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Success Stories


Elena Conklin

ISA - Kingston University - London, England (fall 2015)

My name is Elena Conklin and I am currently a senior here ... (read more)


Francesca Rizzuto

ISA - Florence University of the Arts - Florence, Italy (Spring 2015)

Ciao! My name is Francesca Rizzuto and I am ... (read more)


Joselyn Chavez

Ramapo College - India: Development and Sustainability - Bangalore, India (spring 2015)

Hello! My name is Joselyn Chavez and I am currently ... (read more)


Olivia Dunn

Ramapo College - India: Development and Sustainability - Bangalore, India (spring 2015)

Hello! My name is Olivia Dunn and I am a ... (read more)


Alexa Torres

Ramapo College - India: Development and Sustainability - Bangalore, India (spring 2015)

Hey there! My name is Alexa Torres and I ... (read more)

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Argentina

Gary Miuccio - Buenos Aires and Salta, Argentina

Gary Miuccio (ISA – Autonomous University of the Arts – Barcelona, Spain; RCNJ – Documentary Photography – Buenos Aires and Salta, Argentina)

Hola! My name is Gary Miuccio. I am currently a senior biology major at Ramapo. I am involved with Phi Delta Epsilon and Ramathon, Ramapo’s Dance Marathon. In the spring of 2012, I studied in Barcelona for a semester. Upon arrival back home, I proceeded to take a faculty-led study abroad program through Ramapo in Argentina for about a month. Mind you, I have never left the United States before these experiences. Studying abroad should be compulsory in my opinion. For such a short period of time, I have never learned so much about myself, others, my family, my friends, and everyone else that comes into my life. It was absolutely intriguing and fantastic being able to grow on a personal level while experiencing and studying a new culture. The benefits of absorbing experiences and knowledge about different places and cultures are endless. Since studying abroad, I have become extremely in tune with myself. I can now make confident and secure decisions, rapidly solve problems, comprehend on a higher level, and maintain personal and professional relationships in a way quite different from before. It is absolutely amazing how significantly an individual can mature and grow when placed into a completely new environment. I have countless stories to share and experiences you could never imagine. I want to help you make the correct decision about studying abroad whether it is where to study or what to bring! The opportunity to study abroad is something you will never regret and always look back upon. The open-mindedness of a past study abroad student exposes more opportunities than any class in the U.S.A. could ever offer its students.  I have decided to become a Global Roadrunner to help individuals like you achieve the most rewarding, enjoyable, and personalized study abroad experience!

Nena Hernandez - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Nena Hernandez (University of Deusto – Bilbao, Spain and ISA – University of Belgrano – Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Hello, my name is Nena Hernandez, and I’m a sophomore here at Ramapo and I’m an International Studies major with a minor in Political Science and International Business.  I studied abroad in Bilbao, Spain for the Fall 2010 semester.  Choosing to study abroad has been the greatest move I’ve made for my academic career, and I actually plan on going abroad again. My Spanish has improved greatly and I have complete confidence in my speech.  Also, while the information I received in the classroom did pertain to my major and was interesting, I found that I learned the most outside the classroom.  By completing parts of the Camino de Santiago I not only learned about Spanish culture and meet others from around the world, I also learned a great deal about myself. Furthermore, I strengthened my common sense and logistic skills when I was lost my first day in Bilbao, and managed to work my way through the city to find the university in order to locate my housing.  It was an experience to remember. Studying abroad open a whole new set of doors for you, it gives you insight to a new culture and yourself.  Never again in our lives will studying abroad be this organized, this accessible, or well priced.  Everyone should take a step out of their comfort zone and take a chance – going abroad will provide you with memories to last a lifetime and an experience that will shape your future like nothing else. Update: Nena participated in the ISA – University of Belgrano program in Buenos Aires, Argentina during spring fall 2011.

Australia

Joe Skarzynski - Melbourne, Australia

Joe Skarzynski (Victoria University – Melbourne, Australia)

Hey I’m Joe and I studied abroad in Australia! I’m a Communication Arts Major at Ramapo and made the best decision of my college experience by going abroad. I was getting tired of living an hour away from home, I had seen all there was to see in my own backyard. I had an unquenchable thirst to experience the nectar of life. Take a 25 hour plane ride across the world and live there for a semester? Great idea! Not only was I in an educational environment abroad, but I was immersed in a completely different culture. The classes helped me to gain insight on both culture and useful topics to be learned for life. I met people from all over the world and established deep connections. Now that I’m back, I can’t imagine a life where I hadn’t gone abroad! I am satiated from life experience, my journey has just begun. I became a Global Roadrunner because I believe in the study abroad program and would gladly encourage others to follow suit. It really is an unforgettable opportunity, and the Global Roadrunners are here to assist students in any way.

Sam Klein - Melbourne, Australia

Sam Klein (Victoria University – Melbourne, Australia)

G’day mates! My name is Sam Klein, and I am a Senior at Ramapo studying Digital Filmmaking. In the Fall of 2010, I decided to take a big leap by studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia for a semester. It was easily the highlight of my college career, as I met the best people, enjoyed a superb culture, and traveled about Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Fiji in the months following my semester. Back in America, I am an Australian Student Ambassdor, a member and current co-Captain of the Ramapo Men’s Varsity Tennis Team, President/Founder of the RC Screenwriters’ Society, and of course, a Global Roadrunner. While I have a busy schedule, I always have time to keep in touch with all of the amazing friends I met abroad, and can’t wait to see where in the world I find myself next! I feel that a student is not truly ready to emerge into the “real world” that awaits them after graduation until they’ve seen a different part of the world. We are lucky that Ramapo can so easily provide us with this excellent opportunity.

China

Alex Ruiz - Beijing and Shanghai, China

Alex Ruiz (RCNJ – India: Development and Sustainability program – Bangalore, India; RCNJ – China Immersion Experience – Beijing and Shanghai, China)

My name is Alexander Ruiz and I am a senior at Ramapo College. I am currently a double major in History and International Studies with a minor in Anthropology. I had the luck to participate in the college’s South Asia Cultural Immersion program where I lived in a village outside of Bangalore for four months. It was a rewarding and challenging experience and broaden my understanding of the world to level I could have never imagined. It is because of this experience that I believe more students should take the opportunity to travel and live abroad. Too few students are willing to take the risk of challenging their minds and senses preventing them from experiencing an enriching opportunity. Outside of my interest in studying aboard I hope to further my education regarding the world through diplomacy and public policy. My time in India gave me firsthand accounts of how negligent governments can be and what pressures need to be exerted on them for them to take an active role. Seeking to understand how the public sphere functions and what tools are available for people to gain political power is essential to fostering a stable consensus in a government’s policy. I hope to expand my knowledge in these fields to ultimately end up in the non-for-profit sector helping people acquire greater access to resources around them.

