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Students recall their experiences studying abroad

by Matt Clark- Staff Writer
Tue, Sep 12th 2017 07:00 pm
Photos taken by Vinny Croce/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Sophomore Erika Curtis went to Israel to participate in an archeological dig
Photos taken by Vinny Croce/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Sophomore Erika Curtis went to Israel to participate in an archeological dig
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Studying abroad is just one of the many experiences students can have during their college career. Thanks to The College at Brockport’s study abroad program, students have the chance to study in and travel to any one of the seven continents, yes, even Antarctica, if they so desire. Over the summer, two students from Brockport had the opportunity to study abroad in Israel. 

Sophomores Erika Curtis and Jared Rosenberg traveled to Israel to participate in an archeological excavation. 

“Something I learned very early on was the crazy differences between our cultures,” Curtis said. “That was one of the main reasons I wanted to go. I really wanted to travel to a place that had a vastly different way of life and culture and so I figured [in] the Middle East with all of its amazing, crazy long history I would find just that. And I definitely did!.I learned so much more over there than I could have ever possibly done here simply studying their culture.” 

The experience was enlightening for all involved.

“[I] learned more about how religions can live peacefully together with only minor bureaucratic dilemmas,” said Rosenberg, recalling his experience in Israel.

The trip fostered a sense of community amongst the students.

“My favorite part of the trip was probably singing and dancing to ‘Mulan’ songs at five in the morning and dancing with the archeology tools in between the little meter-wide strip of land that separated the five plus meter deep holes we were digging,” Curtis said.

One of Rosenberg’s favorite things about the trip was doing the actual excavating. He enjoyed finding things from 2000 years ago. He also enjoyed meeting new people. 

Last semester, two Brockport students had the opportunity to travel to Ireland and New Zealand. 

Kelly Smith, a junior, studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland. 

“My favorite part of the experience was living extremely independently and living in a city. Being able to walk everywhere and have so many things to do was amazing. The classes were also very informative and I learned a lot of skills for my major,” Smith said.

Senior Maeve McClusky studied abroad in New Zealand. 

“My favorite part was being able to really immerse myself into the culture. Being there for five months allowed me to see so much of the extremely beautiful country and to really see how they live day-to-day. I also learned a lot about their history,” McClusky said. 

Many students say that they learned a lot about themselves as well as the cultures that they were immersed in.

“I also learned, about myself, that I am totally up for living abroad again,” McClusky said. “The experience also helped me open up more and be more confident in myself.”

McClusky is not the only student who learned something about themselves while they studied abroad.

“Studying abroad was one of the boldest and scariest things I’ve done, but I don’t regret it,” Smith said. “I learned things about myself and made memories and did things I don’t think I ever would have done if I didn’t go.”

Students who study abroad can choose from a variety of different programs. Brockport offers different types of study abroad programs. There are more traditional experiences, like spending a semester taking regular courses at a foreign college, and service learning trips which incorporate traditional learning and volunteer work. There are also recreational trips like the New Zealand trip, which provides students with college credit as well as the chance to do extreme sports and outdoor activities. Students can study abroad for a full semester, over the summer or over the winter.

Students who are interested in studying abroad can visit the Office of International Education to learn more about the programs that Brockport offers. 

The office is willing to work with students to ensure that credits earned abroad transfer and count towards their degrees, and to help student obtain funds to travel.