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Erik Gaarder at Portoferraio, the Island of Elba, off the coast of TuscanyBuckeye abroad, Erik Gaarder, a senior studying Italian and international studies, participated in the program, Siena Italian Studies.

“There were a few reasons as to why I chose Siena Italian Studies: For starters, Siena is located in the heart of Tuscany. There are so many dialects spoken throughout the country but the official language is most closely related to the Tuscan dialect. I knew I would be able to understand the language and be understood more clearly in this city (even though Siena does have its own dialect, but it was really fun and easy to learn).”

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Samantha Smith at the John Lennon Wall in Prague Samantha Smith, a senior studying strategic communication and Spanish, traveled abroad to Spain during spring semester 2015 and with the program, International Studies Abroad – Madrid.

“Studying abroad was definitely the best thing I did during my college career. I gained more experience, knowledge and independence than any internship has ever been able to provide. There’s something about leaving everything you know behind and diving into a whole new culture and world that transforms you as a person. Some of my friends from Ohio State were also abroad in different parts of Europe, so I found myself flying to foreign countries alone to meet up with them, making my way to the nearest train or bus toward the city, then figuring out the metro system and hailing a taxi to our hostel – things I never thought I’d be doing on my own.

I met some incredible people from all over the United States and even some locals from Madrid who will continue to be my friends even after we’ve all gone back to our own corners of the world. After studying abroad I’m a more mature, well-rounded, ambitious and independent person.”

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Jenna DeCarlo, a Buckeye abroad, in Madrid, SpainJenna DeCarlo, a third year studying speech and hearing science, traveled with the program, Spain Global May: Madrid in the World, the World in Madrid, during May 2015.

“My time spent in Madrid gave me a small glimpse of how simultaneously large and small the world is. A completely different culture that celebrates bull fighting and the Patron Saint San Isidro exists on a continent that is a nine hour plane ride away. Even still, I realized that by allowing myself to be open to new experiences I was able to uncover a sense of belonging in a completely new city. Three and a half weeks of learning both inside and outside of the classroom left me with a newfound appreciation for how important it is to be a globally aware citizen.”

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Olivia Smith and Buckeyes abroad in SpainJunior, communication and political science major, Oliva Smith, traveled to Madrid, Spain during May 2015 with the program, Spain Global May: Madrid in the World, the World in Madrid.

"I chose this program because I wanted to learn more about Spain in person after hearing so much about its culture and way of life in Spanish classes and in popular culture. The way of life in Spain is completely different than the way we live in the United States, and it really opened my eyes. It gave me perspective when comparing different cultures of the world."

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Carley Snider abroad in HondurasCarley Snider, a junior majoring in agriscience education, traveled to Choluteca, Honduras, to participate in the Community Development study abroad program.

“Studying abroad has made my college experience even more unique and expansive than I would have imagined. Through my study abroad experiences, I have been able to learn in the best classroom; the world. I’ve grown as a person, a student, a leader and an agriculturalist from these experiences. I have brought my new perspectives, knowledge and skills back to Ohio State and my life here to share with others.”

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Buckeyes abroad, Allison Porter and Alyssa Maisonet, in MadridSophomore, public health major, Allison Porter, studied abroad with the program Spain Global May: Madrid in the World, the World in Madrid.

“I think studying abroad benefitted my college experience because going to Spain gave me a global perspective of my country, my school and just who I am in general. Going to Spain expanded my ideas on immigration, government and way of life in general because the Spanish culture is so different than the culture of the United States.“

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Carlos Mendez, a Buckeye abroad in IndiaCarlos Mendez, a senior studying biomedical engineering, is a Buckeye abroad in Jaipur, India, as an engineering intern for summer 2015.

“Both of my parents came to the U.S. from Puerto Rico, instilling in me a language, culture and set of values that have become my own. This bicultural background has challenged me to think differently and has equipped me many of the tools needed to adapt and thrive across the globe. At Ohio State, I have sought such opportunities that allow me to teach, learn, give and receive in these different cultural contexts.”

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Kayla Anderson abroad in ItalyKayla Anderson, a senior studying visual communication design, traveled to Italy during May with the Knowlton School of Architecture Rome Program 2015.

“I believe that spending a month immersed in Italian culture has made me a new person with a broader perspective. I saw another world created long before the perfectly-crafted Midwestern suburbs and towns I have seen my whole life. I now understand the importance of communicating across cultural borders. We discovered the political and social hierarchies that could construct a piazza for a royal family, or attempt to destroy the Colosseum. Our teachers illustrated concepts that even modern-day Romans don’t know.”