Ashley Wood - Shanghai, China

Ashley Wood (ISA – East China Normal University – Shanghai, China)

My name is Ashley Wood and I am a Junior here at Ramapo majoring in International Studies and History. I always knew I wanted to study abroad in college, and decided to spend my summer of 2011 in Shanghai, China. The world I experienced was so different from my own, yet so similar and I was caught off guard at how comfortable and content I could be living on the other side of the world I grew up in. It was a great opportunity to use my Mandarin language skills to bargain for a better price in the markets (and you always get a better price if you speak Chinese!) and meet interesting and wonderful people. And if you ever travel to Shanghai, the dumplings are a must! Shanghai is a fast growing city, so much so that the Shanghai I visited will probably be completely different and transformed in a few years! I could never fully understand the technological and economic advances China has made in the past few decades until I went there and saw it for myself. As an International Studies major, this experience was vital to my education and I know it will help my later in life as I pursue my career. Studying Abroad is an unforgettable experience, teaching students about independence, new cultures and languages, and applying their lessons in the classroom to the real world. I never could have imagined how easy it was to plan my trip and find the program that worked for me. Find a place that interests you and just go! You won’t regret it!

Chris McKenna - Beijing and Shanghai, China

Chris McKenna (RCNJ – China Immersion Experience – Beijing and Shanghai, China; RCNJ Public Health in West Africa – Freetown and Bo Province, Sierra Leone; Danish Institute for Study Abroad – Copenhagen, Denmark)

From the first day of classes freshman year, I knew I wanted to study abroad. I didn’t have a destination in mind, but I wanted to ‘see the world’ so to speak. Ramapo College gave me the opportunity and my experiences with the spring break program in China allowed me to experience a culture unlike anything I had been exposed to. Studying abroad showed me a part of the world that I had never been to and a new culture that was unlike anything I was used to. The spring break program focused on business and while I am not a business major, it helped me understand a complex system. I plan on having a career that will take me internationally and the experiences that I had while studying abroad have helped me prepare for that. I also plan on studying abroad this coming summer and plan on applying to graduate schools in Europe. I believe that it is important for students to take advantage of the study abroad opportunities that Ramapo College offers because through them, you have the chance to grow as a person and have amazing experiences that will help you grow as a person. It might be something as simple as an idea for a creative writing piece, to something as dramatic as changing your major because you’ve discovered a new passion. Between the people you will meet abroad, to the classes you’ll take, to the sights you’ll see. You will not have two days alike, and every day will be a chance to learn something new. Studying abroad has been the highlight of my college career and I hope it will become the highlight of yours. *Update #1: Chris also participated in the summer 2011 Sierra Leone program. *Update #2: Chris participated in the DIS Summer 2012 Program in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Daniel Loughrey - Beijing, China

Daniel Loughrey (CIEE – Peking University – Beijing, China)

 Hi! My name is Dan Loughrey, and this is my senior year at Ramapo.  I’m an International Studies major, and I have minors in East Asian Studies and Anthropology.  I’ll be completing the Business Essentials certification this Spring. I studied abroad this past summer in an intensive Chinese language program at Peking University in Beijing, China.  Not only did I learn a great deal of Mandarin in my time abroad, but I got to be a lot more adaptable / quick on my feet after a mishap on a (wrong) subway line.  My study abroad experience showed me that I can adapt to tough situations on the fly and that an open-minded mindset can help someone enjoy their experience abroad that much more.   I look forward to working with anyone interested in studying abroad in hopes of making their experience as good or better than mine was! *Update #1: Dan was accepted into the Master’s Progam in International Education at the SIT Graduate Institute. *Update #2: Dan accepted the position of Graduate Assistant in the Roukema Center for International Education.

Costa Rica

Adam Lazor - Atenas, Costa Rica

Adam Lazor (National Student Exchange program – University of Hawaii – Hilo, Hawaii; School for Field Studies – Sustaining Tropical Ecosystems: Biodiversity, Conservation and Development – Atenas, Costa Rica)

Aloha! My name is Adam Lazor and I’m a senior here at Ramapo College, I am currently a student aide at the Roukema Center for International Education and a pole vaulter on the school Track and Field team. I am majoring in Music with minors in Environmental Studies and Anthropology.  Before studying abroad I participated in NSE (National Student Exchange) and spent my fall 2011 semester at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would live in Hawaii, let alone study there. I fell in love with Hawaii as soon as the plane landed.  I think Hawaii is the closest you can get to studying abroad without actually leaving the country, there are so many different cultures that live on a chain of Islands in the middle of the Pacific; it’s truly a fascinating state. Alongside of Hawaii, this summer I spent a month doing environmental research in Costa Rica. This trip really proved to me that studying abroad is the most powerful thing you can do as a student. No matter how you try to explain it to people, the only ones who understand what you experienced are those who went out and studied abroad as well. I think if you can take that small step out of your comfort zone, you allow yourself access to a world you will never see and it is a very intense life changing experience. Update: Adam participated in the School for Field Studies program in Aetnas, Costa Rica during summer 2012.

Czech Republic

Emma Ruddick-Ferrat - Prague, Czech Republic

Emma Ruddick-Ferrat (ISA – University of Economics – Prague, Czech Republic)

Ahoj, my name is Emma Ruddick-Ferrat and I am a senior at Ramapo. I am a Marketing major with a minor in International Business.  I always knew I wanted to study abroad but the real question was where.  I come from a diverse European family background so I was always interested in exploring the world. I wanted to study abroad at a place I’ve never been to before and did not know much about.  That is part of the reason why I chose to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic.  Some other criteria included: affordability, centrally located, and its reputation.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about Prague.  Some said it was one of Europe’s hidden gems and was an up-and-coming must see destination.  And let me tell you, they were absolutely right! I immediately fell in love with Prague and the study abroad experience as a whole. Over the course of 4 months, I visited 12 countries and many cities within each country.  As you can see, Prague definitely fit the centrally located category.   I made a lot of new friends and memories that I will cherish forever.  I look forward to working with future study abroad students and I hope you love it as much as I did. Hezky den!

