Student Support Services: Student experiences
NAU First-Generation students share their study abroad experiences
Imagine yourself taking classes at a historic university in China. See yourself traveling the exotic lands of South Africa. Imagine being able to enjoy the natural beauty of Costa Rica or the sights and sounds of Japan. Education abroad is an opportunity to see the world. It’s a chance to discover different cultures and new ways of life. It gives you the possibility of having one of the greatest adventures that you will ever have and to keep those memories with you for the rest of your life. Below are the stories of SSS participants who have studied abroad during the Summer 2013 semester. If you are interested in study abroad please contact your SSS Coordinator to assist you.
Alexandria Doss (Accra, Ghana)
As I started my junior year of college I decided that one thing I have always wanted to do was travel to another country. I knew I didn’t want to go to Europe or other typical destinations. I wanted to go where many people have not and see a developing country first hand. I wanted to go to a developing country to see how so many people in the world outside of the United States live their day to day life.
After looking at programs and classes that would allow me to learn about a culture and take trips into the country, I decided it would be best for me to travel to Accra, Ghana, located in West Africa near the equator. While I was there I was able to learn about the Ghanaian culture and culture of West Africa. I learned about how their spiritual cultural beliefs are blending with more modern times and religions brought to them like Christianity and Islam. I was able to see how different parts of the country have different belief systems, cultural expectations of men and women, how the country is developing, and best of all the history behind it all.
Being that I am African American I enjoyed learning about the slave trade. While I was there, the most memorable part was traveling to Cape Coast and seeing where captured slaves and prisoners from the tribal wars were sold, shackled, branded, and imprisoned until ships from the Americas and Caribbean Islands came to gather slaves to be shipped. I walked through the slave castles in the footsteps of slaves that had come and gone. This changed my view of my own history and also allowed me to see part of my origins that I was not taught about in school as a child. I appreciated learning about my roots and the roots of so many other African Americans that are not able to trace their ancestry back because of the slave trade. Overall, my trip allowed me to learn another cultures history and see the beauty in simplicity of how people live throughout the world. I would recommend study abroad to anyone looking for something different or to embrace a culture whether it was your “motherland”, as I call it, or a class you’d love to take. Take that first step and ask yourself why you want to travel and you’ll love what you find!
Myliesha Martin and Marquitta Lambert (San Jose, Costa Rica)
I am Myliesha Martin, a senior here at Northern Arizona University, studying Elementary Education with a certificate in Early Childhood Education. I studied abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica with my sister Marquitta. I chose to study abroad because I wanted to experience a new culture and to get out of my comfort zone. While abroad I learned that I can accept new things and adapt to my surroundings for the best. I would love to experience Costa Rica all over again because it opened my eyes to new experiences and an understanding to myself. If you are thinking about studying abroad, make it happen because you will not regret it.
My name is Marquitta Lambert. I am currently a junior studying Business Marketing here at NAU. Since my freshman year, I was constantly presented with the idea of studying abroad. I usually find myself swamped with school work and shut off from the rest of the world so traveling to another country, experiencing other cultures, and enjoying the beauties of the world was something I couldn’t pass up. Summer 2013, I was granted the opportunity to study abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica, with my sister, Myliesha. Not only did I embrace the history and culture of the Ticos people, but I learned to be more open-minded and appreciative of the opportunities that are put before me. I have learned to live by the Costa Rican motto “pura vida”; enjoying every moment of life and living without regrets. Studying abroad allowed me to realize that there is so much more to the world than just what we are exposed to on a daily basis. It has to be one of the best choices I have made in my college career and I encourage others to do the same. It will be an experience that you will never forget.
Hezekiah O’Neal (Cape Town, South Africa)
My name is Hezekiah O’Neal and I am a senior studying Exercise Science and Bio-Medical Sciences with a minor in Chemistry/Pre-Med. This past summer (entire month of July) I studied abroad in South Africa, Cape Town. I had the opportunity to do an international health care internship as well as taking classes and traveling all over Africa. I was mainly working in the hospitals and shadowing doctors while at the same time providing health care to local villages. I also had the opportunity to go sky diving, bungee jumping, swimming with the sharks, zip lining through the jungle, safaris and various other activities! My goal overall is to work internationally as a trauma physician and provide health care in third world countries and this study abroad experience definitely solidified my desire. Currently, I am planning on studying abroad again to Fiji, South America and the Himalayas, Napal. I always say, JUST DO IT! If you are thinking about studying abroad, feel free to contact me by email.