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Get Out! Students and alumni who have studied abroad agree that you should too. This is your guide to making it happen.

Special Issue

2 • Feb. 1, 2011 •


university press Feb. 1, 2011 SPECIAL ISSUE EDITOR Karla Bowsher SPECIAL ISSUE DESIGNER Ariana Corrao SPECIAL ISSUE PHOTO EDITOR Karla Bowsher ALL WORDS BY Karla Bowsher Editor-in-chief Gideon Grudo Managing Editor James Shackelford

WEB EDITOR Tyler Krome Copy DESK CHIEF Ricky Michalski Features editor Alyssa Cutter SPORTS EDITOR Franco Panizo TRAINING EDITOR Briana Bramm PHOTO EDITOR Christine Capozziello senior editor Karla Bowsher LISTINGS EDITOR Kaceion Hudson Assistant art director Ariana Corrao Assistant Web Editor Paul Cohen SENIOR COPY EDITOR Rachel Chapnick SENIOR REPORTERS Brandon Ballenger, Monica Ruiz Senior photograPher Liz Dzuro STAFF REPORTERS Sergio N. Candido, Ryan Cortes, Mark Gibson STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Todd Roller, Elizabeth Whitton STAFF ILLUSTRATOR Adam Sheetz CIRCULATION MANAGER Chris Persaud ADVISER

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FAU Student Government The opinions expressed by the UP are not necessarily those of the student body, Student Government or the university.

When I studied abroad, we spent half a week in the Amazon rain forest. While there, our guides painted our faces with the inside of achiote pods, which are used by indigenous peoples for face paint and food coloring. —Karla Bowsher, Peru and Ecuador, 2007

‘Go for it’

There’s no reason not to study abroad

A few weeks ago, I sent a couple dozen e-mails and Facebook messages to complete strangers. I was trying to get in touch with undergraduates, grad students and alumni who had studied abroad, and was hoping a few would respond. Within days, I received replies from almost all of them — and they were more than willing to share their study abroad experiences with me: They were eager to. “I would be more than happy to share photos and comment on my experiences with you for the paper,” wrote Natasha Kaluby, now an alumna. And every other response I got was a variation of that sentence. Twenty interviews later, I realized that students and alumni who’ve studied abroad feel exactly the same way about it as I do: that regardless of your major or your career path, everyone will benefit from the study abroad experience. That conclusion, plus knowing too many students just assume that study abroad is beyond their reach, is exactly why I wanted to produce this special issue. And in it, you’ll find everything you need to know to start exploring your own study abroad options plus advice from students and alumni who’ve already done it. I also contacted the Career Development Center. “Gaining experience in a country or culture unlike your own will help set you apart from other candidates in the job market,” director Sandra Jakubow said by e-mail. “As graduates enter the labor market and initiate their job search prior to graduating, developing an international component to their resume or CV gives them a competitive edge.” The CDC even co-hosts a workshop called “Marketing Your International Experience” every fall. Of course, more convincing than hearing it from an administrator is hearing it from recent alumni. Jessica Sanchez-Dopazo and Beiqi Darren In are currently working in architecture after studying abroad on architecture programs. Luciano Araujo was hired by a software company after studying abroad on an engineering program. Madison McShane got a job with the Office of International Programs when she graduated. She earned her degree in communication but decided to go into international education after

she studied abroad. “Once you go abroad, you realize how important it is,” she said. “I just fell in love with helping other students have that experience.” But study abroad offers a lot more than academic credits and a resume perk. As Sanchez-Dopazo put it, study abroad also “broadens [your] horizons in a way no credit or internship can.” Read “Little to lose” on page 16 to read why students who’ve studied abroad consider it culturally eye-opening and an opportunity for personal growth. That’s not to say it’s not a challenge, though. Studying abroad can be rough. For me, coming home was the hard part. As much as I missed sleeping in my own bed and showering under some semblance of water pressure, I missed South America even more once I got home, which made it difficult to adjust. David Saginor, who just returned from Spain in December and is still adjusting, even admitted that he’s “pretty unhappy right now.” For others, culture shock and homesickness take their toll. “People tend to get very lonely during the middle of the semester because they’re not with their family, they’re not with their friends. It’s definitely hard,” explained Shulu Potter, who spent a year in Costa Rica. “Some people left during the middle of the semester because they were just so sad because the culture was so different that they just wanted to leave.” But the challenges of study abroad are also what make it a unique opportunity for growth. As Luciano Araujo put it, “Exploring a city by yourself or taking a weekend trip alone is a good opportunity for self-discovery and to build confidence.” Trevor Raborn added, “Being away from home, after a few weeks, it can get to you, but that’s part of growing up.” The best piece of advice I heard, though, came from Amalia Mermingas, who pointed out that there’s really no other time in life but now, during college, to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad. “Go for it,” she said. “This is the only time in your life that you really have the freedom to do something like this.” On the cover: Photos courtesy of Brandon Hall (Italy) and OIP (Egypt, South Korea)