Maggie Rogers - Prague, Czech Republic

Maggie Rogers (ISA – Charles University – Prague, Czech Republic)

Ahoj! My name is Maggie Rogers and I am a psychology major with a minor in gerontology here at Ramapo. I’ve always had a passion for exploration and discovering new places so when I found out about study abroad, I knew it was something that I just had to do. I had no idea where I wanted to go but I knew that I wanted to go somewhere so completely new and different that it would take me completely out of my element. So I made my decision and I spent my entire spring 2011 semester studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. Most people don’t even know where the Czech Republic is exactly and honestly, I had no idea either. I didn’t know the language, I knew nothing about the culture, I didn’t know anyone else in the program and I had never even crossed the Atlantic. I can honestly say that studying abroad in Prague was the best decision of my life! Once I got there I never wanted to leave. I seized the opportunity to travel and visited 11 countries during my 4 months abroad. Moreover, I got the chance to take a variety of new and interesting classes that I would have never had the opportunity to take here at Ramapo. I learned a new language, embraced a new culture, made a ton of new connections and suddenly found myself becoming more independent, open-minded and free.

Denmark

Chris McKenna - Copenhagen, Denmark

Chris McKenna (RCNJ – China Immersion Experience – Beijing and Shanghai, China; RCNJ Public Health in West Africa – Freetown and Bo Province, Sierra Leone; Danish Institute for Study Abroad – Copenhagen, Denmark)

From the first day of classes freshman year, I knew I wanted to study abroad. I didn’t have a destination in mind, but I wanted to ‘see the world’ so to speak. Ramapo College gave me the opportunity and my experiences with the spring break program in China allowed me to experience a culture unlike anything I had been exposed to. Studying abroad showed me a part of the world that I had never been to and a new culture that was unlike anything I was used to. The spring break program focused on business and while I am not a business major, it helped me understand a complex system. I plan on having a career that will take me internationally and the experiences that I had while studying abroad have helped me prepare for that. I also plan on studying abroad this coming summer and plan on applying to graduate schools in Europe. I believe that it is important for students to take advantage of the study abroad opportunities that Ramapo College offers because through them, you have the chance to grow as a person and have amazing experiences that will help you grow as a person. It might be something as simple as an idea for a creative writing piece, to something as dramatic as changing your major because you’ve discovered a new passion. Between the people you will meet abroad, to the classes you’ll take, to the sights you’ll see. You will not have two days alike, and every day will be a chance to learn something new. Studying abroad has been the highlight of my college career and I hope it will become the highlight of yours. *Update #1: Chris also participated in the summer 2011 Sierra Leone program. *Update #2: Chris participated in the DIS Summer 2012 Program in Copenhagen, Denmark.

England

Alyssa Selvaggio - London, England

Alyssa Selvaggio (Arcadia – London Internship Program – London, England)

My name is Alyssa Selvaggio (Ally) and I am a senior at Ramapo College majoring in Marketing and minoring in International Business.  Since I was young, my parents instilled the “travel bug” in me and I have always been interested in going to all different places around the world. I spent the summer of 2012 studying abroad in London, England and had the time of my life.  Along with taking classes, I was placed in an internship as well.  This was such an awesome experience getting to see the dynamics of a workplace in a different country.  Although I went to an English-speaking country, it was amazing the difference between the England and the US.  I loved the mix of ancient and modern, as well as the melting pot of cultures that London had to offer.  Living the fast paced urban life was something completely out of my comfort zone, but after a few days I was a pro using public transportation and walking on the opposite side of the road (usually in the rain!)  Getting to experience the Queen’s Jubilee, Wimbledon, and the 2012 Olympics are memories that I will be talking about the rest of my life. I think that everyone has something to learn from studying abroad.  The world is much bigger than Ramapo, New Jersey, and the United States!   As long as you’re ready to go into it with an open mind, there is so much to learn about another country and about yourself while spending time abroad.
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Brandon Bouknight - London, England

Brandon Bouknight (ISA – University of Westminster – London, England)

My name is Brandon Bouknight and I am a Senior here at Ramapo College of NJ. I’m majoring in Contemporary Arts with a concentration in Public Relations and minoring in Music. I am also a candidate for the Business Essentials Certificate and the Event Coordinator for the clubs ALMA and E.R.A.S.E. All my life, I always knew that I wanted to go abroad and experience another culture. One country I was truly fascinated with was England. When I came to Ramapo and saw the many opportunities to study abroad, I knew that this would be my chance to finally fulfill my dreams. In Spring 2012, I studied abroad in London, England while also taking part in an internship. Even though I was nervous at first, especially because it was my first time out of the country, I ended up having a life changing experience that I will always remember. I was able to see the country’s beautiful architecture while also participating in many of the common British activities. While abroad, I also met so many people and ended up creating friendships that will last a lifetime. I think every college student should take the opportunity to study abroad since it is such a beneficial experience in one’s life. As St. Augustine once said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

Geena Cockcroft - London, England

Geena Cockcroft (RCNJ – Myths of Venice – Venice, Italy and ISA – Kings College – London, England)

My name is Geena Cockcroft and I’m currently a junior pursuing a Mathematics degree with teacher certification. In the summer of 2010, I studied abroad in Venice, Italy on a faculty-led program. This being my first time traveling to another country, I never imagined I’d learn so much in such a short period of time. Over the course of three weeks, not only did I learn about the history of the city, but I also discovered more about myself. Through the experiences I encountered and situations I found myself in, I was able to develop skills of responsibility, leadership, and adaptation. These are all qualities that I already had previously to some extent, but were highlighted and strengthened as a result of being in a completely new environment. Study abroad is an opportunity that should not be missed and I’m determined to encourage students to participate in this great opportunity. On a professional level, achieving a global perspective is crucial for future success in many careers. Being completely immersed in another country’s culture is the best way to obtain this global understanding. Students who study abroad see and experience the world through a lens that is incomparable to any other type of learning. *Update: Geena participated in the ISA King’s College (London, England) program in Summer 2011.

Jodi Ster - London, England

Jodi Ster (ISA – University of Westminster – London, England)

My name is Jodi Ster and I am a senior at Ramapo.  I am a Psychology major with a Substance Abuse minor.  I was always aware of study abroad but I never thought I was the type of person that could do it.  It was during my junior year at Ramapo that something finally sparked me to do the research and I quickly discovered an interesting psychology course offered at the University of Westminster in London, England!  I took a chance and applied for the three-week summer program and my life has changed immensely as a result! By studying abroad I gained independence and confidence. I got to experience a different culture and got to visit many amazing places.  While I was abroad I made lasting friendships with people from all over the world who I still keep in touch with today.  I recently became a global roadrunner because I want to help other students get excited about studying abroad.  I wish I had known more about my options earlier so that I wouldn’t have wasted so much time and maybe would have been able to study abroad twice!  My dream is to inspire other students to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad because it is an experience everyone can benefit from!

