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RobbySoto1Robby Soto is a journalism major who studied abroad in the Dominican Republic on the Higher Education in the Dominican Republic: Access, Equity and Opportunity education abroad program during winter break 2019.

The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country on the inside and out. The island screams with nature in a colorful language that cannot be explained in words. Underneath the surface is a society of people who operate in a collectivist and familial mindset, which results in chivalry, consideration and a sense of safety. Although, with a very adverse history of dictatorships, government corruption and natural disasters, they have struggled to develop their cities, homes and schools and have fallen far behind most countries in all levels of societal development.

The DR's culture is deeply rooted in Catholicism, and this is displayed throughout the education system they have today. The church plays a big role in their youth's development by providing a faith, but also through the funding of multiple private schools throughout the country. Children attending private school obtain a far better experience in terms of knowledge obtained, quality of teachers, quality of meals and extra-curricular activities.

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SarahPalocko1Sarah Palocko, Sesquicentennial Scholar and social work major, studied abroad on the Social Work in India with a Focus on Health and Mental Health education abroad program during summer 2019. Sarah received funding through the STEP Fellowship ($2,000) and a Students First Study Abroad Scholarship through the College of Social Work ($1,500).

My program, set in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Bangalore, Karnataka, India, was a three week immersion into health and mental health care practice and treatment, within the context of Indian culture. I attended lectures every morning pertaining to different fields of health/mental health social work, followed by site visits to social service agencies in the afternoon. In the evenings and on weekends, we would travel, eat incredible food and attend cultural events, like weddings, Bharatanatyam (dance) class and yoga workshops.

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AmbarJavier1Journalism major Ambar Javier studied abroad in the Dominican Republic on the Higher Education in the Dominican Republic: Access, Equity and Opportunity education abroad program during winter break 2019. 

Although my trip was disrupted by the flu, my time in The Dominican Republic taught me more about my culture than anything else. I was motivated to apply for the study abroad trip as soon as I scrolled upon it on the ODI website. After applying and being nervous about getting admitted into the program, I was ecstatic to find out that I was going to have this life-changing opportunity.

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Raina1Raina Rotondo is a Sesquicentennial Scholar and civil engineering major who studied abroad on the European Cities and Sustainable Urban Planning Practices during summer 2017. 

Ohio State’s European Cities and Sustainable Urban Planning Practices program provided an in-depth study of sustainable planning in the cities of Copenhagen, Denmark; Hamburg and Berlin, Germany; Malmo, Sweden; and Amsterdam, Netherlands. These cities are routinely regarded among the most livable in the world and at the forefront of engineering and sustainable city planning. After discussing this study abroad program with its supervising professor Dr. Jesus Lara, I knew it would broaden my perspectives and significantly enhance my civil engineering experience and learning. While studying abroad, we worked both in teams and individually on projects focusing on sustainable urban design, city development and sociocultural factors in community design. I quickly knew that this international experience with diverse and innovative approaches to sustainable design and construction was vital to developing best practices and solutions and to becoming the best civil engineer, city planner and community leader possible.

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SlyWorthyJrSly Worthy Jr. is a junior social work major and studied abroad on the Higher Education in the Dominican Republic: Access, Equity and Opportunity study abroad program during winter break 2019.

Excited, nervous, scared. Those were the emotions I felt when I found out I was accepted into the program, and they lasted throughout. This program was truly transformational. I was surprised by the amount of personal growth I achieved. Prior to this trip I had not been on a plane or traveled outside of the country. This study abroad process of getting my passport, understanding how to pack and navigating the airports are necessities for my future. I was terrified of heights and during this experience alone I went on four flights and a cable car.

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Andrew Capozzi at the World Health OrganizationAndrew Capozzi is a senior majoring in pharmaceutical sciences who studied abroad on the International Pharmacy Experience during Spring Break 2019.

