Student Views on Global Experience

"I wanted to immerse myself in another culture to become more open minded and gain more perspectives for looking at environmental issues. I really enjoy traveling and the Sweden Sustainability Across Sectors Maymester course was the perfect amount of time to be able to study abroad in a unique country and then come back home and complete a summer internship" Anne Hays


Alexander Nathan

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

Silpa Varanasi during her travels in New ZealandI’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 the 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.

Silpa Varanasi

Study Abroad in New Zealand

Alexander Nathan during his travels in AustraliaI 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 traveled 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 traveled 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.

"EEE is a very broad field that has multiple solutions to some of the same problems. While it's easy to learn about the techniques, seeing them in practice is much more valuable for my education. Going to Sweden allowed me to see some practices I had never even heard of, and it definitely expanded my mindset when approaching new problems." Greg Dieter

Emily Conkling

Study Abroad in New Zealand

Alexander Nathan during his travels in AustraliaI studied at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand during the spring 2017 semester. While there, I took two environmental engineering courses, one political science course, and a course on the culture and society of the Maori people. It was a great place to study EEE because New Zealand has some unique environmental issues, so I appreciate having the opportunity to study how other communities are solving environmental problems and trying to figure out if there’s any way for similar solutions to work in the United States.

My favorite thing about New Zealand was all of the outdoor adventures! Every weekend was another hiking or camping trip. Just to name a few, my favorite hikes were the Franz Josef Glacier (the fastest moving glacier in the world), the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (Mt. Doom for you Lord of the Rings fans), and the Abel Tasman great walk. I was also able to visit Rarotonga in the Cook Islands and Fiji during my time abroad. I can’t stress enough how amazing my time abroad was, and how it has impacted my life.

I’m definitely more confident in myself than before I went, and now I have a huge travel itch! Because of my time abroad, I’m considering jobs and careers that I would have never considered before.