Keith Gerstein - Cambridge, England

Keith Gerstein (Arcadia – University of Cambridge – Cambridge, England)

Hello everyone. My name is Keith and I am entering my senior year at Ramapo College of New Jersey. I am a double major in History and Economics. During the summer of 2012, I spent 2 months studying abroad in England. I was able to attend the program through Arcadia. While there, I took classes in Intelligence History, Shakespearean Literature, and Social Anthropology. The classes provided me with insight and perspective that was quite different than what I was used to learning. Studying abroad also provided me with ample opportunity to visit many of the great cities, sites, and landmarks, which England, and Scotland, has to offer. Upon my return, I was already excited to travel again. Now back at the college, I hope to help others travel abroad. I am happy to be accepted by the Global Roadrunners and look forward to helping others make the choice to study abroad.

Rebecca Scalabrino - London, England

Rebecca Scalabrino (Arcadia – London Internship Program – London, England)

My name is Rebecca Scalabrino and I am a junior here at Ramapo College of New Jersey. I am a Biology and Psychology double-major and a member of the Ramapo Pre-Med/Pre-Health Club, the Ramapo Biology Club, and Alpha Omicron Pi. After traveling to Great Britain in high school, I realized my personal interest and admiration for the British culture. During the summer of 2012, I completed an 8-week internship program in London, England in which I was assigned an internship placement three days a week in addition to completing a course as well. During my time spent in London, I was able to witness and engage in the end of the Queen’s 60th anniversary Jubilee ceremonies, the Eurocup, and the beginning of the 2012 Olympic ceremonies! My appreciation for British culture has only grown since my recent study abroad experience and I was able to incorporate a trip to Italy as well to learn more about my personal heritage.My study abroad experience brought irreplaceable experiences, educational opportunities, and an amazing immersion into a culture much different than my own. As a Global Roadrunner, I wish to be able to express my sincere happiness and gratitude for being able to be a part of such a wonderful experience. International education is something everyone should consider! I look forward to sharing my experiences with prospective study abroad students and encouraging their decisions to pursue an international experience.

France

Christina Long - Paris, France

Christina Long (ISA – Catholic University of Paris – Paris, France)

My name is Christina Long and I am entering my senior year at Ramapo College of New Jersey. I am a Political Science and International Studies double major and I spent five amazing weeks studying in Paris, France with the International Studies Abroad (ISA) program. During those five weeks I took an Art & Architecture course and a Photography class. They were both wonderful classes and they allowed me to see a whole different side of Paris. Those five weeks were incredible, and provided me with some life changing experiences that I will always cherish. Now that I am back I wish to share my experiences with others, as well as encourage others to study abroad. I am thrilled with my new position as a Global Roadrunner, and I cannot wait to see all that we can accomplish.

Hawaii

Adam Lazor - Hilo, Hawaii

Adam Lazor (National Student Exchange program – University of Hawaii – Hilo, Hawaii; School for Field Studies – Sustaining Tropical Ecosystems: Biodiversity, Conservation and Development – Atenas, Costa Rica)

Aloha! My name is Adam Lazor and I’m a senior here at Ramapo College, I am currently a student aide at the Roukema Center for International Education and a pole vaulter on the school Track and Field team. I am majoring in Music with minors in Environmental Studies and Anthropology.  Before studying abroad I participated in NSE (National Student Exchange) and spent my fall 2011 semester at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would live in Hawaii, let alone study there. I fell in love with Hawaii as soon as the plane landed.  I think Hawaii is the closest you can get to studying abroad without actually leaving the country, there are so many different cultures that live on a chain of Islands in the middle of the Pacific; it’s truly a fascinating state. Alongside of Hawaii, this summer I spent a month doing environmental research in Costa Rica. This trip really proved to me that studying abroad is the most powerful thing you can do as a student. No matter how you try to explain it to people, the only ones who understand what you experienced are those who went out and studied abroad as well. I think if you can take that small step out of your comfort zone, you allow yourself access to a world you will never see and it is a very intense life changing experience. Update: Adam participated in the School for Field Studies program in Aetnas, Costa Rica during summer 2012.

India

Alex Ruiz - Bangalore, India

Alex Ruiz (RCNJ – India: Development and Sustainability program – Bangalore, India; RCNJ – China Immersion Experience – Beijing and Shanghai, China)

My name is Alexander Ruiz and I am a senior at Ramapo College. I am currently a double major in History and International Studies with a minor in Anthropology. I had the luck to participate in the college’s South Asia Cultural Immersion program where I lived in a village outside of Bangalore for four months. It was a rewarding and challenging experience and broaden my understanding of the world to level I could have never imagined. It is because of this experience that I believe more students should take the opportunity to travel and live abroad. Too few students are willing to take the risk of challenging their minds and senses preventing them from experiencing an enriching opportunity. Outside of my interest in studying aboard I hope to further my education regarding the world through diplomacy and public policy. My time in India gave me firsthand accounts of how negligent governments can be and what pressures need to be exerted on them for them to take an active role. Seeking to understand how the public sphere functions and what tools are available for people to gain political power is essential to fostering a stable consensus in a government’s policy. I hope to expand my knowledge in these fields to ultimately end up in the non-for-profit sector helping people acquire greater access to resources around them.

Jess Brandeisky - Bangalore, India

Jess Brandeisky (RCNJ – India: Development and Sustainability – Bangalore, India)

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As a senior at Ramapo College, I can confidently say that the semester I spent studying abroad was the greatest experience of my college career. The time I spent in South India was filled with beauty, self growth, and lasting friendships. I developed and expanded personal ideas and values in an engaging cultural context. Academically, I was able to actually experience theoretical lessons and see how certain concepts functioned in the real world. Through the study abroad program, students were able to meet with a variety of organizations related to the curriculum. Meeting advocates and professionals associated with the program lectures proved to be invaluable and truly enhanced my learning experience. This feature of the program provided faces to the notes on my paper and created multiple opportunities for every student to forge professional connections. Through my independent research project, I gained significant field work experience and developed an international relationship with a working professional associated with my career interest. Not only was my experience extremely enjoyable on a deep personal level, but I also benefited immensely in my academic and professional goals. I would advise every student to study abroad for at least one semester. Even if you do not believe that something like studying abroad is for you, what’s to lose? Go out into the world. Challenge yourself. See beautiful sights and meet amazing people, all for college credit! I can guarantee that studying abroad will change a student’s perceptions of life and how they view themselves. Instead of the same old semester on campus, I urge students to seriously consider studying abroad.

