Olivia Edelman was certain that she wanted to study abroad. Her older sister had studied in Barcelona, Spain during her college career, and she was in love with the idea of going to school in the very same city.

Edelman visited Bloomsburg University’s Office of Global Education as the first step to make her dream happen. What she learned from director Luke Springman was that a semester in Barcelona was not compatible with the course requirements for her major in English secondary education. Instead, Springman suggested that she do her semester abroad in Denmark, a country that BU had not yet sent any of its students.

At first she was not sure. She knew nothing about Denmark and had never even considered it as an option. However, after a bit of research about Aarhus, the city she would be living in, she had made up her mind to become the first Bloomsburg University student to ever study abroad at Aarhus University.

“I was inspired to go to a country that, along with many other people, I do not know much about,” said Edelman. “It was the best experience of my lifetime.”

There are countless benefits of a study abroad experience in college. Students have the opportunity not just to learn about the culture and the people of the countries they visit, but also the cultures of other exchange students. During her semester in Denmark the spring of her junior year, Edelman studied alongside new friends from Australia, Canada and the many other nations that her classmates represented. She also took the opportunity to travel to other countries near Denmark during her free time, including her dream destination of Spain.

As an education major, gaining firsthand experience of how foreign classrooms operate was invaluable. After graduating from BU, Edelman is even contemplating returning to Denmark to teach.

“It was really nice, especially studying to be a teacher, to see how other classroom setups are,” said Edelman. She recalls how Danish classes are much more informal than those that she has taken in the United States. Students call teachers by their first names, and schedules are more relaxed, with classes not always meeting multiple times a week. Some courses even had a different instructor for each unit. “It was really interesting for me to observe.”

Above all, the life lessons that Edelman learned are unique to her study abroad experience. “I went by myself, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I really had to be independent.”

She offers encouragement to any BU student thinking about studying abroad. “Many people think they can’t do it or they can’t afford it… But it’s manageable and really just the best experience ever. Definitely go to another country, because you learn so much about yourself.”

BU has partnerships with over 17 universities around the world, and the Office of Global Education on campus can help students take advantage of these opportunities and more. Study abroad programs exist for full or multiple semesters or for short-term experiences of just a few weeks.

You can read about Edelman’s experiences at Aarhus University in Denmark in her travel blog!

- Nick Cellucci, junior mass communications major

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For Irina Shigarova, this fall semester at Bloomsburg University is unlike any that she has ever experienced. Originally from Eastern Siberia, Shigarova was selected as BU’s first Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant with the help of Russian language professor, Mykola Polyuha, who originally came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar to complete his master’s degree at Penn State University.
Shigarova, who previously worked in the Russian city of Irkutsk with a population of approximately 600,000 people, says Bloomsburg provides a much calmer atmosphere than her previous work place. Along with the overall differences in community life, she describes the challenges that she faces on a daily basis, specifically the lack of public transportation and a much different variety of food.
She is also adjusting to a different language – a different style of the English language. Shigarova taught English at Irkutsk Language Centre Bigben, and is therefore more familiar with British English, which she states, is surprisingly different from American English.
These challenges have not stopped Shigarova. Along with teaching a Russian literature course this fall and a culture course in the spring, she is involved in the Russian Culture Club, provides native experience to students through games and books, and serves as a cultural ambassador. She also is furthering her personal interests by taking a dance class.  
When asked what she hopes to bring to BU, Shigarova describes her past experiences with U.S. citizens who expressed the belief that Russians are intimidating or downright “scary.” Her main goal is to eliminate this idea, starting at BU. “The politics do not talk about real people,” Shigarova says. “We have a lot to share with each other.”
Polyuha adds, “When real people meet each other, they see real people are different from politics on TV. Having more international students, such as Irina, helps us do this.”
Shigarova’s presence at BU may also prove useful for the future of Russian study abroad. She hopes to bring a group of students back to Bloomsburg after her Fulbright experience ends. Polyuha believes having someone who knows BU firsthand will ease collaboration with Russian universities.
A similar partnership, BU’s joint-degree program with The Financial University in Moscow, Russia, has successfully provided over 165 students from Russia to graduate with a double-degree in economics at BU.
Shigarova also hopes her experience here will show her students at home “a purpose in other languages and that it can be used in real life. Places are getting more real for them when they know you’ve seen it.”
The Fulbright program is an international scholarship opportunity that strives to promote mutual understanding and instill peaceful relations among the United States and other countries by providing scholars the opportunity to experience and work at universities around the world.
In years past, the Fulbright program has provided educational opportunities to more than 325,000 individuals including professors, language assistants, and students from the U.S. and other countries. The program pays special attention to teaching languages that have been deemed important to the future of America, focusing on languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.
- Courtney Dunn, senior dual English and psychology major

For Irina Shigarova, this fall semester at Bloomsburg University is unlike any that she has ever experienced. Originally from Eastern Siberia, Shigarova was selected as BU’s first Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant with the help of Russian language professor, Mykola Polyuha, who originally came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar to complete his master’s degree at Penn State University.

