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Peer Advisor and Global Envoy Program

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Katherine Polk

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Waldorf, MD

Study Abroad

Sydney, Australia

Highlight One highlight of my study abroad experience was seeing all of the wildlife in Australia and getting to hug a koala and feed kangaroos in Tasmania.
Challenge One challenge of my study abroad experience was that the time change in Australia made it really difficult to keep in touch with friends and family back home.
Favorite Food Crumpets.
Benefits Academically I was exposed to a different biological perspective than the one I had been taught so far in my classes at Mason. Personally, I benefited from making friends from across the globe and learning to be more independent. Professionally, I was able to highlight skills from my study abroad experience to get a summer internship.
Busted Myth

Not every animal in Australia will kill you.

Brandon Lock

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Fredericksburg, Virginia

Study Abroad Oxford University (Semester program)
Highlight Learning one-on-one with an expert in a different field.
Challenge The rigorous, never-ending hours of the Oxford term.
Favorite Food Lemonade ice cream from G&D’s.
Benefits Forming independent thought (academic), Finding the delicate balance between work and relaxation (academic and personal)
Busted Myth

It does in fact rain every day in England.

Kendra West

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Richmond, VA

Study Abroad Curtin University Perth, Australia
Highlight Swimming with wild dolphins on my 21st Birthday.
Challenge Adjusting to the public transportation being my only means of travel.
Favorite Food Meat Pies! took some getting used to through.
Benefits I was given the opportunity to learn about aboriginal culture as an entire course which I otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to. I was able to make strong friendships while I was away and have already made plans to visit other people around the US at their home university. I also took this opportunity to say yes to more things. I was forced to be more adventurous during this trip and I know I am better for it.
Busted Myth

No one cooks “shrimp on the barbie.” Don’t say it. Not cool.

Tiffany Dawson

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Lynchburg, VA

Study Abroad Seoul, South Korea
Highlight Getting to experience multiple aspects of the culture from traditions to festivals.
Challenge I would say one challenge I had was the langugage barrier. I have learned some Korean, but I’m not fluent in the language.
Favorite Food Bburrinkle chicken (It’s a really famous fried chicken flavor with cheese powder.)
Benefits Academically: Getting to study at a school known for its management classes helped me to expand my knowledge of my major. Personal: Getting to immerse myself in a culture and language that I’ve studied for eight years helped me to gain more insight on the country. Professional: Got to network globally with other future business leaders and learn from prominent business leaders in the world.

Jiordan Carter

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

Major

Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources

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Chestertown, MD

Study Abroad England, South Korea
Highlight Volunteering at the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang.
Challenge Overcoming the language barrier.
Favorite Food Fish and chips.
Benefits Academic: Being able to apply the concepts that I learned in the classroom to real life, e.g. my internship experience in London working with a sports-related company, I was able to use concepts I learned in class over the years. Personal: Growth. After study abroad I can see how much more confident I am in myself and my field. Professional: Great experiences for my resume, e.g. internship abroad and volunteering at the Paralympic Games.
Busted Myth

You will not be able to get by with only speaking English. You should try and learn basic phrases in the native language of the country you are studying in.

Shawn Pham

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Virginia

Study Abroad Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan
Highlight Travelling to Seoul Korea and backpacking across Japan.
Challenge Knowing no Japanese the first month abroad.
Favorite Food Dominique Ansel’s Bakery (Omotesando)-Frozen Smore.
Benefits Learning a new language, making friends from all over the world, expanding your mind, trying new food.
Busted Myth

Japanese is the only language spoken in Japan. I had the opportunity to speak in English, French, and Vietnamese in addition to Japanese while abroad in Tokyo.

Gabrielle Jackson

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

Major

Community Heath/Spanish (minor)

Home

New Jersey

Study Abroad Madrid, Spain and Sao Paulo, Brazil
Highlight Traveling around Europe while in Spain and visiting Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.
Challenge Navigating the language barrier, Spanish in Spain and Portuguese in Brazil.
Favorite Food Spanish tortilla in Spain and pao de queijo in Brazil.
Benefits Gained greater independence, I had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe, I sharpened my Spanish speaking abilities while in Spain, and learned Portuguese while in Brazil, I made friends with students from many different countries.
Busted Myth

Many Spaniards are not in favor of bullfighting and the event is declining in popularity. Brazilians don’t just listen to samba, there are many genres of music and the sertanejo genre happens to be very popular at the moment.