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One last question At the end of each interview, I asked students and alumni who have studied abroad the same question: Is there anything else you would want to tell a student who is considering study abroad? I didn’t expect much of a reply but wanted to be thorough in my reporting. The answers I did receive were some of the most convincing, however: l “Don’t consider studying abroad, just do it! It is honestly an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.” —Cristine Busser, France, summer 2009 l “They should definitely make it happen.” —Beiqi Darren In, Western Europe, summer 2009 l “Go for it. This is the only time in your life that you really have the freedom to do something like this. A lot of other times when you would travel later on in life, you may not be able to get the opportunities that you would as a student. It really changes you as a person, and I think that’s an important thing to have the opportunity to do as a student.” —Amalia Mermingas, Semester at Sea, fall 2009 l “It’s everything and nothing you thought it would be at the same time. Also, it really allows you to see beyond yourself and really be an outsider and make some realizations about yourself and where you come from.” —David Saginor, Spain, spring 2010 and fall 2010

One day while staying in Cuenca, Ecuador, I woke up early and decided to take a walk. It was so early that the streets were empty except for two young boys who were sound asleep on the sidewalk. When they woke, I tried to talk to them and offered to buy them breakfast, but they declined. —Karla Bowsher, Peru and Ecuador, summer 2007

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A wealth of options If you think you can’t afford to go, think again When I studied abroad, I signed up at the last minute and didn’t take the time to learn how much funding is out there. Instead, I racked up my credit card — but you don’t have to make the same mistake. Scholarships, grants and financial aid can provide anywhere from $200 to $20,000 if you seek them out — which the Office of International Programs (OIP) and the financial aid office help FAU students do. “Don’t be afraid of the price,” said art major Amalia Mermingas. “A lot of students kind of get scared of the initial price of the whole program and think that they can’t afford it, but scholarships are always available.” Mermingas spent fall 2009 abroad on the Semester at Sea program, which awarded her a grant on top of her financial aid. “The study abroad office was really helpful with helping me to get that,” she added. If you’re still afraid of the cost, consider this: Financial aid In most cases, financial aid can help cover study abroad costs, said OIP director Catherine Meschievitz. But she urges interested students to consult her office and the financial aid office as early as possible to learn about their options. “Financial aid can be complex, and it’s student-specific to their situation,” Meschievitz explained. “We’ll make sure they get the best advice.” Bright Futures scholarships Students enrolled in FAU courses while away on an exchange or faculty-led program can apply their Bright Futures scholarships toward studying abroad, Meschievitz said, but only for the fall and spring semesters. In fall 2009, philosophy major Katie Carpenter took all of her Bright Futures assistance to South Korea, along with her Honors College scholarship. They covered “nearly all” of her expenses, she said.


OIP scholarships Every semester, OIP hands out $500 or $1,000 scholarships. The deadline is March 4 for this summer, and April 23 for fall 2011 and the 2011-2012 academic year. Outside scholarships OIP helps students apply for several federal scholarships, like the Benjamin A. Gilman award, worth up to $5,000, or up to $8,000 for students studying certain languages. The Gilman summer and fall deadline is March 1. Reliable websites, like, also provide extensive lists of scholarships.

Study this ...