Ireland

Brendan Flanagan - Dublin, Ireland

Brendan Flanagan (Arcadia – University of Limerick and Arcadia – University College Dublin – Dublin, Ireland)

I am a senior here at Ramapo College with a triple-major in International Studies, Literature and Liberal Studies, with concentrations in Human Rights and Peace Studies, and Creative Writing. I studied abroad in the Republic of Ireland for the summer of 2010, studying both Irish law at the University of Limerick and Irish Literature, History and Politics in Dublin with Arcadia University. My study abroad experience changed my life, teaching me not only valuable course information, but also great life skills such as intercultural communication, independence and creative problem solving. I became a Global Roadrunner to advocate for study abroad to my fellow students and their families; it really is an experience everyone can, and should, undertake. No matter what you study or where you want to go, study abroad is right for you.

Rachel Brant - Jordanstown, Northern Ireland

Rachel Brant (Arcadia – University of Ulster – Jordanstown, Northern Ireland)

Hi, my name is Rachel Brant and I am currently a senior at Ramapo College. I am a communications major with a concentration in global media and communications. I always knew I wanted to study abroad even before going to college. For the fall 2011 semester, my junior year, I went abroad to the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. I went with our partner program Arcadia, and studied communications. It was a life changing experience and one that I will never forget. While I was there I got to travel to many different countries during the weekends, including Italy and Spain and got to travel throughout the republic of Ireland as well. While I was there I got to learn a lot about the history of my host country and got to immerse myself in their culture. It was truly and experience I will never forget.

Italy

Alex Polizzo - Venice, Italy

Alex Polizzo (RCNJ- Myths of Venice – Venice, Italy)

My name is Alex and I am going to be a senior at Ramapo this year.  I am a literature and secondary education major.  I studied abroad in Venice, Italy in the summer of 2011 and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I have made and if I had more time at Ramapo, I definitely would have loved to do an entire semester abroad! While studying abroad, I learned so much about a new culture and learned a lot about myself.  Although I live on campus, I gained a great sense of responsibility and independence.  Although it was only a summer term, I enveloped myself in their beautiful culture and learned to live a different lifestyle for that month.  We studied art, literature, and the history of Venice by going to different museums, churches, and reading multiple pieces of literature about the sinking city.  By simply walking around, speaking to locals at the grocery store, and visiting different cities such as Florence and Rome, I found that I learned so much more than if I were simply sitting in a classroom.  I also met a lot of great people abroad who are now some of my best friends. Studying abroad is something I believe that all students should look into-It is such an amazing experience!  I was even nervous to go to a different country for the first time but the Roukema Center was so helpful and made me feel more excited and comfortable about my trip.  Studying abroad is an experience I will never forget, and as a Global Roadrunner I encourage all students to look into all the different programs, it is worth it!

Kelly Craig - Florence, Italy

Kelly Craig (ISA – Florence University of the Arts – Florence, Italy and the National Student Exchange program – California State University, Monterey Bay)

My name is Kelly Craig, and I’m a junior here at Ramapo. I am a communications journalism major and international studies minor.  I am involved in various organizations on campus two of which are the field hockey team and Theta Phi Alpha. When I was younger, I remember waiting on the steps for my dad to come home from work with pictures, stories, and fruit trays.  As I grew up, I would get calls from him describing his day walking around France or shopping in a Chinese market.  All I had to describe were the massive amounts of homework on my desk. I knew I did not have his passion of aviation, but I have always known I wanted to incorporate travel into my life professionally and personally. My first big trip abroad was in studying in Florence, Italy in the Spring 2011. There was one specific moment I will always remember at Bibliotecca Oblate, sipping on cappuccino, looking out onto the Duomo and studying.  I thought of how all those hours working at part-time jobs over high school really paid off.  Studying abroad gave me so much more than I could ever imagine: independence, global perspective, confidence, intrapersonal understanding, friendships, language proficiency and so much more. Returning home, I decided to become a GR to stay connected to my trip and to help others study abroad.  Being a GR opens more doors and gives us access to more information and resources about how to reach our international goals. Update: Kelly participated in the National Student Exchange program at California State University, Monterey Bay for spring 2012 and fall 2012.

Marlene Salvador - Rome, Italy

Marlene Salvador (ISA – American University of Rome – Rome, Italy)

Ciao! My name is Marlene Salvador. I am currently a senior, majoring in International Business, and minoring in Accounting. I have always dreamed of studying abroad and travelling to different parts of the world. I finally accomplished this in the Summer of 2012 when I studied at the American University of Rome in Roma, Italia! It was the first time I travelled outside of the U.S. alone, and I was so nervous. But, it soon became the best experience of my life. I took a Marketing class, where we got to travel to different businesses in Milan, along with a European History class, both of which I enjoyed very much. It only took those short four weeks to learn so much about Italy’s culture and heritage, and I also gained knowledge about myself while I was there. I became so much more independent, and gained friendships that will stay with me for a lifetime. I want to encourage anyone I can to study abroad, so that they can gain their own experiences with this life-changing event. Studying abroad is one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I intend to continue my dreams of travelling, while helping others pursue theirs as well.

Megan McHugh - Venice, Italy

Megan McHugh  (RCNJ – Myths of Venice – Venice, Italy)

Hi, I’m Megan McHugh and I’m a senior at Ramapo majoring in Communication Arts with a minor in Psychology. I made my decision to study abroad last year one week before the deadline for summer applications. I realized that my college career was quickly coming to an end and this was an opportunity I was not willing to miss out on. I chose to study abroad in Venice, Italy on a Ramapo faculty-led program for three weeks this past summer. From my experience studying abroad I have realized that I have a love for traveling and culture that I did not know existed inside of me beforehand. If I had waited one more week to look into studying abroad I would have missed out on the best experience of my life so far. My advice to all college students thinking about studying abroad is to get curious early in your college career. Don’t wait until your last chance like I did. You don’t have to decide to do it right away, but at least give yourself the opportunity and time to make a decision.

Japan

Hannah Diehl - Tokyo, Japan

Hannah Diehl (Temple University, Japan Campus – Full Summer Program  – Tokyo, Japan)

Hi my name is Hannah Diehl and I studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. For four months I furthered my major as well as my East Asian studies concentration in Tokyo, Japan. This was not my first time in the Land of the Rising Sun, so returning was pretty exhilarating. When I first got there, I expected to spend most of my time in school: sitting in the library or chatting with my friends in the cafeteria. Little did I know my classmates and I would be visiting the exact place where the first atomic bomb erupted in Hiroshima or climbing our way up to the crater of Mt. Fuji, the infamous mountain depicted in the painting The Great Wave off Kanagawa. This is a country I’ve wanted to visit since I was a child and now as a soon-to-be graduating senior, it was like a dream come true. International business is my major, so to others it may be obvious as to why I was so excited to study abroad. But not only was it a fantastic experience getting to meet new people and learn new ideas, it also really allowed me to see things in a different light. We often just hear global news on the television or radio; not many of us get to experience the culture in person. And of course it is fun. But it is also important to for us, as students, to broaden our own horizons. This helps us tune the information we learn in college into something that we can actually use in a whole new world. But most importantly, these are memories we will never forget.

