Last year nearly 1,000 USF students studied across the globe from France to Costa Rica. Now, classmates have an opportunity to hear about these adventures.
Education Abroad Story Hour will allow returning students to share their experiences abroad with students who are looking into studying abroad.
The event will also allow potential study abroad candidates to learn and explore the different programs available.
“It is an opportunity for returning students who have studied abroad recently to unpack their experience and talk about it more in-depth about what they did, what they saw and where they went,” said Chris Haynes, Student Programs Coordinator for USF Education Abroad.
Haynes works directly with the featured speakers of the Story Hour events, the GloBull Ambassadors. GloBull Ambassadors are current students who have studied abroad before and had the opportunity to participate in special programs. Each student will share his or her experiences participating in study abroad.
“Their experiences are all going to be very unique,” Haynes said. “Some students go over there to have a great time, some really go over there for academics, some students have never studied abroad, so they all bring a different point of view which will be interesting to see.”
Ayla Horan is a GloBull Ambassador Council Member and has participated in two Education Abroad programs in the past. She said not only does studying abroad provide tremendous personal benefits, but its also a great way to earn credit hours and learn more about another culture.
“The first time I studied abroad was in Costa Rica, and the second time was in Argentina. I benefitted from both trips,” Horan said. “Study abroad gives you a whole new set of independence, because you’re on your own.”
Independence is something that many students experience when studying abroad because they are truly on their own. Often, this gives them the opportunity to discover more about themselves and the country they visit.
In addition to this new independence, Horan said studying abroad allows students to become more global and “worldly,” an opportunity only present in something like an education abroad program.
“You learn so much more about yourself and other people,” Horan said. “I was able to interact with different cultures and adapt to a completely different lifestyle.”
Students who have not yet studied abroad and might be on the fence about it will get the advantage of hearing personal experiences at the event. Also, students will be able to ask the GloBull Ambassadors questions about Education Abroad and hear specific answers and personal stories from their adventures abroad.
“We definitely want to get students there to learn more about what we have to offer and what our students are getting out of study abroad,” Haynes said.
Stories shared during the event will allow prospective students who are interested in studying abroad to receive insight and experiences from someone they can closely relate to.
Haynes said students can connect with and understand their peers, which will give them a great idea of what studying abroad is like for a USF student.
“It’s really a good event to promote study abroad through peer advising as opposed to the traditional study abroad fairs with faculty advisers or a study abroad session,” Haynes said.
The event will take place this Wednesday and Oct. 8 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Education Abroad Gateway Office located in the Marshall Student Center.
Students who are interested can visit the Education Abroad website at educationabroad.global.usf.edu.