“Go away,” said Marc Pinheiro-Cadd, who holds a Phd. in German. “Anyone who feasibly can and has the least bit of interest should go away and study abroad.”
This is exactly what student Mackenzie Busekist did her spring semester of 2016. Drake International has made it possible for Busekist and many other Drake students to experience the world.
When looking into studying abroad, Busekist struggled. “I had no idea what I was doing, where I wanted to go, or what program to use,” Busekist said. “The Drake study abroad program was so helpful.”
On Sept. 13, Drake International officially allowed students to have access to a new program called Terra Dotta.
Morgan Springer, study abroad adviser, said Drake previously had an application system called Horizons. “Terra Dotta is a new way for Drake to track students who are going abroad or who are interested in going,” said Springer.
According to the study abroad website, Drake has connections in 70 countries and more than 500 programs. The new system makes the application process more efficient and compatible for the students. To start the study abroad process, one must complete Education Abroad 101. This is a 30 minute presentation informing students on the different program options and the financial aid available. Once completing the presentation, a survey is given so students can fill out their major and where they plan to study. This is so the right adviser can be selected for that particular student.
After going through the process, Busekist decided Rome, Italy, and before she left, set personal goals for herself to accomplish.
“I wanted to go outside my comfort zone,” Busekist said. “If I can figure out how to navigate around Rome alone, then I can do so much.”
Springer and Pinheiro-Cadd can attest that studying abroad helps accomplish personal goals and results in individual growth. Springer’s experience to Uganda impacted her life to an extent that she is now advising and helping people realize the importance of studying abroad.
Pinheiro-Cadd has been working with the abroad program for all 12 years he has been at Drake. His interest with the program came from his one-year stay in Germany.
“Living abroad can be a transformative experience,” Pinheiro-Cadd said. “You ask yourself questions you wouldn’t have typically asked.”
Pinheiro-Cadd realized that students come back with distinguished skills which are then highlighted in their jobs at home.
“Students are not always in control when abroad,” Pinheiro-Cadd said. “They have to guess intelligently and become better observers because there are a lot of other ways to think and do things.”
Springer wanted to add advice for students applying for the study abroad program. “Keep an open mind when traveling and especially when choosing a program,” Springer said. “There is a program that fits a student’s major and desires better.”
“You don’t really know that the rest of the world is out there,” Pinheiro-Cadd said. “As cliche as it seems, I believe it could be a life changing experience.”
Written by Maric Salocker