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Why Study Abroad?

Take Classes in a New Setting while Earning Credit:

You can often complete classes needed to graduate while abroad with careful planning. Often, you can take unique classe offered abroad that you cannot find at Marymount or you can experience international field experience components which bring the topics of your courses to life. Studying abroad can help you gain a new, local perspective on common issues you cover in your classes. We work with you to get your courses pre-approved before you go abroad so that you know what requirements those classes may fulfill. Take advantage of this opportunity for one-of-a-kind courses.

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Mariah Allen; Summer Semester 2018; Costa Rica

Personally, I love the structure the classroom environment provides, but experiential learning leaves more of an impact...Experiential learning allows me to apply my skills immediately after I learn them...In regards to my experience in my science class, the impact of seeing a sloth up close or eating raw coffee beans while standing right next to a coffee plantation will never leave my memory.

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Briana Fuller; GCS Spring 2018; Cuba

“I have never been interested in sociology, but this class really opened my eyes to so many new ideas and experiencing them first hand in Cuba added to our understanding. We learned so much about global inequality and how that directly affects Cuba.

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Allison Fantz; GCS Spring 2018; Ghana

Of course I had learned about the slave trade before in history classes, but that was all it was framed as: a tragic period in history. Never before had the reality of human suffering been felt so strongly as in those dark and malodorous dungeons, and never before had I fully realized how recently this world-wide crime actually did take place, and to what extent it continues today.

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Eric Malani; Short-Term Summer 2018; Belize

Studying in Belize this summer under Dr. Todd Rimkus allowed me to experience a fascinating culture while learning in depth about the marine life and tropical ecosystems of that beautiful country. We got to track endangered sea turtles, observe manatees in their natural habitat and interact with the local community on a daily basis. No classroom setting can compare to that type of immersion experience. It was both incredibly memorable and highly educational.

 
 
 

Gain a Competitive Edge in Your Field:

With less than 2% of the entire US student population going abroad, this type of experience on your resume will help you to gain a significant competitive edge in the fierce job market that awaits after graduation especially when you can articulate how it helped you grow in your field. Studying abroad is relevant to your academic career and can help a you to have real-world experience that relates to your career path. In addition to showing interest in diversity and international issues, going abroad also demonstrates many other traits that potential employers may find valuable such as a global mindset, increased intercultural awareness & communication, a willingness to try something innovative, and more. You can demonstrate this not only through study abroad but by completing an internship abroad through our office.

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Maria Paredes; Short-Term Program 2018; Panama

I feel like [a global perspective] is key for every career but especially for education. We are the ones educating the future of the world and by traveling to other countries and engaging not only with the general culture but also with the education community, we are able to broaden our cultural perspective. This class also gave me the opportunity to engage and work with people from other majors such as nursing, physical therapy and psychology. By engaging in interdisciplinary practices, we were able to understand each other’s work in order to better serve the students we were there to help. 

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Sydney Helphenstine; Fall Semester 2017; UK

Being creative has been something I have come accustomed to. Not only has it made me think more about the pieces I love, but think about how this could help my career as well. I have learned how to turn a few pieces of clothing into an entire wardrobe of looks and outfits. To me, this is an extremely valuable skill, especially when entering the fashion world.

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Melissa Morreale; Spring Semester 2018; Italy

Being here has presented me with so many opportunities for the future that I am interested to see where they will take me. I have met so many professionals in the Interior Design and Architecture field which I have made connections with. Studying Interior Design in Italy has truly lit my passion on fire, I have never felt more inspired to do what I love.

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Cassidie Watson; Graduate Program 2018; Nicaragua

​I learned skills and techniques in pediatric physical therapy treating underserved populations I couldn't have learned in the classroom. Without this experience in Nicaragua I would not have had the opportunity to work in such an environment where resources are limited and children do not have the same care as they would here in the US. I also had the opportunity to learn Spanish and improve in my ability to treat patients when there is a language barrier present.

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Jordan Pawlicki; Global Internship 2017; New Zealand

Campaign work in New Zealand has many similarities to our domestic campaigns. I have been vigorously reaching out to volunteers via telephone, monitoring any issues or concerns the voting electorate of New Lynn may have, inviting the public to social events we are conducting as a team, as well as just chatting with anyone that may like to have a chat on behalf of their Viewpoints.

 
 
 

Immerse Yourself in Another Culture

Studying abroad enables you to see the world and learn about other cultures. While abroad, you will be learning in a classroom setting, and you will also have the freedom and flexibility to explore and experience the city and country where you are studying. It's an exciting way to remember we experience only a small part of this world and to learn about others who share this earth with us. Many students travel outside of the country to other, nearby places before, after, or during their study abroad experience. Whether you are riding camels in Morocco, climbing to the top of a volcano in Costa Rica, or hiking the Great Wall of China, you will be amazed at the experiences and the people you encounter.