8 • Feb. 1, 2011 •

Online: To learn more about these funding options, visit the Office of International Programs’ website: • (click on “Financial Aid & Scholarships”)

Top: Christmas Day 2009 in Nampo-dong, South Korea: “She was one of about ten people with ‘free hugs’ signs around there. I got lots of free hugs that day.” —Katie Carpenter, South Korea, fall 2009

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Bottom: “This is me with some South African children who live in the townships (ghettos). I helped out at a soup kitchen that fed children every day after school.” —Amalia Mermingas, Semester at Sea, fall 2009

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In San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, a village is built “of wood, metal and scraps — both homes and people struggling to survive.” —Jessica Serinsky, Costa Rica, summer 2009

“This image depicts a common occurrence in São Paulo that drives by without a care, a single example of the ov people.” —Elizabeth Edwards, Brazil, summer 2010 COURTESY OF OIP


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“My buddies and I took a bike ride through the mountains in Luzern, Switzerland. When up high, one can see the beautiful landscapes in contrast with its intricate city planning.” —Beiqi Darren In, Western Europe, summer 2009

Students nap on the street in Veni France, spring 2010

A market in Ho Chi Minh City, the capital of Vietnam. —Amalia Mermingas, Semester at Sea, fall 2009


Travel gives students new perspectives

11 • Feb. 1, 2011 •

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A spice stand at the Sunday market in Versailles, France. “I just fell in love with the colors and smells.” —Natasha Kaluby, France, fall 2009


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hether you’re majoring in international business or visual arts, whether you can travel for 10 days or 12 months, whether you prefer classes in English or Japanese, there’s a study abroad program for you. The Office of International Programs (OIP) offers or helps students with four main program types, and every type can be tailored to you. “There’s a range of opportunity of what we can do, depending on what a student’s interests, vocation they want to go into, how long they can be abroad, how much money they have,” explained Catherine Meschievitz, director of OIP. As with funding your study abroad trip (see page 8), however, timing is key. The sooner you explore the options, the more you’ll have to pick from. “If the student plans early in their student career and comes to talk to us to look at those options,” Meschievitz added, “we’re more likely [to be able to] help them to find the program that fits their needs.” Whatever your needs are, here’s a crash course in study abroad programs:

program There’s an option for every type of student Exchange programs FAU offers exchange programs at partner universities abroad. This type of program allows an FAU student to study abroad while a foreign student studies at FAU. Exchange programs typically last one semester or one academic year; however, shorter versions are available during the summer. Jessica Sanchez-Dopazo studied at Germany’s Dessau Summer School of Architecture. When she graduated with a degree in architecture two years later, her study abroad experience helped her score a job with an architecture firm. “What go their attention was that I studied abroad [there],” she said of the Dessau program. The firm also liked that her experience abroad gave her a broader background, she said, because she had traveled and picked up a foreign language while abroad. Similar to exchange programs are direct enroll programs, which allow students to directly enroll in courses at a partner university. Other Florida state schools’ programs If FAU’s program options don’t suit you, look into study abroad programs at other Florida state universities. They all accept students from other state schools, and

Provider programs In addition to FAU and other universities, outside companies also offer study abroad programs, known as provider programs or affiliate programs. “Program providers have done much of the work for students and offer housing options, a variety of courses, student activities, excursions, and occasionally flights,” according to OIP’s website. Although Meschievitz said they tend to be more expensive, OIP has a list of approved providers and can help students research others. Commonly used companies include the American Institute for Foreign Study, CEA Global Education and International Studies Abroad. James Fichera, now an alumnus, chose a Center for Study Abroad program when he wanted to study in Japan. It offered an affordable home stay option, he said. For more details on study abroad programs, visit OIP’s website: (under “Study Abroad Opportunities”). To find out which works best for you, contact OIP ASAP (see the box on page 8). Whichever program type you pursue, it’s important to work with OIP to ensure your credits will transfer back to FAU. TURN THE PAGE: Learn about housing options

“Musicians in the top of a float during the Gion Festival in Kyoto, Japan. The festival has been held for over 1,200 years and celebrates the local deities.” —James Fichera, Japan, summer 2008

13 • Feb. 1, 2011 •


Faculty-led programs Programs led by FAU faculty members are all shortterm. They range from one to six weeks in length, yet allow students to get three to seven credits out of the way. Because most of them run during the summer, they’re a popular option for students who may not be able to study abroad for a whole semester. FAU students are usually the only ones in the courses offered on faculty-led programs, and at least one course is taught by an FAU professor, Meschievitz said. Most faculty-led programs are open to undergraduate and graduate students of all majors and all levels of foreign language skills, but some have very specific requirements. To learn more about the 2011 facultyled programs — in countries like Ireland, Ecuador and Ghana — read this article at

Get with the

you can still apply your Bright Futures if you travel for a fall or spring semester. Almost all of Florida’s 10 other state universities offer study abroad programs, but according to Meschievitz, Florida State’s and the University of Florida’s options are the most developed. “Definitely don’t be afraid to look at other schools’ programs, because they’re all over the place,” said marketing major Brandon Hall. He spent a semester in Valencia, Spain, on an FSU program because he wanted to stay in a coastal city.