Janvee Gangan - Tokyo, Japan

Janvee Gangan (CCIS – KCP International Japanese Language School – Tokyo, Japan)

I am a senior at Ramapo College with a major in International Business and a minor in East Asian Studies. I studied abroad at a language school in Tokyo, Japan for six months, enrolled in intensive language and culture classes. Not only did I learn about the Japanese culture, language, history, and society, I learned things about myself I never imagined possible. Because of the people I met and the things I did with them and on my own, I slowly changed from being an obsessive planner constantly worrying about the future and the smallest details to someone a bit more carefree, someone who enjoys the smallest details of everyday life and no longer dreads taking chances with her dreams. No longer am I bound by strict 5-year plans; now I realize the options available to me and revel in them. No longer am I restrained by my fear of failure; each mistake only represents a stepping stone to greater success. The more time you spend in a land not your own, the greater the knowledge and awareness of its people, culture, and history but also one’s own mind and soul. If you want to build your resume and further your career prospects with proficiency in another tongue, study abroad. If you want to “find yourself,” silly and trite though it sounds, study abroad. If you want to have fun for fun’s sake, take a vacation. Studying abroad requires serious mental and emotional commitment, not a frivolous desire for a “good time” so if you want to learn about yourself and others for the sake of understanding and wisdom, even if only a little, invest the time and resources because nothing else in the world compares to immersing yourself in the culture of another country. Update: Janvee is currently teaching English in Japan.

Korea

Nicole Nidle - Seoul, South Korea

Nicole Nidle (ISA – Konkuk University – Seoul, South Korea)

When I entered college as a freshman, studying abroad was simply a fantasy.  Although I attended countless information sessions, it always seemed as if it was just some romanticized goal only for the daring or the rich – and I am neither.  When I discovered my passion for South Korea, however, the possibility and the drive to study abroad suddenly became incredibly real.  After all the materials were submitted, the build-up to my actual experience in Seoul, South Korea through the International Studies Abroad program was simultaneously exciting and terrifying.  No one could have prepared me for just how amazing the entire trip would be. I can claim with the utmost confidence that I would not be the same person I am today if it was not for my study abroad experience.  Immersing myself in a culture completely different from my own around people I had never met before allowed me to find aspects of my character that I had no idea previously existed.  As the most fluent girl in my ISA group, I took on leadership roles I never would have stepped into before.  I realized that becoming self-sufficient and more independent from my parents was not as daunting or as impossible as it had originally seemed.  Meeting individuals from over 20 countries, I gained a global perspective I never could have received elsewhere.  And most importantly, I made connections with friends that I know will last a lifetime.  Studying abroad is one college experience you will never regret!

Sierra Leone

Chris McKenna - Freetown and Bo Province, Sierra Leone

Chris McKenna (RCNJ – China Immersion Experience – Beijing and Shanghai, China; RCNJ Public Health in West Africa – Freetown and Bo Province, Sierra Leone; Danish Institute for Study Abroad – Copenhagen, Denmark)

From the first day of classes freshman year, I knew I wanted to study abroad. I didn’t have a destination in mind, but I wanted to ‘see the world’ so to speak. Ramapo College gave me the opportunity and my experiences with the spring break program in China allowed me to experience a culture unlike anything I had been exposed to. Studying abroad showed me a part of the world that I had never been to and a new culture that was unlike anything I was used to. The spring break program focused on business and while I am not a business major, it helped me understand a complex system. I plan on having a career that will take me internationally and the experiences that I had while studying abroad have helped me prepare for that. I also plan on studying abroad this coming summer and plan on applying to graduate schools in Europe. I believe that it is important for students to take advantage of the study abroad opportunities that Ramapo College offers because through them, you have the chance to grow as a person and have amazing experiences that will help you grow as a person. It might be something as simple as an idea for a creative writing piece, to something as dramatic as changing your major because you’ve discovered a new passion. Between the people you will meet abroad, to the classes you’ll take, to the sights you’ll see. You will not have two days alike, and every day will be a chance to learn something new. Studying abroad has been the highlight of my college career and I hope it will become the highlight of yours. *Update #1: Chris also participated in the summer 2011 Sierra Leone program. *Update #2: Chris participated in the DIS Summer 2012 Program in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Paula Bohan - Freetown and Bo Province, Sierra Leone

Paula Bohan  (RCNJ – Public Health in West Africa – Freetown and Bo Province, Sierra Leone)

My name is Paula Bohan, and I am a senior here at Ramapo. I am a Biology major with a minor in Substance Abuse. This past summer I stepped entirely out of my comfort zones and went on a faculty led program to Sierra Leone. While studying abroad I saw and learned more than I ever could have expected. I knew that the culture I was entering would be very different from that of which I am used to, and knew merely what I had researched about African nations and the recent Sierra Leonean civil war. What I experienced exceeded any expectations. Sierra Leone is a developing nation, with the most generous and hospitable people I have ever met. We were immediately welcomed into every environment we approached, and were able to hear firsthand their stories of struggle, hardship, and growth. I made new friends who have led lives completely different from mine, but found that we had more in common than I would have predicted!

It is with the complete confidence that I say that every student should study abroad. I never imagined I would be able to travel like that, or the value that I got as a result of it. My only regret is not taking advantage of the opportunity sooner! Studying abroad helps you learn about different cultures, see places around the world, expand your studies, meet new people, and is really an incomparable experience!

Spain

Aimee Willsey - Bilbao, Spain

 Aimee Willsey (University of Deusto – Bilbao, Spain)

 My name is Aimee Willsey and I am currently a senior at Ramapo pursuing an Accounting degree with a minor in Spanish Language Studies. Ever since high school I’ve known that I had wanted to study abroad in Spain. When I finally had the opportunity to spend a month in Bilbao, Spain this past summer, my life changed. If I could, I would study abroad over and over again because it was the greatest adventure of my life. My name is Aimee Willsey and I am currently a senior at Ramapo pursuing an Accounting degree with a minor in Spanish Language Studies. Ever since high school I’ve known that I had wanted to study abroad in Spain. When I finally had the opportunity to spend a month in Bilbao, Spain this past summer, my life changed. If I could, I would study abroad over and over again because it was the greatest adventure of my life. I gained so much knowledge just by traveling outside of the United States on my own. These things cannot be learned from a textbook. I became more independent, met great friends from all over the U.S. and Spain, learned of and adapted to new cultures, and greatly improved my Spanish proficiency. From my study abroad experience I have realized that the biggest and even scariest dreams are the most worthwhile. I would highly recommend studying abroad to any student, no matter what their major is. It is a life changing opportunity and there are a multitude of doors that open just from your experience. I cannot wait to return back to Spain and to see the rest of the world. I became a Global Roadrunner because I want to help others pursue their dreams as I was able to with mine.

