Exchanging Cultures: Motivations


At the Truman Times, we tend to focus on the degree-seeking students and use their thoughts and feelings to help others consider studying abroad for a degree. What we have not addressed in the past, is another very important part of the international community, exchange students!

Exchange students come from all over the world and spend either a semester or a year on the Truman campus. They may not be on campus quite as long as other students, but they contribute a great deal to the living and learning environment at Truman. They know their time at the university may be short, and they want to get the most from their study abroad experience. Most exchange students we’ve talked to said they are sad to leave and have experienced as much of Truman life as anyone else, maybe even more!

We decided to contact some of our exchange students from the past and ask them about their motivations to study abroad, their personal experiences at Truman, and how studying abroad has changed their lives. We will start by introducing our writers and asking them their motivation to study abroad. We’ll be sharing their insight in a new series called Exchanging Cultures.


Iciar Garcia-Gutierrez

Country: SpainOne

Major: Business

Semesters attended: Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Why study abroad?: “I’ve always wanted to study abroad; it was one of my dreams, especially in the U.S., I wanted to get to know the culture and the way of living there. In addition, I’ve always wanted to be part of the American education system, so well-known and successful. When I heard about this scholarship I didn’t doubt, it was one of those things you say now or never, and it happened. To be honest I was a little bit scared of being alone for one year, but my “desires” were “bigger/stronger” than my fears, so I applied and got ready for this awesome experience”

 

TwoYuichi Miyazaki

Country: Japan

Major: Business

Semesters attended: Fall 2013-Spring 2014

Why study abroad?: “When I was traveling abroad, I felt my English skills were poor, and there were a lot of things I didn’t know about foreign countries.

 

 

 

Liyu CuiThree

Country: China

Major: Business

Semesters attended: Fall 2012

Why study abroad?: “I wanted to know more about the world. Before studying at Truman, I’ve never been abroad. I’m curious about the outside world. Studying abroad is a good way to achieve this and also I can make new friends from different countries.”

 

 

 

Four

Melody (You) Hu

Country: China

Major: Business

Semesters attended: Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Why study abroad?: “I think the environment abroad suits me better.”

 

 

Olivier SamoFive

Country: Germany/Cameroon

Major: Business

Semesters attended: Fall 2013

Why study abroad?: “My major was at that time international business and due to globalization it is important now our days to go abroad once. I also wanted to see the world, meet new people and go out of my comfort zone.”

 

SixClara Hernandez

Country: Spain

Major: Business

Semesters attended: Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Why study abroad?: “In Spain it is quite normal to study abroad for a whole year. We have various options in many different countries. However, USA was always my top choice. Five years ago I did an exchange program during the summer and since then I always spent the summer in the US, although I wanted to learn what it was like to live in America for a year.”

 

 

Dasom Lee Untitled design

Country: South Korea

Major: English

Semesters attended: Spring 2015

Why study abroad?: “My dream when I was a middle school student was to be a diplomat. So I have always had a dream to study abroad. Especially since America is one of the leading countries in the world and I loved learning English, I have always dreamed of studying either in America or England.”

 

 

Eight

Joakim Nyman

Country: Finland

Major: English

Semesters attended: Fall 2014

Why study abroad?: “It is part of my curriculum, however, I saw it as more of a travel and see the world kind of thing. A privilege rather than an obligation for me, really.”

 

 

 

Amandine LebrunNine

Country: France

Major: Communication Studies

Semesters attended: Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Why study abroad?: “I wanted to experience new things, meet new people, start a new adventure while improving my skills.”

 

 

Ten

Malene Kruse

Country: Denmark

Major: Public Communications

Semesters attended: Spring 2014

Why study abroad?: “I wanted to study abroad in order to improve my English and to get more knowledge of the American culture. I found that the best way to do so was to study abroad and live among Americans.”

 

 

 

Tomoyo HamaokaEleven

Country: Japan

Major: Communication Studies

Semesters attended: Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Why study abroad?: Because my university has a program to study abroad at Truman.”

 

 

 

 

TwelveMarilena Himmelreich

Country: Germany

Major: Economics

Semesters attended: Fall 2013

Why study abroad?: “Ever since I can remember I’ve had the wish to spend a longer period in another country. I’ve always enjoyed traveling, reading from exciting traveling experiences and learning about other cultures. So I didn’t hesitate a second when I got the opportunity to apply for an exchange semester in autumn 2013. Grown up in a small village in northern Germany, I finally wanted to find out how it would feel like to exchange my familiar environment for a completely new one.”

 

 

Chloe BellThirteen

Country: Northern Ireland

Major: Visual Communications

Semesters attended: Fall 2013-Spring2014

Why study abroad?: “I love adventure and traveling! A lot of people from Northern Ireland tend to go to universities over in England or Scotland but I stayed in Northern Ireland. So when my degree offered me the chance to study in the US for a year I just really wanted to give it a go, it felt very adventurous and independent.”

 

 

Fourteen

Nicoline Schonhofer

Country: Austria

Major: English

Semesters attended: Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Why study abroad?: “Ever since I was a little kid my biggest dream was always to either go to high school or college in the U.S. I fulfilled my dream of going to high school in the States my sophomore year and it was the most amazing experience ever! My sophomore year of college one of my teachers urged us to do a semester or year abroad and I just took the opportunity and left again for a year and I didn’t regret it!”

 

 

Zineb ChelhFifteen

Country: Morocco

Major: Engineering and Management Science

Semesters attended: Fall 2012

Why study abroad?: “My home university gives the opportunity to some of the students to go for exchange through ISEP. It was a great chance for me back then to apply in order to be able to go and discover a new country.”

 

 

 

Sixteen

Matteo Rinaldi

Country: Italy

Major: Journalism

Semesters attended: Fall 2014

Why study abroad?: “I’ve always heard great things about international exchange programs by the people who made them and I decided to give it a try!”

 

 

 

Estelle HiardSeventeen

Country: France

Major: Justice Systems

Semesters attended: Fall 2013-Spring2014

Why study abroad?: “I always wanted to study abroad. I always thought it was a great opportunity to be able to attend a school outside of your own country. I think it allows you to grow on a personal and on an academic level.”

 

EighteenLuka Stankov

Country: France/Serbia

Major: Business

Semesters attended: Fall 2013

Why study abroad?: “Studying abroad was almost like a dream, and I wanted to go to the USA so I could get better at English. I specifically enrolled into my French University for that purpose. A compulsory study abroad semester was on the program. My main field of study and my passion are languages. I am constantly trying to leave my country, go and learn the language and culture directly from abroad.”

 

Nur Uqaisha KamarudzamanNineteen

Country: Malaysia

Major: Psychology

Semesters attended: Fall 2014

Why study abroad?: “I’ve always looking forward to study abroad. I want to experience different culture and make friends internationally.”

 

 

 

 

TwentyTakeshi Kishiyama

Country: Japan

Major: Linguistics

When at Truman: Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Why study abroad?: “I have heard that Truman has high student-teacher ratio, and I could have some scholarship from the university and the government. These allowed me to decide it.”

Be on the lookout for more updates from these students and their experiences!

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About

I'm a senior linguistics major at Truman State University with a love of languages and culture. I work for the International Student Affairs office as the Cultural Integration Leader Coordinator. My favorite animal is an elephant and I got to ride and feed one over the summer while in Sri Lanka!


This is the official blog of the Truman State University Center for International Students.