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There are two basic types of housing options for students while abroad: home stay and everything else. Home stay is when a student lives in the home of a local individual or family, sometimes referred to as a “host family.” It’s a great way to improve your foreign language skills and experience the local culture on a more personal level. “If somebody has the chance to stay at a home stay, I definitely recommend it because you get the full experience,” said Eva Cantillo, a communication major who is minoring in Spanish. When she studied abroad in Spain last summer, Cantillo lived with a woman who “didn’t speak any English at all.” Shulu Potter, an international business major who spent a year in Costa Rica, agreed and offered this advice: “Spend as much time with the host family as you can and getting to know the host family’s friends, because then you have a better experience with the culture of the country.” Other housing options include dorms, hotels and apartments. Depending on the type of study abroad program they pursue, students may live alone, with other FAU students, or with students from other universities.


Little to lose Despite challenges, students agree study abroad is worth it I’ve asked 15 students and alumni who have studied abroad whether they would recommend it. They all said yes — and a few even believe study abroad should be required to graduate. Here’s why: l “I not only recommend, but I believe it should be a requirement. People that travel abroad and experience different cultures and ways of life become more open-minded and learn to adapt more easily. Both of these qualities are crucial to succeed in life today.” —Luciano Araujo, France, summer 2010 l “Oh, definitely, definitely. I think it should actually be mandatory. It helps you to deal better with other cultures, different mentalities. You learn a lot about a different culture, so it broadens your horizon.” —Natasha Kaluby, France, fall 2009 l “I absolutely would recommend this to other students. The most beneficial thing about studying abroad, in my opinion, is the deeper understanding you can acquire of people from different backgrounds. By accepting the role of minority, and making yourself vulnerable to a culture’s stereotypes, you really gain valuable insight to what people have to deal with in our country, as well as all over the world. Although some people can also travel for this purpose, studying abroad provides a true immersion experience through classroom content as well as required interaction with people from that country.” —Cristine Busser, France, summer 2009 l “Yes, definitely. For me, it was very fulfilling, and I learned more than I could ever imagine learning on a trip.” —Virginia Engestrom, Mexico, October 2009 l “Oh, definitely. You just learn so much about another culture – and you get credits out of the way.” —Brandon Hall, Spain, spring 2010

Of course, study abroad isn’t all gondola rides and Eiffel Tower picnics. So, I also asked students and alumni who’ve studied abroad what the hardest part of the experience was. They cited the language barrier most frequently, but every challenge can be overcome if not considered a benefit:


16 • Feb. 1, 2011 •

l “Trying to make the locals understand what I’m saying. It can get very frustrating sometimes when you need something important. But it is also the best part of studying abroad, and that frustration leads to motivation to learn. And there are a few cultural things that I can’t get used to, like their toilet, for example. It’s not like a seat but more of a hole that you need to squat to do your business.” —Dwayne Hannam, China, spring 2011 through fall 2011 l “Learning a little bit of the language was a little bit of a challenge, but you pick up the important things really quickly. If you’re studying abroad, maybe take a language class while you’re there. Even if it’s just a beginner level, it’ll help you.” —Natasha Kaluby, France, fall 2009 l “The language barrier. The rest was pretty easy.” —Kevin Menschel, Italy, summer 2009 l “Not having that ideal person to share the experience with. The girls in the program were great, but cliques formed pretty quickly. Many people knew each other from the schools they came from. The good side to this is that I was allowed the right amount of independence to do and see the things I wanted to see, but had people when I wanted to go out for dinner or share other things with. Other than that, I can’t think of anything else that was particularly difficult.” —Cristine Busser, France, summer 2009 l “Trying not be jaded throughout the semester and to enjoy each place as a new experience. Many students lost the thrill and sense of excitement that they had at the start of the semester, and ended up complaining a lot. To other students considering study abroad, I would highly recommend keeping a journal or a blog of all your thoughts and experiences as a way of processing everything that’s happening in a constructive way.” —Amalia Mermingas, Semester at Sea, fall 2009 l “The reverse culture shock when you come home is something to deal with.” —David Saginor, Spain, spring and fall 2010 l “I can’t say there was anything that was really hard. It was just getting all your paperwork together.” —Cindy Handle, Sweden, spring 2010 l “I can’t think of any. It wasn’t a difficult experience. There are things that you’re not that familiar with, but I think that’s part of the fun, that’s part of what’s exciting about it.” —Beiqi Darren In, Western Europe, summer 2009 Top: Nesting dolls at a “touristy” gift shop in Prague, Czech Republic. —Beiqi Darren In, Western Europe, summer 2009 Bottom: “This was taken in a public elementary school [in] a tiny rural village called Noc Ac. You can notice the Indian (native Mexicans) racial resemblance in the children. The person looking at the material is Loretta Fry, one of the students in the group. She is a doctorate student” at FAU. —Virginia Engestrom, Mexico, October 2009

