Open
Contact Amy Schoenberg for more information.
This section will assist GSU students that are looking to study outside the United States.
GSU faculty will find resources here regarding the planning, approval and execution of education abroad trips.
This page contains information for parents whose children will be studying abroad while at GSU.