Shigarova, who previously worked in the Russian city of Irkutsk with a population of approximately 600,000 people, says Bloomsburg provides a much calmer atmosphere than her previous work place. Along with the overall differences in community life, she describes the challenges that she faces on a daily basis, specifically the lack of public transportation and a much different variety of food.

She is also adjusting to a different language – a different style of the English language. Shigarova taught English at Irkutsk Language Centre Bigben, and is therefore more familiar with British English, which she states, is surprisingly different from American English.

These challenges have not stopped Shigarova. Along with teaching a Russian literature course this fall and a culture course in the spring, she is involved in the Russian Culture Club, provides native experience to students through games and books, and serves as a cultural ambassador. She also is furthering her personal interests by taking a dance class. 

When asked what she hopes to bring to BU, Shigarova describes her past experiences with U.S. citizens who expressed the belief that Russians are intimidating or downright “scary.” Her main goal is to eliminate this idea, starting at BU. “The politics do not talk about real people,” Shigarova says. “We have a lot to share with each other.”

Polyuha adds, “When real people meet each other, they see real people are different from politics on TV. Having more international students, such as Irina, helps us do this.”

Shigarova’s presence at BU may also prove useful for the future of Russian study abroad. She hopes to bring a group of students back to Bloomsburg after her Fulbright experience ends. Polyuha believes having someone who knows BU firsthand will ease collaboration with Russian universities.

A similar partnership, BU’s joint-degree program with The Financial University in Moscow, Russia, has successfully provided over 165 students from Russia to graduate with a double-degree in economics at BU.

Shigarova also hopes her experience here will show her students at home “a purpose in other languages and that it can be used in real life. Places are getting more real for them when they know you’ve seen it.”

The Fulbright program is an international scholarship opportunity that strives to promote mutual understanding and instill peaceful relations among the United States and other countries by providing scholars the opportunity to experience and work at universities around the world.

In years past, the Fulbright program has provided educational opportunities to more than 325,000 individuals including professors, language assistants, and students from the U.S. and other countries. The program pays special attention to teaching languages that have been deemed important to the future of America, focusing on languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.

- Courtney Dunn, senior dual English and psychology major

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A group of Bloomsburg University students recently completed a study abroad experience at the Universidad del Centro Educativo, Rosario, Argentina, where they visited historical and culturally significant and studied the Spanish language and literature.
Participating were Spanish and secondary education majors Mallie Culpepper, Adriana Berlin, Kelly Mason and Abigail Messinger, a Spanish and speech-language pathology major. Specifically they visited Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Misiones and Montevideo, Uruguay.
At Misiones they visited a Guarani village and the Iguazú Falls. In Buenos Aires they attended a Tango Night, besides touring the city and Caminitos, the Italian Argentina barrio were Maradona, famous Argentina world soccer player, was born. They also visited the stadium where he played.

A group of Bloomsburg University students recently completed a study abroad experience at the Universidad del Centro Educativo, Rosario, Argentina, where they visited historical and culturally significant and studied the Spanish language and literature.

Participating were Spanish and secondary education majors Mallie Culpepper, Adriana Berlin, Kelly Mason and Abigail Messinger, a Spanish and speech-language pathology major. Specifically they visited Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Misiones and Montevideo, Uruguay.

At Misiones they visited a Guarani village and the Iguazú Falls. In Buenos Aires they attended a Tango Night, besides touring the city and Caminitos, the Italian Argentina barrio were Maradona, famous Argentina world soccer player, was born. They also visited the stadium where he played.

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Newly minted graduates go in all directions once they walk the commencement stage. For one Husky, her graduation journey went international.

Jeanine Hubert, an anthropology major, completed her undergraduate degree commitment this summer with a four-week study abroad research program in Nicaragua. Through the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy, Hubert spent most of June studying primate behavior and rainforest ecology on the island of Ometep — settled in the middle of the largest freshwater lake in Central America.

Specifically, Hubert observed two groups of monkeys native to the island collecting 25 hours worth of data in the rainforest. Through her research, Hubert found there may be a strong correlation between the primates’ eating behavior and the evolution of their tails.

In addition to her field success and degree completion, Hubert admitted she also discovered from her time abroad something just as long lasting — if not more memorable — within herself.

There was a moment I looked around and realized that I don’t know what force brought me to this place, but there’s a piece of my heart that will always be tucked away on the island of Ometepe,” Hubert said. “So cliche right?”

