Here are some comments from past Niagara Study Abroad Program students.
"I studied abroad at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland for the Spring 2007 Semester. It was a life changing experience that I will never forget. I think it most effected me personally, in which I grew to be a more idependent, confident person. I sometimes say it has made me grow up but I still don't see myself as an adult because if anything it has taught me not to take anything for granted, that you only live once, to embrace every chance you get to improve yourself and to be true to yourself. You become a part of this world-wide family in that anyone else that has studied abroad can relate to you on that level of experience. As my friends and I from UL say, "We are Study abroad, our own breed." I am eternally grateful for the experience I had and push that if you have the slightest interest in going abroad you HAVE to do it. It WILL change your life!"
-Kaylin Ranagan '08, Limerick, Ireland
Studying abroad at Edge Hill University is probably the best thing I have ever done, not only because it was a good time but because of the person it made me. I met people that have become a serious part of my life and that know me in ways people from home never could. At first I didn't think study abroad was possible for me but I made it possible, and now I have a better outlook on life, a personal independence, and knowledge that would have never been possible if I hadn't pushed past the compfort zone and gone for something that seemed imposible. If you want to grow as a person go for it! Go somewhere and do something without looking back--it's worth it!
-Jessica Platt, '08, Edge Hill University, England
"My semester in Angers, Fance taught me what it is like to live in another culture, meet other students from across the world, and allowed me the wonderful apportunity to discover Europe. Studying abroad is an unbelievable experience that Niagara students should take advantage of."
- Michelle Crawley '00, Angers, France
"My semester in Angers, France taught me a valuable life experience of appreciation. It was also an eye opening experience that allowed me to live in another culture. It is a good opportunity, and should be siezed whenever the chance arises."
- Keanna Maxwell '00, Angers, France
"There is plenty that I can say about my study abroad experience, but the most important thing is that it was amazing. I had the opportunity to experience the greatest time of year there, the spring. This time of year is amazing because of the cultural significance that each of the festivals represents. For example, the running of the bulls in Pamplona is the beginning of the season of bulls. Each stadium in Spain begins to attract the great matadors of the time and makes for an incredibly frightening and exciting experience. I got to learn so much of the history of the country through visual aids like the Roman ruins, the awe-inspiring Cathedrals, and the different art museums from Picasso to Gaudi. I won’t tell you how easy it is to be in a different country, because I had the advantage of language on my side. However, the best piece of advice that I can give to whoever travels there next, is to travel with an open mind and open yourself to what may be foreign…whether it is food, music, or culture."
-Vivian Olivera ’00, Seville, Spain
“ It was a fantastic experience that helped broaden my horizons. I would do it again in a heartbeat!”
Jordan, Senior- College of Education, Studied in Maastricht,
“ You only live once, study abroad because you will have the time of your life!”
Wendt, Sophomore- College of Education, Studied in Maastricht,
“ I would encourage everyone to study abroad. It is an experience that will remain in my mind forever and I will cherish all of the memories I acquired while in London.”
-Nicole Etve, Junior- Arts and Sciences, Schiller International University, London
“ This experience is not only another semester in school, but an opportunity to really take advantage of the chance to visit and learn more about other countries and cultures. And most of all, to have fun!”
Fagan, Junior – College of Business, studied at Schiller International
was truly and experience of a life time!”
“ Take advantage of this opportunity. Go out on a limb and experience the culture that the
U.S is derived from…. And don’t
- Mark Sandecki, Junior- College
of Business, Studied at Schiller International University.
out of one’s bubble is very important… it can help
to cure prejudice and
"I enjoyed visiting all of the diverse schools and learning about the different educational systems abroad. It was very interesting to study the differences between the American educational system and the Dutch, Belgium, and German educational systems. Some of the differences within the system that make the schools in these countries so very unique and successful, I am eager to apply to my own educational philosophy and incorporate into my practice. It seems that many of the problems that plague American schools could be mitigated if certain aspects of the European educational systems were adopted and incorporated into our system and educational legislation. The valuable knowledge and experience that I gained while abroad goes far beyond what I have learned in any of my courses my Learn & Serve at NU thus far. It was an absolutely amazing experience that I feel very blessed to have these wonderful memories. My future career as an educator will be heavily influenced by this experience, and I therefore encourage anyone interested in working within the field of education in any capacity to attend. At first, I was very unsure of my decision to attend this program, and was worried that I would regret spending all of my money on this trip. Now that I have returned, I realize that the only regret I would have had was not attending. "
Melissa Hall - Graduate Student - '04
“ The friendships you make are truly remarkable.”
