When I decided to study abroad (both times), I knew it was going to be an incredible experience. I was excited to visit a new country, experience a different culture, and taste amazing food! Japan and France definitely delivered on all of those fronts. This is why I encourage students to go on faculty-led programs. The professors are always super knowledgeable about local cuisine, museums, and quirky stores that no one else would think to tell you about.
I have many different identities that I embrace and traveling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made me the most comfortable with almost all of them. I consider myself to be a Black, deaf woman and during my time in the UAE, I could be unapologetically me (for the most part). Although I was fortunate enough to study abroad twice during my time at RIT, I am able to reflect more about my experience in Dubai.
Hi! My name is Kansas Cushing and I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland, and was also able to visit London and Amsterdam while abroad. You’ll want to make the most out of your experience when you’re in a new country and will need to figure out some of the best locations to visit. It can feel overwhelming being immersed in a different culture, and sometimes a new language, but I have a couple of tips that can help you make the most of your travels abroad!
I knew pretty early on that studying abroad was something I wanted to do while in college. As a STEM major, I thought it would be interesting to gain a new perspective on my field and see how people from around the world approach scientific problems and develop applicable solutions. I also wanted to take the opportunity to travel before feeling tied down to a job after graduating.
It wasn’t one moment of studying abroad that changed me. Rather it was a slow accumulation of small moments and subtle revelations that led to the realization that the person I was before had given way to the person I had become. Change is something that happens slowly, and the awareness of it happening is even slower. It often happens in the small everyday events that go unnoticed. In London, I walked to class almost every day and often took new routes to see more of my neighborhood. Some mornings I would stop at a café for breakfast or go to lunch with friends after class.
One of the many perks of studying abroad is international travel. Depending on where you go, traveling from country to country can be as easy as a $12 bus ride. While studying abroad in Croatia, I decided to make the most out of my time there and took a trip one peninsula over to Italy. A couple of other students and I bought overnight bus tickets for Venice. The route was relatively simple: we would take one bus from Zagreb to Ljubljana, and then a second bus through the rest of Slovenia straight to Venice. I couldn’t have been more excited.
My name is Marshall Hurst; I grew up in a tiny town named Vineland in Ontario, Canada. You might be wondering, "Where the heck is Vineland?" Vineland is only 17 minutes away from the Lewiston-Queenston Border to the United States. The cultures are pretty similar, just that we follow the metric system, have British-influenced words such as colour with the 'U.' Fascinating, eh?
My path to studying abroad was an interesting one to say the very least. My older brother years prior had studied in Sorrento, Italy. Since then I wanted to see different parts of the world and learn important lessons along the way. I wanted to throw myself in a radically different environment. I wanted to train myself to become adaptive and aware of how different things could be. In other words, I wanted a global mindset, and RIT was my opportunity to start that journey.
My name is Rachael Daly and I studied abroad in the fall of 2018 at the RIT Weihai campus in Shandong, China. While studying abroad I was able to travel around the country visiting the cities of Weihai, Beijing, and Xi’an. This was a big experience for me because I had not previously been out of the country before and living in a place so different from the United States. This especially applies to food! Not only was the food and drink vastly different from that of the U.S., but the reasons surrounding the different selections were important as well.
Identity - it’s what defines us, grounds us, and ultimately who we are. We each have a multitude of identities ranging from race, gender, sexuality, religion, etc. While each of these identities play a significant role in who we are, I believe that race/ethnicity is the most apparent of them all. Unlike many of the other identities, you can’t escape the skin you live within. When encountering strangers in public, the first thing they see is my blackness.
I did not know that I was in for an adventure of a lifetime as the airplane touched down in Zagreb, Croatia. For the first time in my life I was completely alone in a country where I did not know the language, however it would not be the last. Throughout my six weeks in Europe I left my footprint in a total of five different countries and fell in love with an aspect of every one.
When I made the decision to study abroad, it was a no-brainer where I wanted to go: New Zealand. Of course, my decision was heavily influenced by the picturesque nature of the country, including snow-capped mountains, endless opportunities for hiking (“tramping” to the locals), sprawling green pastures dotted with sheep and cows, and stunning natural beaches. However, the other major reason why I wanted to spend a semester abroad in New Zealand was because that is where my mother was born and raised.
My name is Riley Kieffer. I studied abroad a few years ago in Dublin, Ireland. While I was abroad, I traveled to nine different countries (including my host country). I took thousands of photos, and that is no exaggeration. I also kept my ticket stubs from places I visited and got bookmarks and postcards from each place as souvenirs. I posted some of my photos to Instagram and it was a great way to share my experiences with friends and family.
I have been an out and proud lesbian since I was a sophomore in high school. I was in my schools’ gay-straight alliance. It hasn’t always been easy, but I was lucky enough to live in a relatively accepting community and a very accepting family. I am not ignorant of how much privilege I have had growing up in my community and feeling accepted.
In spring 2020, I studied with RIT affiliate, Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA), in Florence, Italy. While in Florence I worked as a social media intern for Black History Month Florence (BHMF). I completed 2 months in person and the rest online due to COVID-19.