"I had the amazing opportunity to join an exceptional group of 24 students in Switzerland through The Ohio State University’s International Pharmacy Experience. Our travels took us around the country from the cities of Zurich, Basel, and Geneva to the beautiful Stoos, Luzern, and Lausanne. Through this experience, my fellow students and I were able to visit a Swiss community pharmacy, tour the campus at the Novartis headquarters, engage with students and faculty at the University of Basel, and be ambassadors for Ohio State at the World Health Organization."

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Mary Grace Sylvester on service-learning in GhanaMary Grace Sylvester is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering who studied abroad on the Engineering Service-Learning in Ghana program during Winter Break 2019.

"Engineering Service Learning in Ghana was an incredible opportunity to demonstrate and develop skills that I've learned in the classroom for the last four years. We worked alongside locals, and as a result, all of us really engaged with Ghana's beautiful and vivid culture. We ate tons of good food, traveled bumpy roads to beautiful destinations, and overall became better people and engineers. Ghana: you were incredible, and the mark you left on all of us was indelible."

OliviaSergentBlog2Upon my arrival at the University of Tsukuba I was admittedly a little concerned. I’m the type of person that loves to live in busy places. I want to be able to walk out my door every weekend and see or experience something new, and at first glance I didn’t know if I’d be able to manage that in Tsukuba. The campus is beautiful, honestly, absolutely stunning. It’s like walking around in a park all day. But I didn’t have immediate access to the city, and it was a twenty minute walk just to get to a restaurant that wasn’t linked to campus. I was afraid that I’d be stuck in a bubble with no easy way to sate my urge to wander and explore.

Fortunately, Tsukuba has risen to the challenge. It seems like there is always something going on in and around campus. After only eight weeks I’ve been to two different festivals and a party for the biggest language club on campus, been to and from the main bus center countless times for dinner, shopping and errands and been to the biggest mall in Ibaraki prefecture. There is also a shrine a short walk away from my residence hall, Mount Tsukuba is only an hour bus ride away, and easy access to Tokyo.

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Fisher Honors student Melissa Liang in Brazil

Melissa Liang is a senior majoring in operations management who studied abroad with the Fisher College of Business Honors Global Lab program in Brazil during Winter Break 2019.

"Through the Fisher College of Business Honors Cohort program, I had the chance to spend two weeks in São Paulo and Rio experiencing a variety of companies and cultural experiences. We competed in a case competition with other Brazilian students and not only experienced new perspectives on life but formed life-long friendships. The discussions ranging from U.S. vs. Brazilian perspectives about sustainability to inequality in the favelas were eye opening. Experiencing the breathtaking views from Christ the Redeemer to learning about what companies are doing to empower children in favelas is so inspirational and makes me optimistic about the world. The world is so vast, beautiful, and full of life to experience and I’m excited to continue exploring more of it."

Nicole Hamon at La Brea Pitch Lake in TrinidadNicole Hamon is a first-year student majoring in animal science who studied abroad on the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences First-Year Experience in Trinidad during Winter Break 2019.

"My favorite part about studying abroad my first semester was interacting with a new culture and making life-long friendships with some pretty amazing people. I loved interacting with the children and giving back to my community while abroad. I was also able to meet a veterinarian in Trinidad and see how veterinary medicine is done in a new country. Being able to do what I love and travel while learning qualities that will help me as an Animal Science major was absolutely incredible. My #BuckeyesAbroad experience was one I will forever remember and cherish throughout the course of my life!"

Kelly Franz on Fisher Honors Lab in BrazilKelly Franz is a finance major who studied abroad on the Fisher College of Business Honors Global Lab during Winter Break 2019.

"Feeling so grateful and inspired after an unforgettable trip to Brazil with the Fisher Honors Cohort! There are so many misconceptions about Brazil so I was hesitant about traveling there, but now I can’t wait to go back! I am amazed by all that the country has to offer and the incredible people that live there."

