'Cambodia has some of the kindest people I've ever met. Working with the children was such a rewarding experience. Children are the future and getting to help shape part of the future was unbelievable. The people were so grateful for our help but yet completely unaware of what they were giving back to us.' Brooke Richards, International Studies major and Communication Studies minor (Art and Social Action in Cambodia--Winter Session)
'I learned how simple life can be and about myself. Through the Cambodian people, I learned that life was beautiful.' Estasia Barrientosi (Art and Social Action in Cambodia--Winter Session and Spring Semester)
'It's been about two months since I've arrived in Shanghai, and honestly, I love it so much that right now, I don't want to leave! I think this is the right place for me, and I want to come back here after finishing design in California. Chinese classes at Jiao Tong University are great, the professors, quality of courses, textbooks, people, everything is great. I have so many friends, international and Chinese. The food is great, everything is going perfectly well, the night life is some of the best in the world, everything is great. Shanghai is definitely the place to be.' Alix Armour, Industrial Design major (CSU-IP in Shanghai--Academic Year)
'Florence is the most beautiful city filled with Renaissance art in museums, sculpture loggias, palazzos, piazzas, wonderful beautiful people, amazing restaurants and gelato, and everything I could have ever wanted and will always miss.' Victoria Chang, Child Development major (Academic Programs International--Spring Semester)
'Studying abroad is a life-changing experience. In just a few months, I learned more about myself and the world than I have in my entire college career. I would recommend to everyone that they should take the chance and discover the new world that awaits them.' Adam Roberts, International Studies major (Summer in Florence and CSU IP in Florence--Academic Year)
'I miss waking up, opening my bedroom window, and looking at the perfect view of the Santo Spirito Church. I miss the sound of motorcycles zooming by, and I even miss when they wouldn’t stop for me when I was trying to cross the street. I miss the walk to school everyday: passing the Ponte Vecchio on my right, window shopping Roberto Cavalli and Ferragamo (to name a couple), and stopping by my favorite restaurant to grab an espresso—all before my 9 AM class. I miss delicious food, aperitivo, and the nightlife (house music!). I miss visiting with Paolo, our neighbor who owned the Wine shop across the street and practicing my Italian with people who didn’t know how to speak English. I miss Italy... ahhh la bella vita! Although the thought of spending four months in a completely foreign country was a little scary at first, I was surprised at how easily and well adjusted I became in just a few weeks. Not a day went by that I didn’t feel inspired by the culture in Florence. I learned more about myself in one semester then I have in my entire life! My semester abroad was an exciting, adventurous and life-changing experience.' Angela Shippen, Fashion Merchandising major (Lorezo de Medici, Florence—Spring Semester) After graduation, Angela taught English as a Second Language for two years in Spain.
'Studying Abroad was one of the best experiences at CSULB! I can't believe I'm graduating already! I was honored to be a guest in Japan for a whole year. Japan is a country filled with many traditions and respectful people. Living in Tokyo, I would have to say fashion was crazy! In addition, there is great nightlife and many fancy restaurants and bars. If you want to get away from the city, you will find beautiful mountains and rivers couple hours away. The best season is spring, everyone should see the true beauty of cherry blossoms. Also, don't forget to spend a day at the 'onsen' or hot springs!' Heather Hibbets, International Studies Major (CSU IP in Tokyo—Academic Year) Heather returned to Japan after graduation to teach English as a Second Language.
'New Zealand was a geographic wonderland with naturally amazing sites and adventures to encounter in every corner of the country. Studying abroad, although academically important and challenging, should include traveling as much as possible. Hiking, skiing, beaches, shopping, road-trips, ferry rides, site-seeing, mountains, glaciers, thermal hot springs, waterfalls, the Maori culture, all encapsulate the beauty of New Zealand. Appreciation for the country can be obtained everywhere you look and wander. I want to go back!'
'The decision to further my education into a graduate program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) to obtain a MA degree in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL) in conjunction with the Peace Corps Master's International program (PCMI) has proved to be a challenge, but extremely rewarding process. I look forward to seeing and experiencing more of the world through the upcoming opportunity to travel and teach abroad as well as exponentially expanding my knowledge base through graduate classes at MIIS.' Heather Kokesh, Geography major and Recreation minor (Summer at Sea--Summer and CSU IP in New Zealand--Academic Year) She served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines.