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Jordan Weisensell enjoying BudapestJunior, strategic communication major, Jordan Weisensell, immersed herself in European culture with the Global May Hungary 2015 program.

“Ohio State provides its students with countless opportunities day in and day out and spectacular study abroad programs is just one of them. Studying abroad was always something I was interested in but never thought I would have the opportunity to do.

This was my first time in Europe, so naturally I wanted to take in as much of the culture as I could. I wanted to visit as many cities as I could, try as much food as I could, and drink as much delicious European coffee as I could. Not knowing much of Central European history and not knowing a lick of Hungarian, Polish or German was a bit daunting at first. With the help of our professors and advisors, my classmates and I quickly adapted to our surroundings.”

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Jenny Wise, a Buckeye abroad in SpainJenny Wise, a junior Buckeye abroad studying strategic communication, traveled to Madrid, Spain as part of the Spain Global May: Madrid in the World, the World in Madrid program.

“I think that studying abroad allowed me to not only observe another culture, but gain some perspective on how my own culture fits into the world. When you come back from an adventure like that nothing is ever the same as you left it! It has made me realize that the world is there for the taking.”

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Elizabeth Dudek during the Global May Hungary experienceElizabeth Dudek, a junior majoring in accounting, traveled to Austria, Hungary and Poland with the Global May Hungary 2015 program.

“Learning about the rich history and cultures of these countries from locals themselves made the information relatable and exciting because they were able to share their own personal experiences and stories. Then to top it all off, our learning was accompanied by walking tours of the city so we could visit monuments, memorials and museums that brought the history to life. Now, I cannot wait to travel the world so I can make more unforgettable experiences that will shape me into the world traveler that I want to become.”

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Maria Martin checking a patient's blood glucose at the Honduras clinicsMaria Martin, a second-year medical student in the College of Medicine, traveled to El Progreso, Honduras to participate in PODEMOS Medical Brigade.

“I have always looked for ways to become involved in global health. As a high school student, I spent my summers volunteering in Latin America. In college, I majored in international health. Now, as a medical student, my natural inclination was to find an organization that would allow me to stay involved in global health. The PODEMOS Medical Brigade gave me the opportunity to practice the skills I have learned in medical school and work towards improved community health abroad.”

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Buckeye abroad, Gabrielle Lyle at Visegrád CastleGabrielle Lyle, a second-year international studies major, participated in the Global May Hungary 2015 study abroad experience.

“Global May Hungary truly enriched my Ohio State experience. It allowed me to meet 25 amazing people from all different kinds of backgrounds who I may not have met if it were not for the program. Most of us did not really know each other before the program, but we grew to be like a family. I believe that I have made friendships that will last a lifetime and for that I am truly grateful. Studying abroad also helped my confidence grow. I have been coming out of my shell a lot since I started at Ohio State, but I made an exceptional amount of personal growth during my month abroad.”

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Jason Galo (left) in his daily medical apparel while in HondurasBuckeye abroad, Jason Galo, a graduate student studying in the College of Medicine, traveled to El Progreso, Honduras with the program, PODEMOS Medical Brigade.

“I chose the PODEMOS program because I knew that it would be a great experience for me as a second year medical student to practice my skills in medicine including physical exam skills, as well as practicing medical reasoning to arrive at a differential diagnosis. I also chose this program because it gave me the opportunity to help Honduras, and specifically the people who live 20 minutes away from where I grew up. I spent the first 18 years of my life in El Progreso, Honduras, and PODEMOS gave me the opportunity to come back to where I grew up and spend a week traveling to rural villages around El Progreso, to learn and to help the people there."

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Kaz Bogielski at a Hungarian cafe abroadKaz Bogielski, a third year studying public affairs, studied abroad with the program, Global May Hungary 2015 and traveled to Budapest, Warsaw and Vienna.

“Studying abroad helps a student grow in a number of ways. For me, being someone who did not speak the language of the country, I now feel the culture of Hungary has become a part of me. Its food, architecture and arts have been so impressed in my memory I no longer feel as if I was just an American studying abroad, but someone who transcended mere tourist status to begin a grander pursuit, to become a global citizen. I hold a strong belief that traveling is learning, an activity the more one performs, the more it becomes a needed prerequisite for deeper understanding.

My study abroad experience has certainly increased my appetite for a career with an international scope. My experience has reduced any doubt I can comfortably live and flourish in a city outside my comfort zone. Not only that, I've made quite a few friends in those peers also growing and further discovering themselves on our journey there. They, along with everything I learned about myself, Budapest, Hungary, and Central Europe, have been integral in the growth I've made studying abroad.”

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