This story is featured in the Fall 2022 edition of the HPU Magazine.
HPU students charter their education across the globe to build lasting relationships through different cultures.
When studying abroad, students deepen their understanding of their own cultural attitudes and behaviors, how those practices came to be and how they may be both similar and different to those of people they meet abroad.
“We call this ‘enculturation through acculturation.’ We learn about ourselves as we learn about others,” says Dr. Jeffrey Palis, assistant vice president for Global Education at HPU. “I’ve come to see that the most impactful relationship studying abroad builds in students is their relationship with themselves. Studying abroad is empowering. Students grow in confidence, independence, resilience and self-belief.”
Students are immersed in living and learning as a local – engaging with their studies and host culture in a deep and intimate way.
“This sort of purposeful, intentional educational travel is one of the largest opportunities students have open to them in college. Students look back on the decision to study abroad as something that shaped who they are for the rest of their lives,” says Palis.
Studies show that students who study abroad have improved academic performance upon returning to their home campus. But the positive impact of an international education lasts well beyond a student’s time at school.
The global life skills developed – including intercultural communication skills, the ability to navigate complex and unfamiliar environments, the empathy and friendships developed with fellow global citizens – are always in a student’s professional toolbox and can be used in the classroom, the laboratory, the medical office or the boardroom.
Learning Begins Where Your Comfort Zone Ends
Jorgen Krone is a prime example of one student segueing his international education into his career.
A junior political science major with minors in global commerce, business administration and sales from Chicago, Illinois, Krone’s interests run the gamut. He’s even pursuing a certification in finance and accounting through Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA).
And last spring, he took the Global Business course led by Dr. Bob Hirth, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship. In this course, Krone and his classmates spent the semester studying international trade, strategy, human resources, and cultural and political topics. Then, they took a two-week trip to Germany, France and the Netherlands to see these affairs in action.
They visited businesses such as the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing facility, EuraTechnologies Business Incubator, the Heineken production facility and the famous Aalsmeer Flower Auction. Students also visited the Port of Rotterdam and the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
Upon his return, Krone interned with Gallagher, a global insurance, risk management and consulting firm. But before he even stepped foot in their U.S. office, he met with their global partners during his study abroad trip.
“This experience truly set me up to make international business connections and allowed me a leg up in the global setting,” he says. “Making those connections before I formally began my internship was amazing.”
‘All the World’s a Stage’
Demetria Hale is a Class of 2022 graduate with a degree in theater performance and minor in musical theater from Dansville, New York. She performs for local theater companies and has been completing various auditions across the country to further her career in the performing arts.
She also took a Global Experience class in London, England, titled Shakespeare in Performance and taught by Associate Professor of Theater Jay Putnam.
“The performing arts is a universal language that needs no translation. Getting to experience the arts in a city where so many groundbreaking, historic plays debuted is unparalleled,” says Hale. On this journey, students saw performances in some of the most famous theaters in the world, including the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
“As someone pursuing this career, having the historical context and the international context makes me a better performer and helps me stand out from my peers in this profession,” Hale explains.
These experiential learning opportunities make all the difference in students’ transformational journey at HPU.
“We talk about preparing students for the world as it’s going to be,” Palis says. “The world is becoming even more interconnected as time moves forward. What happens in Mumbai or Jakarta can impact lives everywhere. Students who experience an international education will be all the more ready for that interconnectivity.”