For more responses, read this article at www.upressonline. com.

In their own words Advice from students who’ve been there and done that COURTESY OF LUCIANO ARAUJO

Would you pack anti-diarrheal medication for China? Should you ignore Facebook while in France? Do you know the exchange rate in Japan? Students who have studied abroad before certainly would. They’re the resident experts on the topic, so I went straight to them for tips. These are their suggestions for other students who plan to go abroad.

Do: l “Knowing if you need a visa, vaccines, learning about the exchange rate, and having a rough idea of your trip and your goals before leaving will make your trip far more enjoyable.” —James Fichera, Japan, summer 2008 l “Inform your bank that you will be studying abroad in advance, and inform them of any possible countries you might travel to while you are out of the country. If not, they will block your card if you try to use it abroad.” —Dwayne Hannam, China, spring 2011 through fall 2011 l “Stock up on medicine you might need. For China, it took me a week to get used to the food when I came here for the first time, so it was just frequent trips to the bathroom. Some people might not feel comfortable going to a local doctor,

and it’s worse when there is a language barrier.” —Dwayne Hannam, China, spring 2011 through fall 2011 l “Meet [locals] because they’re going to show you a lot of things that you couldn’t find on your own. No visitor’s guide, no tourist map, nothing will really show you some intricate parts of whatever country you’re in.” —Trevor Raborn, England, summer 2007 l “Step outside of the comfort zone and make new friends, do things you normally wouldn’t, and share your culture with others.” —Luciano Araujo, France, summer 2010 l “Travel to as many places as you can, especially in the country you’re studying in.” —Brandon Hall, Spain, spring 2010

Don’t: l “Do not waste space in your suitcase for things you can easily buy in the country.” —Cristine Busser, France, summer 2009 l “[Don’t] succumb to stereotypes. For example, the idea that all Japanese are short simply isn’t true. The oldest son of one of my host families was 6’1”.” —James Fichera, Japan, summer 2008 l “One should not seclude oneself in a room

Top tip Before I studied abroad, I spent many afternoons reading in the Boca Barnes & Noble cafe. I never bought anything besides what I ate and drank while there (travel books get dated quickly), but I read every book I could find about Peru and Ecuador — and took about a dozen pages of notes. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the people and places I would visit before I got there. Apparently, I wasn’t alone. Of all the advice I collected from other students, I heard this piece repeated by almost everyone for various reasons. So, if you think that the learning doesn’t start till you get abroad, realize that doing a little homework before you go will make your trip more enjoyable and quite possibly spare you some embarrassment.

For more tips from students and alumni, read this article at

l “Learn as much as they can about the language and culture and also get familiar with the activities, places and events of the city where one will be staying. It’s very easy today with the amount of information on the Internet.” —Luciano Araujo, France, summer 2010 l “Definitely research the culture, customs and language of the region you're heading to before you leave, and be a constant student when there. If you express a genuine interest in the people you'll be meeting, they will appreciate your efforts and be more likely to share their culture — and some great experiences — with you.” —Katie Carpenter, South Korea, fall 2009 l “Do a little research before going to the country: things like the weather, food they eat, cultural do’s and don’ts. You don’t want to offend people or think people are offending you because you don’t know anything about their culture.” —Dwayne Hannam, China, spring 2011 through fall 2011


“On the 22-hour train ride from Beijing to Jiamusi.” —Dwayne Hannam, China, spring 2011 through fall 2011

17 • Feb. 1, 2011 •

Posters for sale in Paris. —Luciano Araujo, France, summer 2010

and stay on the Internet talking to friends back home on [Facebook] or other channels. Going out and exploring is what makes the experience memorable.” —Luciano Araujo, France, summer 2010 l “[Do] not get caught up in everything ‘touristy.’ Oftentimes, the things you remember most are those unplanned, off-the-beaten-path moments.” —Cristine Busser, France, summer 2009

More than 20 students who studied abroad contributed interviews and/or photographs to this issue. These are their stories in a nutshell...