Abby Smith

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Leesburg, Virginia

Study Abroad Paris, France
Highlight My favorite part of studying in Paris was getting to live like a local and observing their culture and habits.
Challenge My biggest challenge when studying abroad was forcing myself outside of my comfort zone.
Favorite Food Academically and personally, it allowed me to improve my French while doing it in a fun and enjoyable way. Studying abroad also taught me to be more independent and to not be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone.
Benefits Some French people really do walk around carrying a baguette.

Hannah Wilk

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Redding, Connecticut

Study Abroad Griffith University in Australia
Highlight The biggest highlight of my study abroad experience was seeing the sun rise over the Sydney Opera house.
Challenge When I first got to Australia I was surprised to experience some culture shock and homesickness in the first week. However, just as quickly as it came, it was gone and I was having the time of my life.
Favorite Food I had some fresh mangoes in Cairns (a very tropical climate in Northern Australia) and they were to die for.
Benefits Academic: I got a cultural perspective on a variety of criminology topics. Personal: I stepped outside of my comfort zone and realized how capable I was to be independent. Professional: I got a research internship abroad and was able to get experience in an international setting.
Busted Myth

The weather wasn’t warm and sunny all the time. I got very cold towards the end of my time abroad.

Katriina Juntunen

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Rhode Island

Study Abroad Gold Coast, Australia. Griffith University
Highlight Traveling across the Outback and all around the East Coast.
Challenge The 14-hour time difference between Australia and America… when I was waking up, all my family and friends were going to bed.
Favorite Food Tim Tam Pancakes from our favorite dessert place Cowch.
Benefits The Restorative Justice class I took while abroad helped me secure my current internship with the Northern Virginia Mediation Society. Gaining an international perspective of criminal justice allowed me to think differently about todays issues. I also made lifelong friends from all around the world.
Busted Myth

Drop Bears aren’t real! Not everything in Australia kills you! And most importantly, you can take a full semesters worth of credits abroad without falling behind in your degree.

Lauren Sullivan

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Charlottesville, Virginia

Study Abroad Paris, France
Highlight Going to the top of the Arc De Triomphe and seeing the Paris skyline with the Eiffel Tower and other well-known landmarks made the trip real.
Challenge Being away from home. I’m very close with my family and can get homesick easily.
Favorite Food There’s so much food to love in Paris! Every restaurant had steak and fries (steak frites) so that was my go-to. But there was also amazing pasta and pizza in France because of the Italians that have migrated there. I also LOVED nutella crepes and chocolate croissants! Neither are the same in America.
Benefits Becoming more globally conscious, Making lifelong friends, Expanding my cultural knowledge, Becoming more confident in myself as a leader, A great resume builder and interview conversation, Learning subject matter while immersing yourself in it.
Busted Myth

There definitely was a different between how the French and the British treated us.

Kyra Dunlap

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Burke, Virginia

Study Abroad South Africa, Montreal, Middle East, Malta
Highlight Exploring new places.
Challenge Having to leave my comfort zone.
Favorite Food Vegan food in Vienna.
Benefits Exploring new places, meeting new people, trying new experiences.
Busted Myth

Studying abroad is not a academic break.

Taylor Munir

Peer Advisor and Global Envoy

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Basking Ridge, NJ

Study Abroad Amman, Jordan
Highlight Getting to explore Wadi Rum!
Challenge Communicating with other’s in a foreign language! Especially since I had never practiced the Jordanian Arabic dialect before!
Favorite Food Hummus.
Benefits Because of my study abroad I am more prepared to face the challenges of living in a new environment! I also got to practice the language I was learning everyday, which really helped me improve my language skills.
Busted Myth

A lot of people told me they were concerned about my safety while in Jordan. However, I did not feel unsafe while I was there!