– Ryan Murphy, England
“ It made me realize that professors can be down to earth, and real people, who relate to their students in many ways.”
- Christine Saunders, Netherlands
“The opportunity to experience education in a culture so diverse and full of history such as the Netherlands will be something you cherish for a lifetime.”
– Tiffani Foster, Netherlands
On July 20, twenty-three Niagara University graduate students and faculty from the College of Education departed from campus to begin an eighteen day Asian trip, that one graduate student characterized as, “the trip of a lifetime to Thailand.” Although delayed at the outset, the group spent an unexpected day visiting Hong Kong on the way over and enjoyed visiting one of the most vibrant cities in the world. The Niagara University students and faculty arrived in Bangkok where they met up with three additional members of our group who served as an “advance team.” Within the first week we flew 600 miles to the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai and experienced bamboo rafting down a jungle river and elephant riding through rain forest to a hill tribe. After several days the group traveled back to Bangkok for school visits and left again for a flight 600 miles south to the province of Phuket, now famous as the location where the Tsunami caused such damage last year.
On the return to Bangkok, students spent several days visiting schools within the city and having the opportunity to teach English to Thai students. Drs. Mike Smith and Tom Sheeran also conducted workshops that assisted English language teachers from Canada, England, New Zealand and the Philippians with an understanding of constructivist methods and techniques. Graduate student Julie Consentino, who participated in the study abroad trip, reflected on the experience in a summary of the journal she kept during this experience,
“There are several highlights of my trip, some scheduled and some spontaneous. Every adventure was like a gift of knowledge about their customs, every temple or school visit was like a key to understanding their ways, and every smile from strangers on the street or in a market reflects the lovely spirit of all Thai people. A common thread throughout my journal was how I felt about the people. Simply put, Thai people are some of the kindest, most welcoming, generous, and thoughtful people I have ever met.”
Julie’s experience accurately reflects an almost universal feeling about the Thai people and about our interaction with them. This trip was truly the experience of a lifetime, one that participants continue to express their appreciation for the range of opportunities they enjoyed.
Faculty Contact: Dr. Mike Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org - 716-286-8591
What do you get when you mix 36 graduate teacher candidates and faculty, take them to Western Europe for 15 days, stir gently, and expose them to numerous new educational experiences? A learning event called Niagara University Study Abroad!
In May, Drs. Erwin, Heaggans, and Sze led a tour group to parts of Western Europe, including Maastricht and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Hasselt and Brussels in Belgium, and Aachen in Germany. Participants visited a variety of elementary and secondary schools, observed students and teachers, heard presentations from school leaders, and gained insights into European models of education.
Candidates observed many of the same principles of learning and teaching known from prior experience being used in these different cultural settings, but they also saw some new approaches. Noticing how different societies have developed these unfamiliar solutions to educational problems stimulated the candidates to think about how and why US and Canadian schools address these same issues as they do.
These direct experiences with school practices in other cultures develop teacher candidates with broader professional experience and insight than they would have otherwise, a plus for the candidates and for the College of Education programs. In this way the NU Study Abroad experience uniquely contributes to the professional preparation of outstanding teacher candidates.
Photos Left to right:
Bikes at secondary school in Maastricht, Netherlands
Mural of WWII action designed by secondary students in Germany
American WWII cemetery in Netherlands
"Caves" of St. Peter near Maastricht, Netherlands
Atomium museum in Brussels, Belgium
Brussels town square
Wooden shoes in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Canal in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Faculty Contact: Dr. Raphael Heaggans - email@example.com - 716-286-8315