Unleash your inner globetrotter

From cultural exploration to academic enrichment, scholarships pave the way for global adventure

Everyone gets the urge to travel at least once.

For lucky K-Staters, studying abroad unlocks boundless — and bragworthy — adventures: relaxing in a hot spring at the foot of Mt. Fuji, hiking a five-day trek along the Inca Trail in Machu Picchu, or snorkeling among 1,500 types of fish at the Great Barrier Reef. But not every adventure has to be a thrill-seeking endeavor. Experience can be discovering a passion for education while volunteering in Nepal, tasting Czech dumplings for the first time in Prague or just understanding your major in new ways.

“I learned my major is very competitive in South Korea and is well respected,” said computer science major Will Hwang, recipient of K-State’s Mike and Becky Goss Study Abroad Scholarship. “The students were very academically minded, and the professors were helpful with exchange students, which helped me acclimate. They taught me how they balanced their lives outside of school.”

Studying abroad enables students to become cultural ambassadors, immerse themselves in new cultures, share their stories with new friends and expand their global perspective. At K-State, study abroad scholarships are key to helping more students experience these life-changing educational journeys.

“I felt like I was learning a lot, but it was hard to keep up. With the requirements for pre-enrollment and schedule conflicts, I’m glad I didn’t have another worry of surprise expenses,” said computer science major Jared Paubel, another recipient of K-State’s Goss Scholarship and also the Gilman International Scholarship. “It is important that students receive scholarships to study abroad because, with financial support from scholarships, I was able to focus on my studies and work. The classes I took in Prague are helping me now in the courses I’m taking at K-State.”

Enriching the academic journey

Students who venture beyond their home countries expose themselves to diverse cultures, traditions and lifestyles, which leads to a deeper understanding and appreciation for the world’s cultural tapestry. It’s profound — and personal.

“Students gain valuable skills abroad, including independence, problem-solving, adaptability, flexibility and more,” said Katelin Christianer-Donkers, director of education abroad at K-State. “These skills will help students be successful in the classroom and grow personally during their time abroad.”

Immersing yourself in the culture can mean making kimchi in Korea, exploring a Christmas market in Austria, or strolling past the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Living like locals gives K-Staters courage to try new things and to nurture their academic and professional skills.

“Studying abroad enhanced my personal growth by forcing me to become more confident and outgoing to meet new people and gain valuable communication skills with those with different backgrounds,” Hwang said. “It also helped me learn how to properly manage participating in new activities, like trying octopus’ legs that were still moving and taking an unexpected trip to Thailand for a weekend, while still maintaining great grades in school.”

Putting yourself to the test

Studying abroad is challenging — whether that means mastering public transportation or doing college-level work in a language you’re still learning.

“I was challenged academically, professionally and personally while studying abroad,” Paubel said. “My instructors were strict, which was surprising and hard, but the teachers were all very experienced. Overall, I grew wiser and more adaptable.”

Whether the adventure is just for the summer, six months or a year, studying abroad requires resilience and guts. Navigating unfamiliar settings and confronting unexpected challenges contribute to personal growth.

“International travel, even for a short time, exposes students to ideas and lifestyles that may be different from their own, providing the opportunity to learn from an alternative viewpoint or mindset,” Christianer-Donkers said. “These experiences can build a student’s acceptance of other ways of thinking, typically promoting a more globally mindful perspective.”

Help more K-Staters study abroad

K-State relies on generous support so students can afford once-in-a-lifetime international experiences. For students who can’t fund study abroad on their own, scholarships open the world and enable them to answer this question: Where’s your next adventure?

Written by: Lilly Majors

*First published in December 2023.

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