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Photo of a person walking through a grassy field with mountains in the background

As a tactile learner, I’m the type of person that likes to experience something instead of reading about it in a book. So, to fulfill my ISS and IAH courses at MSU, I wanted to go to a country where the indigenous culture was still prevalent in everyday life. During the Spring 2015 semester, I decided to study the Māori culture at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. In addition to expanding my knowledge of indigenous peoples, I was also able to reflect on my own culture and how that plays into my identity and how others perceive me. My advice to anyone going abroad  would be to make a conscious effort to go out of your comfort zone to try new things, to take the time to interact with the locals and show you're genuinely interested in learning about their culture, and of  course to have fun!
Kora Nixon, AES ‘16


Over winter break of the 2015-2016 academic year I participated in the Ecological Engineering in the Tropics Study Abroad in Costa Rica. This program is ran by professor from the Biosystems department and earned me credit for the BE credit required for the AES major. Similar to several classes in our majo there was a large focus on the sustainability of a system. In the two weeks we were there I experienced natural and manmade processes, learning about the importance and the impact of these systems as well as how to evaluate and analyze them. Our group was comprised of diverse people with different majors and backgrounds, making the trip that much more unique. The full itinerary of the trip was extensive but a few great highlights were the trips to the rainforest, banana and pineapple plantations, cloud forest, and the waterfall we swam in.
Katelyn Dunaski AES ‘16

I chose to go on an Alternative Spartan Break trip to get a chance to surround myself with new like-minded people, as well as to travel during my winter and spring breaks. I've traveled to New York City, New Orleans, and Pulaski, Virginia with ASB throughout my college career. For me, being in new cultures, communities and environments is a phenomenal way to learn about the world, but also yourself. Serving and traveling through ASB helped me hone in on more of what I wanted for my future.
Darcy Greer AES ‘16

Being able to study abroad on multiple occasions, to 4 different continents, has been very rewarding and eye opening! I have learned how to better communicate with people from cultures and backgrounds different than my own. I've been able to take classes required for graduation, but more importantly I was able to learn outside the classroom. I was able to immerse myself in the culture of the Maori in New Zealand, learn Spanish fluently in Ecuador, explore the history of Turkey through educational excursions, and in China, I met the VP of sales and marketing at General Motors for all of Southeast Asia. The world is becoming a lot more interconnected and study abroad is an invaluable experience that exposes you to these connections.
Michael Keller AES ‘16


I have had the opportunity to travel to Germany and Italy for school related programs in high school, as well as participated in Alternative Spartan Breaks visiting Pulaski, Virginia and Santa Ana, Costa Rica. Learning more about the world around us is essential to my educational and personal growth, as we now live in a global economy. Participating in the study abroad program in Sweeden, Netherlands, France and Germany during the summer of 2016 in Packaging Logistics will further increase my skills and abilities in my chosen career. While touring multiple European companies, I look forward to a great opportunity for experiential learning.
Jennifer Maisner AES ‘17