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Briana Barksdale; Fall Semester 2016; Czech Republic

Taking part in the study abroad program at Marymount allows you to experience the core value of cultural diversity. Although having the opportunity to travel is thrilling and full of spontaneity, being able to immerse yourself into a country’s way of life for a semester or even a couple days allows you gain a deeper meaning of global perspective as well as experience life outside the United States as a foreigner to other countries.

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Student X; GCS Spring 2017; Germany

I definitely think that since I went on this trip for a history course it contributes to why I think it's fascinating to see how history truly does shape culture and how it's so different from simply reading about it. A trip to Germany was a taste of German culture and it makes me excited to get out and experience more of Germany and expand to others.
Photo by: Liwen Wu

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Lynn Naduvilekunnel; GCS Spring 2017; UK

Being able to participate in the day-to-day British routine was an exciting part of our journey and only furthered my appreciation for the culture...While the British often get a reputation for being cold and defensive, my experience with them is quite the opposite. Many offered help and were welcoming to the idea that a group of students were interested in taking part in their culture and daily lives. I learned that cultural stereotypes are just that --stereotypes-- and that one can only gain an accurate impression of a culture through personal experience.

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Theo Hinson; Global Internship 2017; New Zealand

When I arrived, I was taken to the Marae, which is a traditional communal living space for the Maori, an indigenous group here in New Zealand. The Maori have a very strong presence here in New Zealand, and their culture has been adapted in every part of New Zealand culture. The communal living space is interesting, and I’m grateful to be allowed to live in such a space.

 
 
 

Learn a Foreign Language:

Knowing a foreign language is not a requirement to participate in our study abroad programs; most classes we offer are in English, regardless of location. However, studying abroad does provide a great platform for you to gain or increase foreign language skills. Surrounding yourself in the culture and language you're studying drives you to learn quickly how to communicate. You can choose to live with a host family to help perfect your language skills, take classes taught in a foreign language, make friends with locals, or simply get out and about to practice.

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Micaela Healy; Summer Semester 2018; France

[Traveling in your host country] can also remind you that that target language has a life outside of class too, and keep you from associating language learning with the humdrum of the classroom and see it in a vibrant and exciting light!

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Hugh Vasquez; Spring Semester 2018; Japan

Between its phonetics, complex writing system, and sentence structure, Japanese is much more difficult for me to grasp in comparison to languages like French or Spanish. It is going to take some practice, but being immersed in the country certainly helps. Interacting with students and neighbors improves your Japanese speaking skills, and the various train station signs and surplus of cheap manga are helpful in learning how to read it.

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Mariah Allen; Summer Semester 2018; Costa Rica

A language immersion study abroad program is a perfect example of this [experiential learning]. I am learning Spanish by speaking Spanish to my host mom and other native Spanish speakers daily….I remember the words I was taught in Spanish because my host mom taught me while telling a funny story or it is necessary to get something I need.

 
 
 

Come Back with a New Perspective:

While abroad, you will experience day to day life in a new country which can change your perception of the world around you and can expand your view. You may notice connections and similarities in history, cultures, and attitudes you had not noticed previously. On the other hand, you may realize that there are a multitude of approaches to situations you hadn't considered before. You may come back with a deeper appreciation of other countries & your home country, and be able to realize how you can combine your experiences and lessons while abroad to your future. By analyzing and interacting in many cultures, noticing the good, bad, and complex in each, you become a more competent global citizen. 

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Olivia Coppola; Fall Semester 2016; Semester at Sea

When living in a country like America it can be easy to forget that our way of life is not the norm for the entire world. Traveling has helped open my eyes to many different cultures and ways of living rather than my way of living; the way I eat, sleep, interact with others is quite different than the way someone in Senegal does. When I was in Senegal I met kind people who even if we did not speak the same language let me play catch with their children and say songs to me while playing instruments...[Experiencing other cultures] shows me there is not one correct way of living...

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Allison Fantz; Global Internship 2018; Ireland

Now that I’m at the point where I can reflect back on these weeks, I can see that I’ve learned so much at this internship, in such a different way than I would’ve if I’d chosen to work somewhere close to home. Working for an organization in a completely different country, you’re able to better focus in on what you need to learn for the job: namely, what are your organization’s goals, what purpose does it serve, and in what area? And especially, how can you contribute?

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Melissa Morreale; Spring Semester 2018; Italy

I realize what I knew previously to leaving the everyday life I lived in the States is so small when looking at the bigger picture. I am anxious for my return home with a different perspective on life, and being able to see how these experiences will change me for the better.

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Micaela Healy; Summer Semester 2018; France

What I’ve learned is that it’s in travel — in contact with the forgotten wonders of others, that we start to recognize our own. Maybe it’s only when we pull away from our little spot in the world that we can see it whole, from a vantage point where others around you are missing their own histories.