Meet the


Last summer, Luciano Araujo spent three months in France: 10 weeks in the city of Rennes as part of the Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program and then two weeks traveling throughout southern France on his own. Upon his return, Araujo graduated with a master’s in computer science and now works for a software company. For a link to the blog he kept while studying abroad, read this article at For six weeks of the summer of 2007, Karla Bowsher studied abroad in Peru and Ecuador on the Andean Cultural Studies program, led by professors Michael Horswell and Rachel Corr. Bowsher is a Spanish studies major and is now a senior. Cristine Busser lived in an apartmentstyle hotel in Paris, France, during summer A 2009. All of the classes she took were taught in French by local professors, as she studied abroad through the Council on International Educational Exchange. Busser graduated with a bachelor’s in English at the end of that summer and is

Copenhagen, Denmark; and Barcelona, Spain. Hall is a marketing major with a minor in hospitality and management and is now a junior.

now working on a master’s in writing at Nova Southeastern University in Broward County. To read the creative nonfiction story that Busser wrote about her trip for an advanced exposition course at FAU, read this article at In the summer of 2010, Eva Cantillo studied at Spain’s University of Valencia for a month through an International Studies Abroad program. She took two courses. Cantillo, who is now a junior, is majoring in communication and minoring in Spanish. Katie Carpenter spent the fall 2009 semester in Busan, South Korea. She is majoring in liberal arts with a philosophy concentration in the Honors College and is now a senior. Elizabeth Edwards spent a week and a half of the summer of 2010 studying the city structure of Sao Paulo, Brazil on a faculty-led program designed for urban and regional planning majors. She is now a senior.

Virginia Engestrom spent nine days in Mexico as part of master’s level education course (EDG 6625) that she took with Professor James McLaughlin during the fall 2009 semester. While there, she and her classmates visited various public and private schools. To read the four-page newsletter that she wrote about the trip, read this article at Engestrom will graduate this summer with a master’s in multicultural education. During the summer of 2008, James Fichera spent four weeks in an intensive language program in Kobe, Japan, offered by the Center for Study Abroad. In fall 2009, he graduated from FAU with a double major in history and arts and humanities. Last year, Fichera earned a second bachelor’s, in Asian studies with a Japanese concentration, from Florida International University. For the spring 2010 semester, Brandon Hall studied abroad in Valencia, Spain, on a Florida State University program. He spent the spring break traveling to Brussels, Belgium; Amsterdam, the Netherlands;

Accounting major Cindy Handle spent January through June of 2010 studying at the Stockholm University School of Business on an exchange program. While there, she got an internship at Bain & Company, an American-based marketing firm that had just opened an office in Stockholm. Handle is now a senior. Dwayne Hannam arrived in Jiamusi, China, in December 2010 and will stay there till January 2012. He is currently direct enrolled at Jiamusi University but also studied in China during the summers of 2009 (through the University of Arizona’s Yangtze International Study Abroad program) and 2010. Hannam, who is studying Chinese abroad, prefers smaller cities because “there are too many foreigners in the popular cities, so it’s too easy to use English.” He is a mechanical engineering major and is now a junior. During the summer A semester of 2009, Beiqi Darren In studied throughout Western Europe as part of an architecture program led by an FAU professor. He took one culture course and one architecture course. After the six-week program ended, In traveled for another two weeks before returning home. He graduated during the summer of 2010 with a bachelor’s in architecture and is now freelancing. For a link to the blog he kept while studying abroad, read this article at www. For fall 2009, Natasha Kaluby studied in Paris, France, in the American Business School (ABS) exchange program. While there, she also spent a weekend in London, England, and visited Germany for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. She graduated in December with a bachelor’s in psychology.

