CUNY Goes Global: On Students Abroad

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For college assistant Xenia Hestermann in the International Education & Global Engagement Office, study abroad opportunities were something she said “changed my life.”

Originally from Germany, Hestermann, she said, “I’m a study abroad student myself, I’m originally from Germany. “I would encourage anyone to apply for the program.

Focusing on the experiences of studying in fields as diverse as Brooklyn College’s student population, Hestermann said “It’s not just limited to CUNY programs, you can really go wherever you want. The biggest benefit of this program is you experience a new country, meet new friends, and absorb new cultures.” From a student perspective, Hestermann said “The most challenging part is usually deciding where you want to go and filling out the paperwork. They also have to adapt and learn their surroundings and this includes learning a new language.”

And as for the greatest area of concern? “Most of the students are worried about the expenses, but financial aid is available. You can apply to scholarships and other programs that help with your finances.” Students looking for answers to more questions can visit 1108 Boylan Hall during office hours, and most importantly face experiences like those of the students ready to speak on their experiences abroad:

Allegra DePasquale

“Studying evolution and ecology in the Galapagos illustrated firsthand the connectedness of species and our place as human beings among them, rather than above them. Experiencing and studying the fragile and unique ecosystems of the Galapagos showed me the dire need for and importance of environmental stewardship.” -Allegra DePasquale, BA student with a concentration in Zoology and Conservation



Akilah Etienne

“I wish I could fully put into words my experience in Ireland. The privilege to learn music from the people who are presently leading in the field while being in the environment with which the music was born was unlike anything I could have dreamed of. The ability to immerse yourself in another culture not only teaches you about your own culture, but teaches you about yourself and how you experience the world when you’re out of your comfort zone. It pushed me to new levels and I will forever be grateful for what I learned while studying.” -Akilah Etienne, majoring in Voice Performance

Linda Huang

“I studied abroad in Kyoto, Japan in the Summer of 2015. It was one of the best experiences ever. I don’t think words can express my gratitude and happiness to be able to go to Japan! I’ve always wanted to go since I was around 13 years old! I’ve made a lot of friends there and have many long lasting memories. The students in the program got to keep their Yukata [from the Gion festival]!” – Linda Huang, majoring in Film Production





Tracy Pierre

“I am currently on an International exchange program through SUNY’s Albany University. I am studying at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan. And what I am learning on this trip is that as long as you have your family and your community…any place can be home. Also, I am learning that there are many different gods to service many requests, so the Taiwanese people strategically put worshiping temples on every corner around the city to protect and bring prosperity and clarity to the people.” -Tracy Pierre, majoring in African-Caribbean Cultural Studies and Creative Arts and Dance


Contributed Reporting by Emmanuel Perilla

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