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G’day Huskies! Five students and a recent graduate have spent three weeks of summer traveling through Australia exploring many different activities and cultures the continent offers. Led by West Chester University faculty member Jason Phillips, along with nine others from various university across the country, these Huskies ventured on a 22-day journey through some of Australia’s most beautiful locations.
Evelynn Guzman, a student in the School Counseling College Student Affairs (M.Ed.) graduate program, highly recommends going abroad as she never did in her undergraduate years but feels she learned more about life and herself on this trip than she ever could have imagined.
Through scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, hiking through some of Australia’s best-known natural landmarks in the Northern Territory, surfing some waves on beautiful Bondi Beach and attending a performance of Mozart’s Haffner Symphony at the world famous Sydney Opera House (and many more), the students rank their exploration and education tour one of the most memorable experiences of their lives.
Pictured (L-R): Kelsi Cantone ’14, Evelynn Guzman ‘13, graduate school ‘15, Lindsey Dotzel ‘15, Erin Richardson ‘16 and Maria Bostjancic ‘16.

G’day Huskies! Five students and a recent graduate have spent three weeks of summer traveling through Australia exploring many different activities and cultures the continent offers. Led by West Chester University faculty member Jason Phillips, along with nine others from various university across the country, these Huskies ventured on a 22-day journey through some of Australia’s most beautiful locations.

Evelynn Guzman, a student in the School Counseling College Student Affairs (M.Ed.) graduate program, highly recommends going abroad as she never did in her undergraduate years but feels she learned more about life and herself on this trip than she ever could have imagined.

Through scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, hiking through some of Australia’s best-known natural landmarks in the Northern Territory, surfing some waves on beautiful Bondi Beach and attending a performance of Mozart’s Haffner Symphony at the world famous Sydney Opera House (and many more), the students rank their exploration and education tour one of the most memorable experiences of their lives.

Pictured (L-R): Kelsi Cantone ’14, Evelynn Guzman ‘13, graduate school ‘15, Lindsey Dotzel ‘15, Erin Richardson ‘16 and Maria Bostjancic ‘16.

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Having never traveled outside the country, Madalyn Goss made sure her first-ever international trip was worthwhile. This Political Science major, who is also pursuing a Middle East Studies minor, spent two weeks this winter studying in Saudi Arabia through a fellowship she earned through the Bloomsburg University Model Arab League, participating in the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations conventions.

Goss was among 10 selected students for this prestigious program, which extends beyond the two-week study abroad experience. Participants also engage in a variety of activities back home after their time in Saudi Arabia speaking on their experience, presenting public lectures and writing articles reflecting on their new perspective of Saudi Arabia and Middle East culture.

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Recently, 19 students and two professors traveled to Reggio Emilia, Italy for a two-week intensive study abroad experience. The group was comprised of seventeen undergraduate and two graduate students, all teacher candidates in the Department of Early Childhood and Adolescent Education or the Department of Exceptionality Programs.

The purpose of this experiential program was to learn about the Reggio Emilia approach, a world-renowned early childhood education philosophy, in its birthplace.

Through observations and interactions with teachers and students within the Reggio schools, in conjunction with lectures led by master teachers, pedagosistas, and administrators at the Loris Malaguzzi International Center, everyone gained a better understanding of the Reggio approach and how it can positively impact their future Pre-K-grade 4 classrooms. This inquiry and arts-based approach to young children’s learning was perceived by all as conducive to cultivating competent learners and human beings who (re)think, collaborate, and create.

Teacher candidates used the Reggio philosophy to strengthen their understanding that educators are a “compass for children” acting simultaneously as a guide, problem-poser, researcher, observer, and a documenter, all in the pursuit of nurturing and making learning visible.

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After she signed up for BU’s Cameroon-Ethiopia Winter Study Abroad program, Sonia Anderson had a DNA test discover that one of her ancestors came from Febe, a small village in Cameroon on the outskirts of Yaounde, the capital city. While visiting Yaounde, the entire study abroad group led by professor Essono, who also hails from Febe, accompanied her to the village. Anderson received an enthusiastic and emotional welcome as reflected in the speeches, hugs, tears, drumming and dancing, which enhanced the quality of the experience for all of the students who went on the trip. 

After she signed up for BU’s Cameroon-Ethiopia Winter Study Abroad program, Sonia Anderson had a DNA test discover that one of her ancestors came from Febe, a small village in Cameroon on the outskirts of Yaounde, the capital city. While visiting Yaounde, the entire study abroad group led by professor Essono, who also hails from Febe, accompanied her to the village. Anderson received an enthusiastic and emotional welcome as reflected in the speeches, hugs, tears, drumming and dancing, which enhanced the quality of the experience for all of the students who went on the trip. 

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