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.