Saint Augustine said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”
The following stories are written by AUM students and faculty after taking part in the AUM Study Abroad program. Are they an inspiration for you to do more than “read only a page?”
“In May of 2017, I studied abroad in Madagascar with AUM’s Department of Biology. I am an Environmental Science major and this trip was truly a dream come true. Madagascar has some of the best scenery on earth and it is also a global hotspot for biodiversity. We were able to hike in the rain forests of Andasibe and Ranomafana, as well as the oasis in Isalo. We also snorkeled in the coral reef off of Ifaty beach. Not only did we get to see once in a lifetime scenery, we also learned some of Madagascar’s unique culture and history. This study abroad experience has helped me appreciate the native wildlife, as well as the culture in Madagascar. I will never forget this experience and I am truly grateful that I was able to be a part of this trip.”
Matthew Heartsill, Summer 2017, Madagascar
“This past summer I was incredibly lucky to be able to go on a Study Abroad trip with the AUM Fine Arts Department. The class was an Art History course studying Gothic Cathedrals. We studied the logistics, economics, and motivations for the construction of such grand buildings, but the greatest learning experience was getting to visit the building themselves. We stayed in York, England, within walking distance of the grand cathedral York Minster. As we visited other cathedrals, we got to examine carvings, climb bell towers, and view medieval stained glass work. The trip gave me a greater appreciation for these intricate buildings as well as the marvels of engineering that created them. In addition to the amazing sights and history, I got to experience this trip with a fantastic professor and a great group of students”
Megan Lofgren, Summer 2017, York, England
“I recently studied abroad in Spain with AUM’s Department of Economics. This trip served as an incredible opportunity to better understand global economics through hands on experience. My class and I met with Catalan Nationalist in Barcelona, Officials from the Bank of Spain in Madrid, and representatives of the company Mondragon in Bilbao.
Study Abroad created a priceless experience that not only grew our knowledge of Spain’s economy, but also grew us as individuals. This Study Abroad program gifted me with new skills, cultures, and memories that will last a lifetime”
Study Abroad Ambassador Stephanie Baldwin, Summer 2017, Spain
“I never imagined that I would be able to journey to such an historic and ancient world like China! Although not an international study related student at AUM, I was thrilled to take advantage of this opportunity to apply towards my love and passion for history. Visiting such a location that is literally across the world from my home was at first intimidating; after all, I didn’t know the language or much about the culture. But after readjusting from the jet lag, I found it easy to fall comfortably as a learning and intrigued foreigner. The greatest challenge was being looked upon as an outsider, but it also enhanced my appreciation for the diversity within the United States. Looking back on it now, I can proudly say I’ve accomplished what most put on their bucket lists: I visited the Forbidden City, ate unique foods, even made new friends among our host students and AUM family as well. Perhaps one of my favorite memories involves climbing down the Great Wall and hearing a passerby shout out: “War Eagle!” Imagine that! On an international scale, the SEC fever is present! I will also cherish my stay in such a distant and foreign land.”
Madison Clark, Summer 2016, China
“I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a part of the study abroad trip to Germany, France, and England with the Economics department this past March. The overall experience was a whirlwind of marvelous countryside, astounding cities rich with history, and an amazing educational experience. We spent time learning at the Frankfurt and London Stock Exchanges and the London School of Economics. Besides just learning and seeing economics in real-world applications, we were able to sightsee as well. While in Paris, we visited the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles, and the Louvre just to name a few of the sites. My favorite educational experience on the trip was when we were able to visit the London Stock Exchange. There we met with officials from the Exchange for a few hours and were able to learn more about the London Stock Exchange and how it compares to other stock exchanges. My favorite site to see was the Eiffel Tower. It absolutely beats any expectation that you might have of it. It left me completely awestruck as I stared up at its magnificent beauty. Professor Bates and the students that were on the trip made it wonderful and an experience of a lifetime.”
-Patricia Ward; London, Germany, England Spring Break 2016
“I gained a deeper appreciation for people as a whole, I had to learn to trust and become dependent on people and I had to learn how to cultivate relationships. If I didn’t have them I wouldn’t be able to do the things I did or study what I studied. It was an individual trip but I really had to focus on working with other people in order to make it work. The city I was in had a lot of ancient Aztec and Mayan ruins, we could go and walk around and the next thing in knew I would be standing on top of ancient ruins. The city I lived in was very colorful, the food, the people and culture were very vibrant.”
-Marie Reuter, Cuernavaca Mexico, Summer of 2015
“Oxford is by far the most magical place I have ever seen. The sights, the smells, the sounds…everything about it made it feel like we were in a place that could not possibly exist on Earth. It did not at any point feel as if we were studying for a class, yet we learned so much more because we were actually there; because we actually experienced it.”
-Study Abroad Ambassador Jessica Defee, AUM summer 2013 study abroad (Oxford)
“I was part of the AUM summer 2012 study abroad program in Costa Rica. It was a blessed adventure, and I would not change the experience for anything. From hiking through a tunnel of tropical plants and flowers in the rainforest, seeing animals that are so similar yet so different from ours, to breathing in the dew right from a cloud in the cloud forests on top of a mountain high above the ocean, it was all amazing. Walking the streets of San Jose and the countryside, seeing the culture and relaxed lifestyle, provided me with a new perspective. I can remember having the water of the Sarapiqui River shower down on me during white water rafting and the wind roaring past my ears on the zip line. These memories have stuck with me and helped me to grow. I miss Costa Rica from time to time, when certain things in my daily life remind me of what it was like. I look forward in anticipation to a time when I will get the chance to go to Costa Rica again or to see more of God’s creation in a different part of the world.”
-Adam Russel, AUM summer 2012 study abroad (Costa Rica)
Study Abroad Ambassadors are study abroad returnees. They are passionate about their education abroad experiences and want to share their wonderful study abroad experiences with you.
Are you a current AUM student? If yes, have you completed at least one year of study at AUM? If so, please read the Study Abroad Ambassador Program and Requirements and fill out the Study Abroad Ambassador Information Form. Print out, scan, and send your form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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