18 • Feb. 1, 2011 •

“Before we left for our trip, our professors asked us to donate school items that could be given to the children of Jamaica. When we got to Ocho Rios Primary School and gave those supplies to the children, they were so happy. They just kept saying thank you and hugging us. I asked a few of the children to take a picture with me so that I could remember that day forever. It means a lot to me because although they were small items, it really made that day special for those kids and hopefully gave them a little more spirit to learn and stay in school.” —Charlye Sessner, Jamaica, spring break 2008

Madison McShane studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, for six weeks during the summer of 2009. She traveled on an FAU program led by communication professor Noemi Marin and Spanish professor Yolanda Gamboa. In December 2009, McShane earned her bachelor’s in communications with a focus on intracultural and organizational communication. She currently works part-time as a program assistant in FAU’s Office of International Programs and plans to go into international education. Kevin Menschel, an architecture major, spent six weeks in Venice, Italy, during the summer of 2009. He traveled on an FAU program led by architecture professor John Sandell and Italian professor Ilaria Serra. Menschel is now a senior. COURTESY OF OIP

International business major Shulu Potter took business courses in Costa Rica during the 2008-2009 academic year. She was originally only going to stay for one semester, but she “just loved it so much” that she decided to extend her stay. During the summer of 2007, Trevor Raborn spent two months in London, England, where he studied the English parliament and its ties to the European Union under a professor from the Honors College. While there, Raborn took a side trip to Brussels, Belgium, to visit the United Nations. A microbiology major, he is now a senior. David Saginor spent the spring 2010 semester studying at Spain’s University of Salamanca. He went home for the summer, but then decided he wanted to return, so he directly enrolled himself for the fall semester. He returned in December 2010 and is a double major in Spanish studies and linguistics.


Jessica Sanchez-Dopazo studied at Germany’s Dessau Summer School of Architecture in the summer of 2008. She graduated with a bachelor’s in architecture in 2010 and now works for an architecture firm — a job she says she got in part because of her study abroad experience. Charlye Sessner, then a graduate student, spent spring break 2008 studying in Jamaica, where she also visited various local businesses and media outlets. The program was led by professors Eric Chiang and Rupert Rhodd. She earned a master’s in business administration in 2009. Jenny Sanchez and Jessica Serinsky could not be reached for comment before press time. For links to the programs they participated in and the universities they attended abroad, read this article at www.

“Taken while I was at a Barcelona soccer game in April.” —Brandon Hall, Spain, spring 2010

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19 • Feb. 1, 2011 •

Amalia Mermingas spent fall 2009 abroad on the University of Virginia’s Semester at Sea program. “It was the best decision of my life,” she said of the trip. Mermingas visited Spain, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius (Africa), India, Vietnam, China, and Japan. She is double-majoring in visual arts and art history and is now a junior.


Sund 13 y Februar am @10:30

rch u h C y e n oca Raton r u o J e h of TNew Church in B ally FUN!

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It is my pleasure to invite you to the GRAND OPENING of The Journey Church on Sunday, February 13 @ 10:30am.

The Journey is not your typical church... You will have a great opportunity to meet people like you, have a genuinely fun and meaningful time at church and grow spiritually in your life. Don't worry, you will find a welcoming environment and the dress is casual, so come as you are.


Lead Pastor, The Journey

The teaching will be relevant to your life, the music will be rockin', and your kids will have a fun learning experience at Journey Kidz. I hope to see you for the GRAND OPENING on Sunday, February 13 at The Journey. I look forward to meeting you!

Attend Sunday, February 13 and discover the truth about... • The Real Secret to True and Lasting Weight Loss! • How to Motivate Yourself For Change. • How to Manage Your Lifestyle Habits. • The Secret to Great Exercise... and Enjoying It! • How Your Physical Health is Connected to Your Spiritual Life. (You'll Never Get it Right Until You Understand This!) IN 2011

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Glades Rd.

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Now Meeting Weekly at:


The Kathryn Lindgren Theater 1501 NW 15th Ct., Boca Raton, FL (just across from FAU - Glades @ I-95)

P.S. I would love to send you a FREE GIFT. Go to to receive a free copy of the New York Times best-seller, The Purpose- Driven Life.




JOURNEY KIDZ: The Best Hour of Your Child’s

Week For 5th Grade and Under

Everyone who attends on Sunday, February 13 will receive a free copy of Pastor Nelson Searcy's brand new book, "Unshakable"


University Press, Volume 12, Issue 18