Studying abroad with Troy helps gain new experiences

Makayla Cameron

Zechariah Johns drinks from a river in Bariloche, Argen-tina, in the summer of 2018. It was a test to tell your future depending on the numbers of sips you took.


Makayla Cameron

After a 10-hour flight and a stop in another country, Zechariah Johns had arrived in his new home for the next two weeks: Argentina.

Johns, who was a sophomore computer science major from Niceville, Florida, in the spring of 2019, had never been out of the United States but decided to study abroad because he wanted to take his education further.

Johns chose to go on a faculty-led trip to Argentina with Assistant Professor Kelly Suero to study Spanish. While in Argentina, Johns studied in Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Bariloche.

His experience abroad included a tango lesson, horseback riding, skiing, and touring one of Argentina’s most famous alfajor, dulce de leche and chocolate factories.

An alfajor is a South American sandwich cookie that is filled with dulce de leche, a creamy caramel confection made from milk and sugar.

“I believe that students should consider studying abroad because it gives them the opportunity to become more globally aware while expanding their education,” Johns said.

Troy Abroad gives students the opportunity to broaden their horizons and their education in other countries.

Troy University has 17 partner universities in different countries where students can study for a semester, plus 20 faculty-led trips that go to other countries for shorter periods.

Studying abroad helps students gain international awareness and helps students become more competitive in the worldwide job market.

“Graduate schools and employers are really looking for students who have global awareness,” said Sarah McKenzie, Troy’s study abroad coordinator.

“Employers know that there is so much crossover today with other global economies, and I believe that having global awareness is a top 10 for employers because our world is so interconnected,” said Lauren Cole, coordinator of career services.

Troy Abroad offers the Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness, which is a $1,000 scholarship that students can use toward funding for the trip. 

The costs of studying abroad vary, depending on how long the student is gone, the country the student is studying, airfare and accommodations.

“Virtually every student that applies for it, gets it,” McKenzie said.

Studying abroad helps students gain international awareness while having quality learning experiences that increase the students’ knowledge on issues, according to McKenzie.

“Troy’s overall initiative is global mentality — to go out into the world, take a piece of who you are, share that with the communities that you’re in, but also bring some back,” Suero said.

Students studying abroad may influence other people while changing themselves.

“I studied abroad (in Argentina) for a full year while I was in college, and being in a new environment really opened my mind and eyes to how small yet big the world is,” Suero said.

During the 2019 fall semester, McKenzie will visit all the TROY 1101 orientation classes and talk with students about opportunities to study abroad.

Even if students aren’t taking TROY 1101, they can join Troy’s study abroad club or attend the study abroad fairs held in the fall and spring semesters.

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