Yes, You Can Study Abroad

Padnos International Center

You can browse programs and learn more about the Study Abroad Opportunities available for you by either using the PIC website or stopping into the office at 130 Lake Ontario Hall. 

First Step Meetings

Are you interested and ready to take the First Step? First Step Meetings happen regularly. Click here for more information about First Step.

TRIO STEM Students Study Abroad

Take a look below at the various students who have studied abroad. From a year-long stay to a faculty-led short term study abroad, there are programs for everyone. We have students who have won Passport Scholarships and The Benjamin. A Gilman International Scholarship (one of many scholarships available). You could be next.

Joshua Bryant- Japan

Joshua Bryant

Just coming back from a yearlong study abroad in Japan I have mixed feelings about being in Michigan. My experiences there allowed me to immerse myself in the Japanese language, culture and I even was able to travel while there. I studied at the International Christian University and I lived with a host family. I lived in Tokyo.

Kyoto, Osaka and Hokkaido were three of the cities I traveled to. In Hokkaido was my favorite place. I felt very comfortable there and it was colder. They have a clock tower too. This area is more relaxed and felt more rural.  Kyoto was the old capital and is full of shrines and temples. The train station here is my favorite as it looks very glamorous and has so many things in it. Osaka is very luxurious, huge and one of the more well-known spots for tourists. There are so many foods, shops and things to see. This is a great place to create memories.

Overall my time went too fast. Going to Japan has been a dream since middle school. Being there was exciting and I felt very at home. The culture is very well structure, timely and respectful.

I would encourage anyone who wants to study abroad to do so. There are scholarships to help and the Padnos Center can help you. Start early and begin looking for resources.

Dream Temple

You can put your dreams on here to make them come true.

Temple in Tokyo

Temple in Tokyo

Nine Story Shopping Mall

Nine Story Shopping Mall

Makaela Smith- Africa

Sierra K

My name is Makaela and I am a junior in the Honors college, majoring in Allied Health Sciences with an emphasis in Physician Assistant Studies. Recently, I decided to add a general business minor as well. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska but I was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I come from a military family and have two other sisters. Growing up, my parents never told us of their financial troubles. I was taken out of the dark about the issues they had, when I was applying to colleges. My parents sat me down and informed me that they would not be able to help much with my tuition payments. Neither of my parents had attended college but they always pushed me to be better than them. With that news in my mind, I still decided college was the best option for me. I love school, I love learning and most importantly, I love helping others. My dad saw that passion and fire within me and admired my goals and dreams to attend a university. I was sat down again by my parents a few weeks later, but I was given news that I still cannot fathom to this day. As my dad is in the military, he is given the GI Bill ® . This bill allows him to attend college or a higher education and the army will pay the bill. He decided to pass this bill on to me, even though he always had a dream to attend college. There is not a day go by that I am so thankful for him and all that he has done for his family.

With the money I was given by the GI Bill ® , I was also able to study abroad the 2017 summer semester. I decided I needed to make the most of what I was given and explore the world while I can. I didn’t want the label of “low income” or “first generation college student” to put me down, so I continued to chase my dreams and only worry about the present day. Africa was my next stop for six weeks of my life and I was terrified because I had never been out of the country before. I have never been somewhere that was so loving, community-based and full of love. The value of studying abroad is exponential. I have grown so much as a person from my experiences and the new knowledge I have. Upon returning home, I am happier, more involved and realizing what truly matters in life. There is no bill that can be put on a study abroad experience. Every day, I wish to discover the world more. My toes have been dipped into the vast arena of traveling and I have already started looking at studying abroad for a second time. There is an entire world to see out there, don’t let labels tie you down. Prove to yourself that you are more than what society defines you as.

Makaela Smith 2
Makaela Smith 3

Brooke Veres

Study Abroad - Greece

I interned abroad for a month during the Summer of 2018 in Greece. While I was there I assisted with various research projects such as studying microplastics in the Agean Sea, in wetlands on Samos Island, in Sea Turtles intestines, as well as fish intestines. I began a macroplastic project on the island of Lipsi to try to figure out where the plastic is coming from. I also assisted in collecting GIS data on Sea Grass. As well as worked on a Sea Grass rehabilitation project. All while having the time of my life, on the beautiful Islands, with wonderful people!

Sierra Kolatski- South Africa

Makaela Smith 1

I'm from Cheboygan MI and a junior at GV. My major is Natural Resource Management with a minor in Biology. Growing up in Northern Michigan I've always loved to go camping, fishing, and hunting and so a degree in NRM is a perfect fit for what I love. In the future, I want to observe and document the habits of wildlife specializing in wolves and I hope to be a part of their research and continued existence. 

I never considered studying abroad until I heard about the faculty-led month-long trip to Kruger National Park in South Africa. A chance to see such a diverse amount of endangered and exotic animals in their natural habitat was something I couldn't pass up. I believe it would be deeply gratifying to have students from such different cultures and school of thought to be able to share ideas and possibly learn new methods of study and research from each other. 

Aside from the great learning experience, I think being challenged in a new environment would be beneficial to me as well as getting out of my comfort zone to meet new people by putting myself out there. I want to increase my skills and knowledge of other populations and this is going be a fun and beneficial way to do so. Whenever you travel to a new place you learn something new and I will have this amazing experience to take with me for the rest of my life.


Page last modified April 4, 2023