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6190EB1A FF1F 43E5 8E76 66FB86F11D7EShaleen Ghosh is a third-year biology major who studied abroad on the Geography of the European Union program in Cyprus in May 2019.

The Geography of the European Union focused on how countries in Europe interact socially, politically and economically and how these international relationships can be shaped by a country's location. Cyprus, located at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, has a rich and diverse culture that has been shaped by the different civilizations that have ruled the island throughout history. There are remnants of Ancient Roman forts; the memory of the British Empire lives on through a militarized zone in the heart of the island; American ships are docked on the southern coast; the governing of the island is currently split between the Turkish Cypriot North and the Greek Cypriot South. The island's attractiveness to different world powers can be defined by one word: geography. Strategic location, plentiful natural resources and undeniable beauty has drawn civilizations toward the island for centuries.

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Sophia Madeline on dive in South CaicosSophia Madeline, a junior majoring in evolution and ecology and minoring in Spanish, studied abroad on the The School for Field Studies – Marine Megafauna program in South Caicos in Summer 2019.

For my STEP Signature Project, I studied abroad through The School for Field Studies in the course "Marine Megafauna Ecology and Conservation." For one month, I researched many different animals, including rock iguanas, eagle rays, sea turtles, and sharks. I was also given the opportunity to enhance my diving skills and experience. My perspective of myself and the world has changed because of this wonderful adventure. I had witnessed an entirely different culture when I lived on South Caicos. I could not believe how many different values people can hold in different places throughout the world. This experience has only made me want to travel the world more. I have learned that I am able to keep calm and adapt when a situation does not go my way. Through this program, I feel that I have genuinely grown academically, culturally, and personally.

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OliviaSergent webI am so incredibly lucky to be able to study in Japan right now. There is so much going on, so much excitement and newness that I feel a little spoiled even though it has nothing to do with me. The most obvious reason is of course the Summer Olympics coming to Tokyo in July. The school year will conveniently end just as they are beginning, so even if I don’t manage to get a ticket to a single event, I’ll still be able to go down to Tokyo and be a part of a significant global tradition.

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Taisse Torres is a junior majoring in psychology and Portuguese.

Last spring, I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Curitiba, Brazil, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did I learn a new language but I was immersed in a new culture and did things I never imagined I would have the chance to do, along with making strong bonds with the people I met and spent time with.

Brazilian culture varies around the country, and I was lucky enough to be able to travel to different places and be part of different traditions. I was there to see the beauty of Carnival, the beginning of Festa Junina and even got to celebrate my birthday there. I managed to travel to Paranaguá, Foz do Iguaçu, Florianopolis, Morretes, Rio de Janeiro, Cascavel, Argentina and Paraguay. I went to beautiful beaches, saw the magnificence of Cristo Redentor, stood at the Garganta do Diablo at the Cataratas de Foz do Iguaçu and got an adrenaline rush at Beto Carrero World. This is without including all the adventures in Curitiba itself, which we knew inside and out by the end of our time there.

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Sydney Floyd studying abroad in New ZealandSydney Floyd, a senior environment, economy development, and sustainability major studied abroad on the Sustainable Tourism & Human Impacts on the Environment program offered by the School of Environment and Natural Resources in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in summer 2019.

"My experience in New Zealand was almost indescribable. Everything was so rich with culture and tradition, and the sights were breathtaking. Traveling to New Zealand was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made!"

Kayla Kopp studying in New ZealandKayla Kopp, a junior majoring in dietetics, studied abroad on the New Zealand: Sustainable Tourism & Human Impacts on the Environment program in summer 2019.

"I’m a firm believer in taking every opportunity that comes my way and this one was unimaginable. I made so many new friends that I still keep in contact with and my love for the environment has skyrocketed after seeing this incredible place. Everyone should be able to learn hands on the impacts we have on the environment and what we can do to make the earth a better place."

