CUNY Goes Global: On Students Abroad

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“If you were to tell me 10 years ago while sitting in my middle school history class learning about Confucius and the Great Wall, that somehow I would be privileged enough to go to China, I probably would have thought you were joking. And yet here I am, two years later, with bountiful memories, plentiful stories, and a group of friends I am glad to call my family. College is meant to be a learning experience, and as cliche as it may sound, I fully believe it to be true. If you are worried about financially not being able to study abroad, don’t be. I can attest that doing so was an experience no dollar can truly ever amount to. It was in the nights in a foreign land staying up late with my fellow classmates and talking about anything and everything that I knew I was at home. Though I just finished paying off my trip to China, the Furman Fellows Program helped me with a large sum of the trip and I could not be more grateful. The resources on our college campus are plentiful if you look. If you are considering studying abroad, or even staying at home I suggest you make the most out of any experience you have, truly these years of our lives shape us into who we ideally want to become as individuals so it is crucial that we make the connections we do now so we can say we did later. Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing, and to me that is priceless.” -Mysa Abdelrahman, majoring in Biology

“Since China is slowly becoming one of the top tourist attraction places to travel, I decided to give it a go this winter. Out of all the five cities I visited, the most memorable one was Nanjing, mainly because I stayed there much longer than others, which gave me a chance to explore more around the city and talked to local people. Studying abroad was something that I never thought of doing in my entire life. However, after finishing the program, I came to realize that studying in a place where the culture is totally different would be an important and wonderful experience for everyone.” -Phoo Kyaw

Phoo Kyaw sees this panoramic view while abroad in China, thanks to the assistance of the study abroad services. All photos courtesy of Xenia Hestermann

“Being a participant of the BC Study Abroad in China was one of the most enriching experiences in my life and definitely the highlight of my college experience. While in Nanjing, I attended Shaping of the Modern World classes, which were taught by Professor Fred Huang. Professor Huang truly enhanced my understanding of China by discussing the nation’s role in global history. He also encouraged students to visit the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall and Jiming Temple so that we could gain a greater perspective of China’s past and current culture. Being his student helped me realize my passion for eastern philosophy which motivated me to pursue philosophy as a minor after returning from the trip. As a senior, I can recall many moments when college has been stressful, however, one thing that continuously inspires me to continue studying is a statement Professor Huang made on one of my written assignments. He wrote: ‘You are a very thoughtful student.’ That statement means so much to me, as a philosophy student and as a young person trying to find her way in the world. I truly recommend that every student go on a study abroad trip before they graduate because the experience will not only connect you to another culture but also it will foster a greater connection yourself.” -Alexa Marshall, majoring in Psychology

Alexa Marshall and a group of friends participating in BC Study Abroad in China program.

“My time spent in India was a unique experience in my educational path. Even as I’m removed from our travels to Jamkhed, Maharashtra, India, I find it difficult to fully express the appropriate words to describe my time abroad. Our Brooklyn College faculty-lead program was nothing short of awesome, incredible, educational, eye-opening, perspective-changing and truly transformative. Yes, I was able to experience a culture unlike mine here in the western hemisphere, but more than that, I was able to meet the people of the villages that surround Jamkhed. We studied the work of the Village Healthcare Worker and how they have changed the health outcomes with the help of the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP). CRHP opened their campus to our student group and served as our hosts and additional educators as we took an ethnographic look into the Indian way of life and the disparities that are present. Through anthropology, we were able to study a global health perspective as it relates to gender inequality and socioeconomic status. I will be able to take this unique experience with me throughout my health related studies.” -Bryan Keane, majoring in Health Science

Bryan Keane’s experiences in India included time working with the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP).

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