Christina Arecchi - Santander, Spain

Christina Arecchi (ISA – Menéndez Pelayo International University in Santander, Spain)

My name is Christina Arecchi and I am a senior here at Ramapo, majoring in Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Anthropology. I always knew I wanted to go abroad and this past spring semester I was able to study in Santander, Spain – it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made! The independence, confidence and amazing friends I have gained from living in Santander are irreplaceable to me. Prior to my time in Spain I spoke no Spanish so my choice to study and live for 4 months in a small Spanish city was meet with trepidation and doubt from both friends and family but I wouldn’t have changed anything. I encourage every student to consider a study abroad program; fight back against the fear of the unknown and expand your horizons. I miss Santander every day and cannot wait to plan my next adventure exploring all the world has to offer! *Update: Christina taught English in Chile, South America.

Danielle Delucia - Bilbao, Spain

Danielle Delucia (University of Deusto – Bilbao, Spain)

Hola! My name is Danielle and I am a recent Ramapo College Graduate from the class of 2012. In my undergraduate career, I majored in Spanish Language Studies and minored in Latin American Studies and International Business. I also pursued teaching certificates in both Spanish and Elementary Education. I never thought I would work up the courage to study abroad but I realized how important it was for me, a Spanish Major and International Business minor student, to immerse myself in my studies. Although there were so many cool and interesting locations to choose from, I ultimately decided to study at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. Located on the northern coast of Spain, Bilbao is a city with so much ancient and modern history. Whether my new friends and I were walking to Casco Viejo (the Old Quarter of the city of Bilbao) for pintxos (tapas of the Basque region) or hopping on an overnight bus to Barcelona, we were always having fun and having new adventures. The natives embraced us as if we were their own and they went out of their way to make sure that we were comfortable and able to experience and appreciate all aspects of their beautiful culture and country. In between studying, my program planned many over night and day trips to different cities and events.We spent two days touring Madrid, saw the aqueducts of Segovia. We explored our home city and the Guggenheim Museum which was located right across from the university. We beach hopped from Neguri to San Sebastian, Sopelana, to Getxo. We ran with the bulls in Pamplona and enjoyed the incredible festival of San Fermin. Choosing to study abroad was the best decision I have ever made. It helped me to become independent and mature individual. I feel competent and confident traveling in the future and will treasure the incredible experiences I had and people I met in Spain. I am so glad that I decided to go to Spain, especially Bilbao. I am more than happy to help any students considering a study abroad program and welcome any questions.

Gary Miuccio - Barcelona, Spain

Gary Miuccio (ISA – Autonomous University of the Arts – Barcelona, Spain; RCNJ – Documentary Photography – Buenos Aires and Salta, Argentina)

Hola! My name is Gary Miuccio. I am currently a senior biology major at Ramapo. I am involved with Phi Delta Epsilon and Ramathon, Ramapo’s Dance Marathon. In the spring of 2012, I studied in Barcelona for a semester. Upon arrival back home, I proceeded to take a faculty-led study abroad program through Ramapo in Argentina for about a month. Mind you, I have never left the United States before these experiences. Studying abroad should be compulsory in my opinion. For such a short period of time, I have never learned so much about myself, others, my family, my friends, and everyone else that comes into my life. It was absolutely intriguing and fantastic being able to grow on a personal level while experiencing and studying a new culture. The benefits of absorbing experiences and knowledge about different places and cultures are endless. Since studying abroad, I have become extremely in tune with myself. I can now make confident and secure decisions, rapidly solve problems, comprehend on a higher level, and maintain personal and professional relationships in a way quite different from before. It is absolutely amazing how significantly an individual can mature and grow when placed into a completely new environment. I have countless stories to share and experiences you could never imagine. I want to help you make the correct decision about studying abroad whether it is where to study or what to bring! The opportunity to study abroad is something you will never regret and always look back upon. The open-mindedness of a past study abroad student exposes more opportunities than any class in the U.S.A. could ever offer its students.  I have decided to become a Global Roadrunner to help individuals like you achieve the most rewarding, enjoyable, and personalized study abroad experience!

Jared McGrath - Santander, Spain

Jared McGrath (ISA – Menendez Pelayo International University – Santander, Spain)Jared McGrath

Hey everyone! My name is Jared McGrath and I am a Senior International Business major. I studied in Santander, Spain for the Fall 2012 semester. I went with an ISA program for 10 weeks to learn the language and take a few required business courses that I needed to graduate. My semester was absolutely the most unique experience of my life. From making friends worldwide to exploring solo, I had an extremely random combination of activities and situations that I will never forget. It was all complemented with an amazing host family that I can now call my family. I never thought I would be able to pick up on a language so quickly and really see a completely different culture of thought. It exceeded every expectation and has me ready to go out and explore more. Through my experience, I learned some really good tactics for traveling alone and methods of getting the most out my time, money, and opportunities. As I returned home, I realized how quick I now am to go do weird, different, and off-the-beaten-path activities. It has made life much more exciting and opened my mind to learn about anything and everything (especially here in the US where I speak the language). I see my trip as an augment to not only my education, but my life. I will carry that experience with me forever and encourage everyone that has the opportunity to take it and run with it.

Katie Lee - Alicante, Spain

Katie Lee (CIEE – Universidad de Alicante – Alicante, Spain)

I’m a junior at Ramapo, majoring in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing. I also have a minor in Spanish Language Studies. I’ve been interested in Spanish culture for as long as I can remember, so when I got the opportunity to study abroad in Alicante, Spain, I took it and ran. I was the only one in my program from Ramapo and at first I was incredibly nervous. However, I had no reason to be. Going off on my own and living in a foreign place where English was not the first language taught me a lot about myself. I have never been more proud of myself than those six weeks I spent meeting new people and immersing myself in a new and exciting culture -all while speaking a different language! Studying abroad allowed me to become even more independent that I already was and gave me a fantastic opportunity to improve my language skills. Going to Spain was definitely an experience I won’t ever forget. I can’t wait to go back someday! I would encourage everyone to Study Abroad, no matter what major you are. Studying abroad is a great way to explore cultures other than the one you have grown up knowing. It gives you a great chance to learn about yourself, can help develop language skills and can teach you how to adapt to new situations. It’s also a great resume-builder! The world is so much bigger than the one we live in: go out and explore!

