A world of Ducks: Study abroad gives students a global view

Students riding camels in Jordan

Sometimes, the most exciting thing Ducks do here isn’t even done here.

It might be done in Amman or in Barcelona or in Curaçao, or in any one of the 90 countries where the UO offers study abroad programs through the Global Education Oregon office.

Global Education Oregon offers more than 300 international programs, ensuring there’s a program suitable for virtually any major, including programs focused on the social sciences and humanities, basic and applied sciences, and preprofessional studies.

Programs range in length from a few weeks to an entire year, and many times financial aid or scholarships can help students pay for their international learning experience.

About 1,200 UO students study abroad each year — and nearly 1 in 4 members of each graduating class. We checked in with a few students who embarked on journeys abroad this summer, studying cinema, filmmaking and wine marketing and more.

 

Alex Ballestros
Year:
Junior
Major: Sports business
Locations: Based in Barcelona, Spain, but traveled to 11 more countries

Ballestros interned for Naru Sports in Barcelona, Spain, helping organize elite soccer academies for athletes across Europe. He said he wanted to go abroad so he could be immersed in an unfamiliar atmosphere and challenge himself. “My favorite part about being abroad was getting to experience many different cultures,” he said. “It’s amazing to see how people abroad go about everyday life compared to us here back home.”

Alex Ballestros

 

Brayden Figueroa

Brayden Figueroa
Year:
Senior
Major: Advertising
Locations: Paris, London and Prague

Figueroa enjoyed how close he was able to get with his fellow classmates during his Central European studies program in the Czech Republic. “Those memories will last a lifetime,” Brayden said. He said he wanted to go abroad to understand different cultures and to document it through videography. “Capturing these moments on my camera acts as a mini scrapbook for all of the fun memories I made this summer in Europe.”

 

Ally Higdon
Year:
Junior
Major: Business administration
Location: Siena, Italy

Higdon went with one of Oregon’s most popular study abroad programs: Wine Marketing in Siena. “I was able to learn about business from an international perspective, which was extremely beneficial,” she said. It was her first trip outside the United States and she loved soaking up the Italian lifestyle and culture. She lived with Italian students and became good friends with them, going on excursions to see monumental artifacts, paintings and cities. “I’m so lucky to have spent my summer in Italy,” she said, “and would definitely recommend my program to others looking for the same experience.” 

Ally Higdon

 

Jessica Stockman

Jessica Stockman
Year: Senior
Major: Family and human services; legal studies minor
Location: Human Rights and Peace Studies in the Balkans

Stockman hopes to contribute to a more peaceful, less hostile world someday, so she studied abroad in the Balkans to develop a more worldly perspective on human rights, peace and war. She said she was inspired to study abroad by a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: “If we are to have peace on earth ... our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; this means we must develop a world perspective.” 

 

Michelle Lo
Year: Senior
Major: Mathematics and a certificate in secondary education
Location: Budapest, Hungary, semesters in mathematics education

Lo studied abroad because she wanted to explore effective ways to teach mathematics from a non-American perspective and would like to bring the ideas she learned into her future teaching. While in Budapest, she attended a Hungarian student math camp, where she played her first game of tandem chess. She really enjoyed her time interacting and playing with the students at the camp. 

Michelle Lo

 

Jake Mulleavey

Jake Mulleavey (on left in photo)
Year: Junior
Major: Psychology
LocationIntensive Italian Language in Lecce, Italy

Mulleavey decided to study abroad again because he believes there is a lot of value in intercultural experience. “I find the Italian culture and their sense of ‘La Dolce Vita’ fascinating and timeless,” he said. One of his favorite parts about studying abroad was connecting with people not only within the program but also those he met in Italy. 

 

 

Peter Gauthier
Year: Senior
Major: Architecture
Location: Architecture in Vancouver, British Columbia

Gauthier wanted to study abroad to gain a new perspective on his field of study and the world. He enjoyed the self-discovery that study abroad allowed. “The changes to daily routine, the excitement, the stress ... all of these things within your new environment help you to learn new things about yourself, rather than just the subject you are to study,” he said.

Peter Gauthier

 

 

 

Danielle Mains

Danielle Mains
Year
: Sophomore
Major: Family and human services and international studies
Location: Ghana

Mains said her favorite part about taking part in Global Health, Development and Service-Learning Accra, Ghana, were the amazing days working within a school. “I was surrounded by unbelievably generous communities who welcomed me into their homes and constantly offered me delicious foods.” She said the experience reinforced her passion for trying new things and stepping out of her comfort zone. “I learned that I can easily find my place once I am immersed into a new culture.”

 

Payton Bruni
Year: Senior
Major: Journalism and Arabic studies minor
Location: Amman, Jordan

Bruni studied with the intensive Arabic GEO program where he went on several excursions, including a trip to Petra and Wadi Rum. Being able to study Arabic in Jordan while operating as a freelance journalist was his first major step toward achieving his career goal of working as a war correspondent in the Middle East. “I was able to pursue and create journalistic stories while studying Arabic and building professional connections."

Payton Bruni