'Studying abroad showed me that I was capable of doing a lot more than I had thought. Barcelona is a wonderful city vibrant with culture. If you like art, music, and the beach take my advice and visit or live in Barcelona.' Melissa Duque, History major and Journalism minor (International Studies Abroad --Fall Semester)
'Studying abroad was the most liberating experience of my life. Granada was an ideal place because of size and location within Europe—a hop, skip, and a jump to Africa and the rest of continental Europe. Everyone needs to study abroad.' Ricardo Nunez, International Studies and Political Science majors and Anthropology minor (Academic Programs International--Fall Semester) After graduation from CSULB, Ricardo served in the Peace Corps in west Africa.
'My year-long study abroad in Spain was single handedly the most important and influential learning experience I've ever had while being enrolled in any institute of higher education. In my opinion, Spain is the greatest place on earth because of its people, lifestyle, culture, and beauty. It will forever be the most memorable year of my life and I feel fortunate for having had the opportunity. It has helped define the person I am today.' Renieri Segovia, Theatre Arts major, Film minor (Academic Programs International--Academic Year, China, short-term program, Winter Session, and St. Petersburg semester, Fall Semester)
'Sweden is one of the most beautiful and cleanest countries I've ever seen. It's an amazing mix of modern thinking and ancient traditions. It's a place where you are forced to be totally immersed in the culture. Studying abroad in Sweden gave me so much self-confidence. I came back a much stronger woman and also redefined my role as a woman. I can't talk about Sweden without talking about equality. I came back with much higher standards for myself and how I deserve to be treated.' Brooke Richards, International Studies major and Communication Studies minor (CSU IP in Sweden--Academic Year) After graduation Brooke volunteered with an NGO in Bolivia.
'I have been studying abroad in Taiwan for almost three months, and I've had an awesome time. Last summer, I spent two months in mainland China, visiting 5 or 6 different cities, and I think it's safe to say that Taiwan is quite different from the mainland. The life style here is kind of a mixture between western and traditional Chinese culture. The food for instance, is less 'Chinese' than in the mainland. A lot of the locals in Taipei speak English fluently, and just about all street/store signs have English along with Chinese.' Babak 'Bobby' Safaei, Chinese Studies major (Ministry of Education, Taiwan--Academic Year)
'I would have to say that going to England was one of the best experiences of my life. I know everyone says that, but it is true. There is something about putting yourself 'out there'. If you have an open mind, and are positive, there is no way you could have a negative study abroad experience. I made so many friends, people that I feel I could know for a lifetime. I feel like I have a new home, a home away from home. The only advice I would give people is, just do it, if this is something that has had your attention for awhile, nothing should hold you back, because it is all worth it.' Aja Minor, International Studies major (University of Leicester CSULB Direct Exchange--Academic Year) After graduation from CSULB, Aja returned to the UK and completed a master's degree in Migration and Diaspora Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
'London was an absolutely amazing experience. There could never be enough words to fully explain how this has changed my life for the best--the experience of its culture, the close bonds of exciting new people, and the better understanding of myself are just a few ways. I will have the rest of my life to look back on this trip and know this is the one decision that was my own and know I have not one regret except that I wished it had lasted longer!' Briah Luther, Comparative World Literature major (CSULB London Semester) After graduaion, Briah completed a master's degree in Comparative Literature at San Francisco State University.
'I decided to study abroad in order to immerse myself into a different culture, to learn more about myself, meet new people, experience another culture, and gain some independence (being away from home for the first time). I gained a better understanding of different cultures through traveling. I gained more of a worldly view about life.' Brittany Irvine, Sociology major (CSULB London Semester)
BUNAC Work Abroad Program—London
'I fell in love with the city life, the vast parks and scenery of England. For this reason, I decided to move back to London and work after I graduated from CSULB. As a friend once told me,'You can always come home, but you can't always leave.' So there couldn't have been a better time for me to make this decision to see more of the world. The Bunac program is a six month work visa program which allows you to have entry into the UK, and get a UK paying job. There's a small applicant fee, but other than that the entry process is easy. I've been here now for 2 and a half months and am having the time of my life. Although I'm working full time, I've made several close friends from my work and have fully immersed myself into the British culture. I've found my sense of independence, and hope to eventually continue my education over here in London. I highly recommend that anyone who is willing to participate in this invigorating experience contact your study abroad office, or Bunac, and begin a new chapter in your life.'
Brittany Irvine, Sociology major (London BUNAC Work Abroad Program--Summer and Fall) Britany returned to London and completed a graduate certificate in Psychology.