Leah Seupersad, 404-413-1354
ATLANTA—Making a new best friend in England and spending spring break in Rome, Italy are just a few of the memories that Elizabeth Joseph has from spending a year abroad in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
Joseph is among a group of Georgia State University students who will share their study abroad experiences during International Education Week on campus Nov. 15-19. The annual event is a joint initiative of the U.S. departments of State and Education to celebrate the benefits of international education.
“I would advise other students to travel abroad because it's the best time in our lives to just pick up and move to another country,” said Joseph, an English major who hopes to have a career in writing. “There's a great advantage in seeing education from another country's perspective and experiencing how courses are taught is very different. It's incredible to stay for two semesters and really submerge yourself in the culture.”
Highlights of the week include the 10th year of the Crossing Paths, Crossing Cultures International Photo Competition at 5 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Student Center Ball Room. The photo competition is an initiative to highlight the importance of enhancing students' knowledge of other cultures and perspectives. International students submit photos of their experiences here in the U.S., and study abroad students submit pictures of their experiences abroad.
"International Education Week is an opportunity to bring awareness to the importance of international education and emphasize the impact international experiences will have on a student’s academic, personal and professional life," said Farrah Bernardino, director of Georgia State’s Office of Study Abroad Programs. “Attending an event is often the catalyst for students to study abroad. The events can also spur a language exchange on campus with an international student or influence a faculty member to lead a study abroad program for the first time.”
Georgia State students Leslie Rentz and Joseph are panelists on a new event during International Education Week themed “Spending a Semester Abroad: Student Panel.” The panel is set for Wednesday, Nov. 17 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Lucerne Suite of the Student Center.
Rentz, a senior majoring in history, plans to tell students about how traveling abroad has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her life.
“I got to grow so much as a person as well as truly being independent from my family and friends,” Rentz said. “It gave me an opportunity to visit a country I had never been to. As a history major, England has a much longer history than the States and it was just an incredible experience to be able to see that kind of history.”
International Education Week will include a host of other events and panels, including seminars on how to afford studying abroad, holidays of the world, and a movie and discussion with the Middle East Institute.
The week will end with the International Thanksgiving Feast, scheduled for noon on Nov. 19 in the Rialto Center lobby. The annual event gives international students who don’t have a family in the United States the chance to experience an American holiday, Bernardino said.
Last year, 573 Georgia State students studied abroad. This year, GSU students can choose from 43 GSU sponsored faculty-led programs and 22 exchange programs. Destinations include Argentina, China, Costa Rica, Dubai, Ethiopia, Russia, South Africa and Tanzania.
For more information about the International Education Week schedule or studying abroad, visit the Study Abroad Programs Office Website at www.gsu.edu/studyabroad.