Breaking Boundaries: A Classroom Beyond Campus

This story is featured in the Fall 2019 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below how HPU students have extraordinary learning opportunities through the Office of Global Education. 


HPU students learn the value of cultural diversity through immersive experiences.

Picture eating traditional Korean street food in the bustling downtown of Seoul, South Korea; admiring centuries-old architecture in the city of Madrid, Spain; or taking a deep breath and looking out over the sun-dappled horizon of Florence, Italy.

High Point University students do all that and more through the immersive opportunities they experience while studying abroad.

Students like Jesse Ingham, Tyler Murray and Haley Bossart have been immersed in these experiences.

Ingham, a junior business administration major, spent the last semester at Korea University gaining a deeper knowledge of international marketing and communication.

“This experience has challenged me in many ways, but the most important thing I have learned is to be more confident,” says Ingham, who hails from Carthage, North Carolina.

“When I began my freshman year at HPU, there were multiple challenges that I faced because I was simply unfamiliar with the environment. And during my first week in Korea, I felt as though I was dealing with some of those first-year experiences all over again. I believe that overcoming those obstacles and adapting to living in a foreign country has helped me become more independent, outgoing and confident.”

 

Guided by Values

Much like Ingham, Murray also found that across cultures there are means of connection that transcend borders. Murray was able to find meaning behind the pages of a textbook by experiencing first-hand the history and cultures of Spain. Interacting with locals and living with a host family allowed Murray to take his lessons from the classroom and apply them to different situations abroad.

“By choosing to study abroad in Madrid, Spain, at the Comillas Pontifical University, I was not only able to use the values modeled and practiced at HPU, but I was able to strengthen them by witnessing how those values can guide me throughout other parts of the world,” says Murray, a sophomore international relations major from Denver, North Carolina.

Values are the basis of all decisionmaking. That’s why High Point University models the values that students can utilize across all walks of life, even internationally.

“Relying on my values abroad in different environments and in different ways reinforced what they mean to me and showed me how truly important my values are.”

 

Flourishing in Florence

As Haley Bossart applauded runways filled with trend-setting fashion brands at Milan Fashion Week, she reflected on the experiences that had brought her to that moment.

“Traveling through different countries requires developing a deeper understanding of culture that surpasses language barriers,” says Bossart, a junior from Naples, Florida. “The ability to learn transportation norms and to be comfortable communicating with new people each day is an invaluable experience.”

“During my time abroad, I have also learned the true value of patience,” Bossart adds. “This includes the patience to listen to others when verbal communication is limited, the patience to learn from other fashion professionals and the patience to enjoy the moment. Both critical thinking skills and patience reside in perfect cooperation with what I learned at HPU.”

While spending the spring 2019 semester at Lorenzo de’ Medici School in Florence, Italy, Bossart’s personal initiative has expanded with her knowledge of the fashion industry.

“Attending a school like HPU, a place that focuses on innovation, prepared me for Europe in numerous ways,” says Bossart. “HPU President Nido Qubein’s teachings are reinforced across campus. Upon my arrival to Europe, I followed similar innovation techniques. I practiced reflection for my journey ahead; I reminded myself to set goals; and I focused on what is best for me as a young professional and as a student. The values that HPU instilled in me have allowed me to flourish in Florence.”

Through these opportunities, HPU students develop an appreciation for diversity, global citizenship and the ways to connect with others different from oneself.

Study abroad experiences are different for each person, but they all carry similar difficulties that require finesse and adaptation. HPU students begin learning those abilities as soon as they set foot on campus.

“We must equip students with the ability to communicate effectively, confidently and compassionately across cultures. We must provide them with real-life opportunities to understand the importance of valuing both diversity and appreciating our collective humanity,” says Dr. Jeff Palis, director of the Office of Global Education.

“The Global Education experience helps us work toward those noble educational goals. Our students return to campus from their time abroad with the confidence to navigate the beautiful complexities of the modern, interconnected world, setting them up for success wherever their careers or studies may take them next.”

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