Studying abroad prepares students to be world citizens

The Office of Study Abroad’s annual fair in the Levin Ballroom on Sept. 16 provided students an opportunity to meet with representatives from international schools and learn about the academic and cultural experiences and adventures that a semester with their program provides.
Brandeis currently offers more than 350 study abroad programs in 65 different countries, and allows students to go abroad in the fall, spring, and summer.
“Study abroad is a phenomenal experience for students because it engages them academically and culturally,” said Kim Godsoe, the associate provost for academic affairs. “We want Brandeis students to be global citizens and study abroad is an integral part of that.
“We are so lucky,” Godsoe added. “If you look at Brandeis University, our study abroad offerings are so much more robust than many of our peers. Students can find the programs that let them explore their academic passions, which might not be possible at other places.”
Studying abroad has long been extremely popular at Brandeis. Approximately 40 percent of the junior class will live and study in an international setting.
“The experience of going abroad opened up my perspective of the world,” said Madeline Engeler, a senior from Sandusky, Ohio, who studied in Bangalore, India in this past spring. “You kind of think of these places, but don’t have a clear view of the people even though the people are what make these places shine.”
Engeler, a biology and health: science, society and policy double major, had an opportunity to continue her premed track via the Brandeis-India Science Scholars Program. Though she never dreamed that a rigid, science course load would allow her to go abroad, Engeler found a way to make her experience in India work for her.
“I didn’t think it was possible for someone who’s Premed to go abroad, but a month before the deadline I saw an email about the program and decided to go, spur of the moment,” she said. “I fulfilled my biology major while I was there and I worked in a laboratory doing cancer genomic research. I traveled every weekend, made friends from Asia and Europe and got to know the culture.”
Max Gould, a sophomore from Maplewood, New Jersey, who is interested in studying in The Hague, said he wants to study abroad because he realizes he may not have the opportunity later in life.
“I think it’s a unique experience, so I want to take advantage of the chance now,” said Gould. “I’ve heard incredible things about the program from some of my professors and friends who have been on it before, so I’m excited for the potential experience of seeing new a culture and learning from different people.”

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