Honors College

Honors College Students Discuss Their Study Away Experiences

One of the great things about Missouri State is the Study Away Program! Students have the opportunity to travel the world and interact with different people and experience different cultures when they study abroad. Many Honors College students choose to study abroad through different opportunities found through the Study Away Office.

Thomas Uthipratuma, who is double majoring in Global Studies and Spanish with a double minor in Latin American Studies and Asian Studies, spent 13 months in Córdoba, Argentina:

“During summer break in Lavalle, Mendoza, the wine country of Argentina, I spent a month with a family working on an organic farm. Not only did I learn a lot about agriculture, food and flora politics, and the meaning of intensive labor, but I also learned more about how, on an individual level, to begin to protect the Earth, that which has provided for you, me, our families, and friends since the beginning of time.”

Walter Orr, a Professional Writing major, took the opportunity to study at Edinburgh Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland for a semester:

“I traveled through 5 different countries over the course of the semester, and I was really able to become more independent, self-reliant, and confident in my ability to navigate the world. Just getting to see things like the Scottish highlands, Big Ben, or the Colosseum in person was incredible and those memories will stay with me forever.”

Elle Swift, who is majoring in Biology with a focus on veterinary medicine, went on a short-term trip to Sri Lanka for two weeks:

“The most rewarding experience was being able to go on expeditions to observe elephants in their natural habitat. At one point, I was sitting in a truck in the middle of a herd of wild elephants. That isn't something you get to do every day! Learning about the human-elephant conflict in the area and being able to talk with local veterinarians was very interesting and exciting.”

Ashley Riley, an Anthropology major with minors in Middle Eastern Studies, African Studies, History, and Sustainability & Development, has taken four different opportunities to study abroad. She visited Ghana in the summer of 2011 on a short term visit, Cairo in Fall of 2012, Ghana in Spring of 2013, and Jamaica in Winter of 2014, as well as Spain, Turkey, Ethiopia, Togo, Morocco, and Qatar:

“While backpacking through Ethiopia, I had about a week of taking busses at 5 am every morning before finally arriving in a small town in Southern Ethiopia. While walking through the town, I stumbled across a man who was a tour guide for the South Omo Valley. He mentioned a tribal market that was being held that day, where members of several tribes had traveled for a few days to sell and trade their goods. As an Anthropology major, I had read several articles of tribes such as the Mursi and Hamar tribes, so it was an incredible experience getting to see this tribal market and meet the people whose tribes I had only read about in textbooks.”

Joe Armitage, who is studying Speech-Language Pathology in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program, studied in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China for a year:

“I came across people who seemed to live lives radically different from my own, who have had experiences I thought I'd never know, and whom I thought I'd never understand culturally. However, I quickly came to realize that, no matter where you are in the world, people are people; our languages and customs might be different, but there's nothing that truly separates any of us. That was one of the most powerful realizations I had.”

In addition to the wonderful experiences and memories, many students are offered opportunities such as graduate assistantships and internships as a result of their time abroad.

“I think that a lot of students believe it's not possible for them to study away because of different barriers. But I would encourage everyone, even if they just have the slightest interest in studying abroad, to go into the Study Away office and talk with someone about all the different options, because most likely there is a program that will fit your needs and interests. Also, don't let fear hold you back and step out of your comfort zone!”

Walter Orr

To schedule an appointment with a Global Ambassador at the Study Away Office, such as Ashley or Walter, students can email studyaway@missouristate.edu.