Global journeys

For some students, it’s a first plane ride. For some, it’s a first experience in a land where your language is the foreign one. The landscapes, the cuisines, the cultures, the art, the conversations, the classes are all eye-opening. And spectacularly transformative.

Enjoy these outstanding, recent photos from around the world, as Spartan students engage in study abroad and other global journeys.

Costa Rica

MIRACLE JOHNSON, a biology major, studied Spanish and Tico culture while there. Her study abroad group volunteered with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation to renovate a mother’s bathroom in La Carpio, and she volunteered at Life Monteverde farm.


KAYLEIGH RIKER, a psychology major, says her experience at the University of Strathclyde was the most rewarding thing she’s ever done. “I had the chance to meet so many new, inviting people from all over the world.” She notes the dramatic Scottish landscape, as evidenced in this photo of her by Lloyd International Honors College classmate Alexis Raphael, also studying at Strathclyde.


THE DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, AND SUSTAINABILITY took 10 students to Iceland this past summer for a two-week field experience. In this photo, Dr. Jeffrey Patton and Dr. Jay Lennartson lead students in an exploration of glacial lagoon formed by the meltwater of the retreating Fjallsárlón Glacier.

LILLIAN BERLINSKI, an international business major, traveled to Wrocław, “The City of Bridges,” on the Oder River. From learning the tram system to using the Polish national currency, the złoty, Lillian’s journey offered her many challenges, but also the chance to meet her Polish family members. Here she holds flowers on Dzień Kobiet, Women’s Day, in the Market Square in Wrocław.

Hong Kong

JETHRO TALAVERA ’18 says Hong Kong was always a place he wanted to visit. Whether studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong or hiking into the mountains with new friends, the marketing major was deeply immersed in the uniquely international culture. “Studying abroad just changed my outlook on life,” he says, “It taught me to be open to new things, look for an adventure, and to completely step out of my comfort zone.”


CAMERON WARREN studied marketing, law, and Spanish during her half-year in Montevideo, Uruguay. Her favorite thing? “Being a part of a very close-knit group of international and local students. I made a new international family and I feel like I’ve made lifelong connections with a lot of people.”


AT OLDUVAI GORGE, a million years of human evolution is on display. With Dr. Charles Egeland, students participated in a paleoanthropological field school, which included hands-on excavation and research of ancient archaeological artifacts. Being involved in cutting-edge research at one of the most prominent archaeological sites in the world was an experience like no other.


THE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM in August experienced Rome, Florence, and Milan, exploring sites like the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Square, and Ponte Vecchio between playing exhibition games. “The trip was learning experience for our young women, where they were able to learn about different cultures, taste new foods, explore beautiful cities, and bond as a team,” said Head Coach Trina Patterson. “It is a lifetime lesson they will never forget.”

Where are they now?

For some, their undergrad experience leads directly to more international adventures:

KELLY DONOVAN ’13 was selected in 2012 to enroll in Beijing Normal University’s Chinese Language Learning Program and the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Program. She currently teaches in China. “My study abroad experience while at UNCG was truly the beginning of a path I never expected.”

KTOAN KTOAN ’13 studied abroad in Plymouth, England, in 2012. “The experience was truly life changing,” the business major says. He has greater awareness of different backgrounds and cultures, essential in the corporate world. He is currently a senior business systems analyst at Red Hat.

JORDAN GRIFFIN ’16 traveled to Shanghai, China, in 2014. There, he took classes and was a program coordinator leading exchange students to volunteer at a program for children of migrant families. He is currently teaching in Chengdu, China.

‘Snapshot’ of IPC Photo Contest Finalists

Each year, the International Programs Center hosts a photo contest for students who have studied abroad in the past year. The best photos are exhibited for all to enjoy. Here is a sampling.

Want to study abroad or explore other international opportunities? Want to help others have these life-changing experiences? Contact the International Programs Center at


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