Tigers abroad

The Mizzou Abroad Fair is Sept. 8. In preparation, hear from four Tigers about their experiences learning overseas.

Sept. 2, 2021
Contact: Deidra Ashley, ashleyde@missouri.edu

Have you ever wanted to see the world, take classes and have an internship in another country? You can! Studying abroad is the highlight of many students’ college career. In fact, one in five University of Missouri students study abroad during their time at Mizzou. In preparation for the Mizzou Abroad Fair on Sept. 8, here’s what four Tigers have to say about their time abroad. 

  • students smile on a boat in the ocean
Graham Bond, junior mechanical engineering major

Program: Cyprus (2021)

Where was your favorite place you visited, outside of your “home base”?

One of my favorite excursions was our trip to Ayia Napa. Ayia Napa has some of the highest-rated beaches in all of Europe. Plus, the resort hotels that the program booked for us were incredibly luxurious, and fantastic fresh seafood was everywhere.

How has studying abroad impacted your studies here at Mizzou?

Studying abroad at the University of Nicosia allowed me to knock out two core mechanical engineering courses over the summer — fluid mechanics and dynamics. This has helped free up my schedule, giving me more time to conduct research on campus. It also has given me a great head start over my peers.

What advice would you give to someone getting ready to/thinking about studying abroad? 

If you are at all thinking about studying abroad, I would recommend doing it sooner rather than later. Most study abroad programs will either fulfill general education requirements or knock out some of the lower-level courses in your major, and if you wait too long, the available credits might not be useful. Personally, I studied abroad the summer after my sophomore year, and it worked out perfectly!

  • a student on a sunset beach
Ari Engle, senior art major

Program: South Korea (2021)

How did the Gilman Scholarship help you pursue this opportunity?

Without the Gilman Scholarship, I simply would have not had the funds to be able to travel abroad at all. I come from a first-generation college family who is very low income, so traveling in the slightest was never a dream I felt could be a reality. The Gilman Scholarship ensured that I could pay my tuition and housing while still leaving funds to be able to explore the culture of the area — I wanted to be immersed in the lifestyle of the typical Seoul-lite without worry.

What did you find to be the biggest culture shock?

Coming back home actually gave me my most culture shock. I missed the towering buildings, the subway system, the helpfulness of the people and the open opportunity of such a large city. Arriving home, I realized the way I lived my life had changed while in Seoul. I got up and lived every day to the fullest, making sure no matter what, that I saw something new.

How has studying abroad impacted your studies here at Mizzou?

Studying abroad has changed the way I see my studies here by broadening where I see my horizons. Since I am a fine arts major, I look at all the sights I saw and memories I collected as inspiration for my work. As I study at Mizzou, I look upon how many different perspectives there are in the world and how each way of living changes our experiences in viewing art. My time abroad better allowed for me to empathize and learn more from others’ points of view.

  • a man stands in front of a russian monument
Dayan Reynolds, May 2021 graduate, political science and Russian major

Programs: Russia (2019-2020); Kyrgyzstan (2021)

What is your favorite study abroad memory? 

Thanksgiving dinner in Moscow. It’s not a Russian holiday by any means, but myself and a friend from Arizona felt a little homesick, so we invited several of our Russian friends over to my friend's apartment, cooked classic American and Russian dishes, and spent all evening laughing and chatting away — switching between languages and sharing stories. It was a perfect twist on an American holiday.

How was your application process?

My application process was really easy. I worked with the International Center and my then-professor, Nicole Monnier, and they walked me right through the process for both programs.

What did you find to be the biggest culture shock?

There’s no small talk. Small talk, or "malenkiy razgavor," is a completely unknown concept to Russians. Asking people how their day was would either earn glares or their life story.

  • a student smiling
An Vu, junior international business major

Programs: Australia/New Zealand (2019-2020); Kyrgyzstan (2021); planning Spain (2022)

What is your favorite study abroad memory? 

My favorite study abroad memory from this summer was learning about culture and politics from local lecturers along with horseback riding in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan!

What advice would you give to someone getting ready to/thinking about studying abroad? 

I would highly encourage everyone to study abroad. Use every opportunity to study, intern or volunteer abroad while in college because it is a unique time in your life where you have the time and programs available to do so. If funding is a concern, there are many scholarships to explore — where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Which country was your favorite place to study?

Although New Zealand is my favorite country because of its natural beauty, I enjoyed my experience in Kyrgyzstan the most due to its rich culture.

Get involved

Join International Programs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 8 in Memorial Union's Stotler Lounge for the annual Mizzou Abroad Fair to learn more about available programs and to ask questions.

Story written by Madalyn Murry

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