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Student Views on Global Experience

Jesse Hamm, EEE Class of 2016

Study Abroad in Sweden













Visiting Stockholm was my first international experience. I had no idea what to expect, but I can easily say it was one of the most memorable times of my life. The ‘Sustainability Across Sectors’ study abroad short course was an authentic way to broaden my academic and cultural horizons while developing a global perspective. Professor Hua was adamant that the class get the most out the experience and immediately sent us on a scavenger hunt across Stockholm to help familiarize us with the area. Throughout the experience we attended classes at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, toured Stockholm’s wastewater treatment facilities that turn biosolids into fuel for their bus fleet, and visited a facility that burned organic waste for heat and energy. We even flew into an airport that regulated off the CO2 emissions for incoming and outgoing flights. In just two weeks I was hooked and have no doubt that Sweden is one of the most sustainable countries in the world. I learned a lot during the trip and grew as a person. In the future I hope to bring some of Sweden’s sustainable practices to the U.S. 

Silpa Varanasi, Class of 2016

Study Abroad in New Zealand













I studied abroad at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand in Spring 2015. The opportunity to live in a new country allowed me to understand the way of life in New Zealand compared to that of the U.S. The people of New Zealand live a very relaxed, rural, and slow-paced life whereas Americans are constantly busy. In addition, the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand have a very prevalent culture, performing dances nationally, creating extraordinary art and cooking the traditional Hangi meal (mix of meat, vegetables, and pudding) using wood and volcanic rocks. I enrolled in a Sustainable Energy Systems course, allowing me to gain an understanding of New Zealand’s stance on renewable energies in comparison with the U.S. and Denmark. For my Ecology course, I took a field trip to Cass Mountains for four days where I hiked to survey plants and trees (pictured), and performed experiments with insects and lizards. I took a week trip with a friend from the South Island to the North Island. We travelled to Kaikoura with beautiful waters and seals (pictured), and then we took the inter-islander ferry from the South Island to the North Island, docking at the capital city of Wellington. Following our stay in Wellington, we travelled to Taupo, with a beautiful lake which we skydived over at sunset. The next day we went to Rotorua, the city where we went to the geothermal hot springs and went white water rafting. Our trip ended with a tour of Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand. Studying abroad can be an awesome opportunity. I encourage other students to consider how to include a global experience into their academic career.


Alexander Nathan, EEE Class of 2016

Study Abroad at the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia


I’ll just say it right away, studying abroad was the greatest travel experience I have ever had (which is saying quite a bit as I have traveled and lived in numerous other countries). I went in with pretty high expectations and they were easily beaten, although surprisingly not due to all the experiences I had, but the people. I never expected to find such good friends on this trip and that was truly the best part of the whole experience. That is not to say I didn’t have a good time otherwise. Outside of the classes (four hours a day at times I might add) I saw Australia in all different ways. From talking to indigenous Australian people, to surfing, to nightlife and festivals, to beautiful landscape, and not to mention great food, I was not lacking in activities to take up my time. This trip has reignited my passion to travel and see the world and also shown me that being open to new experiences and people can create the most amazing experiences of your life. Overall, I can’t imagine seeing the country in a different way than I did and it is a summer I will never forget.



Lauren Kennedy, EEE Class of 2015

Study Abroad in Switzerland


You can read about Lauren's experiences here -