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Study Abroad Stimulates Knowledge in Diverse Settings

Purdue's study abroad opportunities range in duration from a week to an entire year to fit into students' schedules. Purdue University is stepping up its efforts to encourage more students to study abroad, especially through programs of a semester or longer. Through studying in another country, students develop maturity and independence; expand their knowledge of the world; and increase their sensitivity to other cultures.

With more than 350 programs in dozens of countries, Purdue offers something for almost every student. The Office of Study Abroad within Purdue's Office of Global Affairs, helps students plan their international experience to include classes and/or internships that will earn credits towards their Purdue degree. This means that students who study abroad can graduate on time. It means that Purdue graduates have enhanced opportunities through an education which includes a global perspective.

Study Abroad Insights

C. Shearer, CIEE – Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain“When I left the country (U.S.), I read all the material I could get my hands on (about Spain) but it was missing something.  It only gave me a skeleton of what being there is truly about.  It didn’t tell me about who my host family was or what kind of food they cooked.  It didn’t give me a list of all the amazing people I would meet or how they would change my life.  No, those details had to be written by me once I got there." said Shearer.

"Living out of the U.S. changed my life.  And those little details that you can’t plan for or schedule are what actually affected me the most.  I went to class every day and studied, but that knowledge I gained didn’t really change me or shape my study abroad experience nearly as much as my foreign friends, as the places I ate, the places I saw, and even the street performers…  Study abroad is all about making the most of where you are and what you are doing.  It’s your life, and reading about other people’s experience should only be used to light that spark in your soul to take the leap for yourself." he added.

SingaporeA. Green, National University of Singapore

There is nothing like total immersion into an exotic culture to help a young adult learn to appreciate their roots.  On a trip to Thailand for study abroad, one Purdue student looked forward to the exotic side of his trip. He says,  “But after a month or two of adventures, I quickly became introspective.  I started to reflect on my past—on my childhood as a Midwestern American.  I also started to rethink what kind of career I’d like to attack in the future. The fact that Southeast Asia was completely novel opened my eyes in the sense that I now had a larger context to which I could analyze my upbringing and personal background.  This all helped me come away with a new understanding: my identity as a Midwestern American is just as unique as the identity of a Singaporean.”

K. Griffith, Grenoble Institute of Technology, France.

Lennon Wall

Another student took a side trip to Prague, Czech Republic while on her study abroad trip to France.  In Prague, she met “astoundingly interesting people, learned incredible history, and took part in Prague’s world renowned rich culture.“  While witnessing the Lennon Wall, which has been continuously changing since 1988 due to people writing inspirational messages about “Peace, Love and Freedom” or those of protest against communism,  she “realized that we are all like the Lennon Wall, constantly changing, evolving and picking up new things.  The more we learn and experience, the closer we come together.”