Mary Iannacone - Sevilla, Spain

Mary Iannacone (ISA – Menéndez Pelayo International University – Sevilla, Spain)

 My name is Mary Iannacone and I am a senior at Ramapo, majoring in Digital Filmmaking and Design and Interactive Media with a minor in Spanish.  I spent the spring semester of my junior year studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain, and it was an experience that completely changed my life.  I knew going in to it that I was going to meet new people, see new places, and have a great time; I never imagined that I would become so immersed in the culture that I would fall in love with it!  After class I would spend hours wandering around the beautiful city, getting lost in old barrios, and by the end of the program, I knew Sevilla better than my hometown!  I had the opportunity to travel to Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Portugal, Italy, and cities all over Spain while I was abroad.  I miss living in Sevilla and speaking Spanish with locals, I miss my host family who made me feel at home halfway across the world, and I miss the feeling of adventure every time I stepped outside my door.  As a Global Roadrunner, I want to share my experiences with other people and inspire them to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to study in another country.  Before I studied abroad, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life after graduation; now, I look forward to returning to Spain to teach English and continue my own personal journey in the Spanish culture.

Nena Hernandez - Bilbao, Spain

Nena Hernandez (University of Deusto – Bilbao, Spain and ISA – University of Belgrano – Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Hello, my name is Nena Hernandez, and I’m a sophomore here at Ramapo and I’m an International Studies major with a minor in Political Science and International Business.  I studied abroad in Bilbao, Spain for the Fall 2010 semester.  Choosing to study abroad has been the greatest move I’ve made for my academic career, and I actually plan on going abroad again. My Spanish has improved greatly and I have complete confidence in my speech.  Also, while the information I received in the classroom did pertain to my major and was interesting, I found that I learned the most outside the classroom.  By completing parts of the Camino de Santiago I not only learned about Spanish culture and meet others from around the world, I also learned a great deal about myself. Furthermore, I strengthened my common sense and logistic skills when I was lost my first day in Bilbao, and managed to work my way through the city to find the university in order to locate my housing.  It was an experience to remember. Studying abroad open a whole new set of doors for you, it gives you insight to a new culture and yourself.  Never again in our lives will studying abroad be this organized, this accessible, or well priced.  Everyone should take a step out of their comfort zone and take a chance – going abroad will provide you with memories to last a lifetime and an experience that will shape your future like nothing else. Update: Nena participated in the ISA – University of Belgrano program in Buenos Aires, Argentina during spring fall 2011.

Nora Dougherty - Sevilla, Spain

Nora Dougherty (ISA – Menéndez Pelayo International University – Sevilla, Spain)

Nora Dougherty

Hi, my name is Nora Dougherty, and I am a senior here at Ramapo! I am majoring in International Studies and minoring in Spanish and Political Science. I spent the spring semester of my sophomore year in Sevilla, Spain and can honestly say it was the greatest experience of my life. I lived with a host family and was able to get the full Spanish experience, whether that is traditional Spanish food, learning how to dance the Sevillanas in our living room, or celebrating Feria de Abril. In addition, my Spanish improved ten-fold over those four months and I have much more confidence in my Spanish speaking abilities. I was also able to travel to England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Germany along with extensive travel within Spain. I found that I grew so much as a person, gaining an incredible amount of self-confidence and self-reliance. While I love being back home, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I was sitting on the Guadalqivuir with my friends eating tapas, drinking “tinto de verano” and listening to Spanish guitar. *Update: Nora was accepted to the Fulbright Program to Spain. See News story.

Switzerland

Maximilian Klube - Geneva, Switzerland

Maximilian Klube (SIT – International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy – Geneva, Switzerland)

My name is Maximilian Klube and I am an International Studies Major in my last year here at Ramapo College.  Throughout my years at the college I have gotten involved with the International Studies Major Convening Group and the Model United Nations Club.  This was part of the reason why I studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, in the Summer of 2011.  As the European headquarters of the United Nations and the seat of many International Organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Trade Organization, I was able to connect what I have learned in textbooks here at Ramapo with the real world by visiting all the International Organizations I had read about.  I was also able to improve my skills in the French language which is one of the critical languages to know in the field of International Studies.  The extra credits I earned from studying abroad made it possible for me to graduate a year ahead of time.  Given the many benefits that I gained through Study Abroad, I decided to become a Global Roadrunner upon return to Ramapo College so that I can educate others about the many benefits that Study Abroad can offer.  Hopefully, I will be able to contribute to our goal of making Study Abroad a major part of studying at Ramapo College.

Turkey

Maral Varjabedyan - Istanbul, Turkey

Maral Varjabedyan (Catholic University of Lille – Lille, France and Koc University – Istanbul, Turkey)

I am glad to be given the opportunity to be a Global Roadrunner Advisor in order to help inform you about studying abroad! Having studied abroad, I learned for myself what it is like to study in another country, and it has been an unforgettable experience. Studying abroad not only provides you with the experience to study in an institution abroad, but it also allows you to learn about other cultures, meet people, travel, and become more independent. You can learn so much beyond the institution you are studying in. I know some of you are probably doubtful as I was about studying abroad. I always wanted to study abroad, but I had fears of traveling alone and being so far from my family. I knew that my fears should not be holding me back from doing something that would benefit me and help me conquer my fears. I ended up liking the experience so much that I did not want it to end so soon! There are many study abroad programs to choose from, but how do you choose one from the other? I am here to help! In addition, it would be beneficial for you to know your priorities, expectations, comfort levels and what you would like to gain from the experience. This will help you facilitate the process of choosing a program that is best for you. I personally have had a great experience with the Roukema Center for International Education. Everyone in the office has been very helpful to me, and I hope that you will have a positive impression from the Roukema Center as well. I look forward to meeting you all. *Update: Participated in a Summer 2012 Program at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turks and Caicos Islands

Peter Hauenstein - Turks and Caicos

Peter Hauenstein (School for Field Studies- Marine Protected Areas: Management, Techniques and Policies – Turks and Caicos)

My name is Peter Hauenstein and I am a current senior at Ramapo majoring in Biology. Two years ago I studied abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands with the School for Field Studies and it changed my life. Since I have been young I have always had a desire to explore natural wonders around the world. Coral reefs are just that, underwater paradises teeming with brightly colored corals, fish and of course the occasional sea turtle, shark or stingray. Being in the ocean every day was a completely unique and an incredible opportunity. It was a classroom through which to learn about this delicate ecosystem but also factors that contribute to its decline. My reasoning for becoming a Global Roadrunner is to show people a different side of the Caribbean, a wild side with spectacular beauty and promote more travel and interest in the underwater world. But I also want people to never be afraid of travel. Take a risk and you may end up finding a passion of yours you never knew you had. Looking forward to sharing my experience with you!