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Hugh Vasquez; Spring Semester 2018; Japan

To be in the city and to see it- and I mean to really see it- is a surreal feeling. I am no stranger to World War II, the Manhattan Project, atomic bombs, or the impact that they had on the world. But arriving in Hiroshima, riding its trolley cars, walking its streets, and standing at the hypocenter where the bomb went off causes you to think back to what it must have been like all those years ago. You’re walking through a city that was once, quite literally, wiped off the map...

 
 
 

Learn about Yourself and Gain Life-Changing Skills:

Study abroad is not just a time to learn about academics or your future career, but a time to grow as an individual. Many of our students have returned feeling they have grown in confidence, adaptability, and more skills. When you go abroad, you may be surprised you find a sense of adventure or a deeper appreciation for life. Students also report learning more about themselves and developing skills they can apply to their lives as they head into the adult world.

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Sebastian Hendi; Spring Semester 2018; Spain

I on the other hand chose to come completely alone, and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Every day I challenge myself to put myself out there and meet new people. Putting yourself in a situation that may be uncomfortable at first can be the start of great friendships. As I walk past the groups of students who already know each other I can’t help but think to myself how happy I am that I’ve forced myself to branch out and meet new people.

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Maggie Laughlin; Spring Semester 2018; Italy

During my stay in Florence, I have learned something that I will carry with me forever. I have learned to make the best out of my mistakes and worst situations. When I fail in something, I never count it as a failure. Everything is a learning experience. I have learned to make the best out of my own mistakes. I have learned that if I continue to push forward, I will eventually succeed. I count my adjustments and ability to make Florence my home a success because it is something I never actually thought was possible.

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Stephanie Downing; Spring Semester 2017; Spain

These experiences have taught me creative ways to deal with challenges, and made me realize that if I could overcome something abroad, then I could most certainly overcome it back in the States. I’ve also learned how to manage my money quite well and learned to cook through trial and error. These are skills that you simply can’t learn from a textbook, but only through experience.

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Olivia Pienta; Fall Semester 2017; Italy

This experience opens your mind to a world of new things that you did not even know. It can put a confidence in you that you probably have never experienced in your life. It makes you grow up...The comfort of your family, and other close relationships that you rely on most days at home are miles away. You fly across the ocean, fending for yourself. That sounds horrible, but I swear it is one of the best aspects of studying abroad.

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Katherine Sanchez; Spring Semester 2017; Australia

Deciding to study abroad has given me this amazing taste of adventure that I won’t ever get tired of. Sometimes you need that first step, that first jump that will make you want to climb right back up an even higher cliff and jump from even higher ledges.

 
 
 

Take Advantage of The Best Time to See The World:

If you are interested in seeing the world and experiencing culture and adventure, going during college is one of the best times to do so. You have the financial aid and scholarships to make it affordable, friends alongside you to lean on, the time available to be away from home, and the support of the Center for Global Education and partners in country to ensure your safety. Don’t wait until after graduation when you have a full-time career, a mortgage, a family, and other responsibilities that tie your feet to the ground. If you do have some of these responsibilities, though, do not fret; we have short-term programs and other options that can work for you. Take this time abroad to explore the amazing places around the world! 

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Caitlin Pacilio; Spring Semester 2017; Italy

Being part of such a large scale traditional Italian celebration while being in Venice, is something that I will always remember. From buying my own mask, to taking pictures with those in costumes, to throwing confetti, to feeling as if I was in a movie scene, Carnevale was definitely an Italian tradition that I would like to experience again.

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Sanasa Cherif; Spring Semester 2018; Czech Republic

On our way [to the Eiffel Tower], I started to get butterflies in my stomach because seeing this up close meant so much to me and I was on my way there to complete a dream. I was so star-struck in that moment for me and I honestly didn’t know how to react because I always see the Eiffel Tower on TV shows and in movies and I never expected myself to go there and see it with my own eyes.

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Katherine Sanchez; Spring Semester 2017; Australia

...A group of friends and I decided to camp along the Great Ocean Road and visit popular sites like the Twelve Apostles and the Gibson’s steps right along the water. This was no average campsite however, it also doubled as a kangaroo sanctuary! We set up our tent while dozens of kangaroos grazed around us. It was unreal walking to the picnic tables and seeing them so close to us.

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Julianna Carfaro; Fall Semester 2017; Italy

The entire stadium broke into song. “Roma Roma Roma, core de sta città, unico grande amore, de tanta e tanta gente, che fai sospirà…” that translates to “Roma Roma Roma, heart of this City, one and only love, of so much and so many people, which you make sigh” It was true. That stadium was filled with so much love and passion; it was breathtaking.

 
 
 

Center for Global Education

Rowley Hall, 1st floor
2807 N. Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22207

Phone: (703) 284-6474

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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