Behold the World
HHS Leads, Grows Study Abroad

“I think students doing a shorter exchange program will have an experience much like a tourist would,” says Megan McCrory, assistant professor in Nutrition Science and faculty program coordinator. “A semester exchange immerses students in the culture and allows them to develop deeper friendships with Irish students.”

John Oswalt, a senior majoring in dietetics/nutrition, fitness and health, studied at DIT during the 2013 spring semester. He yearned for the adventure but also a chance to expand his mind.

“I feel that I will be able to understand patients easier by seeing how other cultures live,” he says. “I learned that every person views food differently, and not to assume anything about someone.”

Natalie Buchs, a 2011 graduate in dietetics/nutrition, fitness and health, says her semester at DIT during her junior year continues to be a topic of conversation. She lives in Denver and is a wellness coordinator and dietitian for Integrated Health Inc. at British Petroleum.

“I am confident that the experience played a role in securing my current position,” she says. “When interviewing for work with an international company like BP, it was great to be able to speak on my experience living with students from a different country, completing projects with Irish students and learning from Irish professors.”

Buchs says she felt so strongly about sharing her positive experience in Dublin that she became a study abroad ambassador upon her return and later took a job in the Purdue Study Abroad Office.

“I spent a lot of time talking to those around me about the benefits of study abroad,” she recalls. “I enjoyed telling others about my adventures, and to this day, I encourage others to study abroad because of the long-term benefits.”

Children in Swaziland

Catherine Rebarchak, selling and sales management, studied in Dublin in summer 2013. She graduated in December 2013. (Photo provided by Bobbe Molter)

Consumer Science and Psychological Sciences both have exchange programs with UCD that started fall 2013. The Consumer Science program is a bit different in that courses at UCD do not match up with those in the Consumer Science plan of study. Rather, the coursework is in Irish history, Irish culture and folklore, sociology, social justice and English literature.

“This program is especially fascinating for those students who have an Irish heritage,” says Bobbe Molter, senior advisor in Consumer Science. “It allows students time to travel on the weekends by train or bus throughout Ireland, and on longer breaks to visit other places of interest in Europe.”

Most students studying abroad take advantage of the opportunity to travel and see the sights. Stephanie Kuo, a senior in dietietics/nutrition, fitness and health, studied at DIT in spring 2013 and used a two-week Easter break to travel across Central and Eastern Europe. She met up with a friend studying abroad at Oxford to visit Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Budapest.

Paulina Segovia, also a senior in dietetics, says she rented a car with friends and drove around Ireland for three days. “We saw breathtaking scenery, got lost, found the most beautiful little towns and met some incredible people.”

Segovia says she had friends who had done shorter programs, but they all came back wishing they had stayed for a semester.

“I wanted to fully immerse myself in the culture and city I was living in,” she says. “In Dublin, I lived with eight students from all over the world, and had to learn how to work and live with them even though our cultures were very different. I know now that I’m capable of handling new environments and uncomfortable situations. One of my biggest surprises was how badly I didn’t want to leave!”

For more information on all of the study abroad opportunities available to HHS students, visit the HHS Study Abroad website at

Editor’s note: HHS' School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences are currently exploring opportunities for an exchange program with a Dublin university.


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