Bella Caruso in Tel Aviv, IsraelBella Caruso, a senior majoring in international studies and Russian, studied abroad at Tel Aviv University in summer 2019.

"The Middle Eastern Conflict Studies Program I attended in Tel Aviv, Israel gave me the opportunity to study international conflicts in one of the most incredible and relevant settings in the world. My experiences studying abroad at Tel Aviv University helped me to become more confident academically, personally, and more confident as a global citizen."

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Mikayla Moore webMikayla Moore, a junior majoring in arts management, studied abroad at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic this summer. 

I studied abroad with the AIFS program that worked with the East and Central European Studies department of Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, one of the oldest universities in the world. My education abroad program was a month long summer program where I stayed in one of Charles University's student dorms and commuted to my classes four times in week in the Old Town. I took Czech Language 1 while I was there and had time on the weekends to explore other parts of Europe. I went to Krakow, Poland; Budapest, Hungary; and Slovakia.

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Brunot webRachel Brunot, a junior double majoring in international studies and geography, studied abroad on the Geography of the European Union education program during May 2019.

While I was browsing through the different education abroad programs last year, I was looking for programs relating to international development because that is my focus in both academics and my future career. I came across the Geography of the European Union program and noticed that it counted towards my geography major, so I thought, “Why not apply?” I also remembered meeting Stavros, the professor for the course, at the Education Abroad Expo during my freshman year, and his friendliness had left an impression on me, so I decided to apply.

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Diana Rybacki studying abroad in London

"Last semester, I studied abroad in AIFS Study in London and it was hands down the best experience of my life," reflects Fisher College of Business marketing specialization major Diana Rybacki. "London was the most perfect place to call home and there was always something new to do and see every day. This experience pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me do things I've only dreamed about. I was able to travel to 12 countries, while still having plenty of time to soak in everything London had to offer."

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handshakepicHana Le, a biology and creative writing junior, studied abroad on the Geography of the European Union education abroad program during May 2019. 

The Geography of the European Union study abroad program was a month-long trip to the gorgeous island of Cyprus. We attended classes with Stavros, our resident director, in the morning and spent our afternoons and weekends exploring our city, Paphos. During our stay, we also travelled to the capital, Nicosia, and another nearby city, Limassol. Our study abroad was particularly special because Stavros is a native Cypriot; I learned so much from him about the culture of Cyprus. When we weren't studying, our little family laid out on the beach together or tried new restaurants. The food was spectacular. None of us can stop talking about how much we miss it!

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Valerie Burch, Nicole Lorig, Brenna Braasch and Brittany Fischer share their Buckeye Pride in South Africa."Studying exotic animal behavior and welfare in South Africa was an incredible experience! We visited several different wildlife habitats including farms, rehabilitation centers, sanctuaries, private game reserves, and Kruger National Park and considered the implications these places have on animal behavior and welfare," says zoology major Brenna Braasch after her "South Africa: Exotic Animal Behavior and Welfare" education abroad program offered by the Department of Animal Sciences.

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Jera Copley on Global May Uganda education abroad"Global May Uganda was an experience of a lifetime! We were able to learn so much about the culture and the people’s human security through lectures from various professionals and site visits where we got to speak with community members. We had a ton of fun going on a safari, hiking to waterfalls, visiting the equator, making coffee, and so much more! I am so thankful that I got to travel to Uganda with this great group of people!," exclaims pharmaceutical sciences major Jera Copley.

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O-H-I-O at the Acropolis

"The experiences, friendships, interactions, and memories made during my time in Greece will stay with me for the rest of my life. I have always dreamed of studying abroad, so when the opportunity arrived I jumped on the chance to 'live' in one of the most beautiful places in the world," says molecular genetics major Madison Faulkner after returning home from the Introduction to Western Tradition and Contemporary Issues in Corfu, Greece education abroad program. Students earn history credit on the program that is directed by Steven Joyce of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. 

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