The Global Experience: The Hull Fellowship Abroad

Support from the Cordell F. Hull International Fellows Fund has helped UD Honors students reach academic, career and personal goals across the globe. Trips to The Hague to study international politics, tours of Italy to understand art, and ventures into Eastern Europe to gain hands-on knowledge of sustainable energy projects, are just some of the experiences Honors students have had. Others have traversed China, India or New Zealand, or pursued service opportunities in Africa and language skills in the Middle East.

Below are some recent experiences students have had and their thoughts about them.

Samantha Buckner, Italy

Major:  Teacher Education

“The most important lesson I learned from my study abroad experience was how to live and learn in a different culture.  For the first time in my life, I felt like I was an outsider because I noticeably stuck out compared to the local people.”

Samantha spent five weeks in Florence, Italy where she and fellow students were able to travel to 14 different cities and experience all the rich culture Italy has to offer. These trips included a day in a small Tuscany town, San Giamangio, where she was able to spoke in broken Italian with a shopkeeper about the history of the town. This experience helped give her perspective as to what it is like for students who are learning English as a second language. She also gained personal experience that will help in the classroom be able to relate what students are learning about other countries to her own experiences.

Emma DallaGrana, Spain

Majors:  International Business, Marketing, Spanish

Emma was able to spend two and a half months in Spain as part of the University Studies Abroad Consortium, which offered a 12 week summer program in Alicante, Spain. First, Emma spent a week in Madrid and then from there traveled to Spain’s fourth largest city, Alicante. She lived in an apartment with four other girls in the center of Alicante enabling her to fully experience the culture and immerse herself in the language. In addition to the daily cultural experiences, Emma was in Alicante while it hosted its annual festival honoring Saint of San Juan. The celebrations were practically 24 hours a day for the week and gave Emma even more insight into the culture.

Emma wants to travel abroad again and hopes to “one day be given the opportunity to utilize my Spanish and business degrees outside the U.S.”

Sarah Edwards, France

Majors:  International Studies and French

Sarah participated in the University’s exchange program with the Université Catholique de l’Quest and studied for a semester in Angers, France, where she took classes completely in French. Sarah made the decision to live with a host family instead of in a dorm with other international students in order to fully immerse herself into the French culture. Sarah also said that living in a city like Angers, where most people did not speak English greatly helped her learning of the French language because she was forced to use it.

In addition to her academic growth Sarah said “the personal growth I experienced is something that I do not believe I would have been able to gain if i had remained in the US for all eight of my undergraduate semesters.”

Amanda Fioritto, Jordan

Majors:  International Studies and Sociology

Amanda traveled to Amman, Jordan, to study the Arabic language. While there she studied for 20 hours in the classroom and expanded her learning to outside the classroom where her interactions with friendly Jordanians greatly helped her learning of the language. In addition to learning the language, her time abroad turned out to be a great experience in helping her with her thesis research about Iraqi refugees. Sarah was fortunate enough to meet with two Iraqi men who work with the International Organization for Migration and work with Iraqi refugees in Jordan.

Monica Guisfredi, Bolivia

Major:  Chemical Engineering

Monica traveled to La Paz, Bolivia, as part of the Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities for Service-learning (ETHOS) Program. While there she worked with a private company developing technologies for use by rural communities to help improve the quality of life by increasing energy efficiency, improving health conditions, and providing a secondary income source. More specifically, Monica worked to develop a design to extract orange oil from the orange peels. This was the basis of her Honors thesis so her time in Bolivia gave her opportunity to further explore the subject. Living with a host family also allowed Monica to expand her knowledge of the Spanish language.

Monica did not just visit La Paz--by the end of her trip it truly felt like home. She said “the true immersion experience is spending enough time in a place to be able to call it your own. And it is true for me: while I have been all over the unbelievably gorgeous country of Bolivia, I can only call La Paz my home and would gladly be able to give anyone a tour.”

Shannon Hallinan, Ghana

Major:  Biology

Shannon traveled t Ghana, West Africa, where she worked in a clinic with doctors and nurses providing medical care to those around her. Travel has always been important to Shannon and she wanted to learn more about medicine while serving the world around her.

Throughout her trip, Shannon said she “met people who, while incredibly poor, taught me much about community, humbleness and joy in everyday life.”

Jessica Hannon, New Zealand

Major:  Marketing

Through a connection afforded to her by the University Honors Program, Jessica was able to spend a summer interning for a marketing company in Dunedin, New Zealand. Throughout her trip, Jessica was able to meet not only fellow students who would become her friends but also influential people in the business community in Dunedin. Her work at Glow, the marketing company, reinforced her desire to pursue a career in marketing.

While Jessica did not know what to expect going to a completely new country 16 hours ahead of the United States she said when she came home she “returned to the Louisville airport with one addition piece of luggage and countless experiences and memories, and a priceless education.”

Annea Hapciu, Kosova

Major:  Entrepreneurship

Annea was able to spend a summer in Prishtina, Kosova, conducting research that helped her complete her Honors thesis. She hopes to get her thesis published in both the United States and Kosova. In order to conduct her research, Annea distributed questionnaires to different parts of Prishtina. By conducting research Annea was able to understand how data is collected from the population where she will most likely conduct business in the near future.

The process of conducting research has “truly opened my eyes and made me aware of how demanding and lengthy the discovery process is. Not only does on need a very trustful and knowledgeable team of people, a dedicated leader, but also the funds to make the project possible.”

Kimberly Juhnke, Cameroon

Majors:  History and Human Rights Studies

Kimberly spent a summer in the West African nation of Cameroon attempting to apply what she had learned in her human rights courses. Kimberly’s time in Cameroon opened her eyes to the large gap among the rich and the poor in Cameroon especially when it came to technology. She was able to see firsthand what she was learning about in her human rights courses.

Kimberly says that “the knowledge and global experience from this trip has given me a sense of where my future should be...The world is no longer Toledo, Dayton and UD, it is much, much bigger.”

Michael Miller, Guatemala

Majors:  Spanish and International Studies

Michael spent eight weeks of his summer studying Spanish and teaching a kindergarten-aged class of local children in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. He stayed with a host-family and fully immersed himself into the culture and language of Guatemala. He traveled everywhere from the Pacific coast, to the highest peak in Central America, to the jungle, to a volcanic lake, to natural hot springs, to a magnificent river and he eventually made it to the Caribbean coast. Through trips Michael was able to take in the beauty and diversity of Guatemala.

Michael was exposed directly to the poverty and struggles of the people of the area. This helped reinforce what he wants to do with his life which includes work for a global charity organization. Michael said that “as a teacher, a student, a friend, a host-son, and in other roles, I met and grew to love the Guatemalan people.”

Morgan Moone, Morocco

Major:  International Studies

Morgan dedicated her summer to learning Arabic in the North African country of Morocco. For seven weeks Morgan took classes in the language and Issues in Contemporary North Africa. Through these classes she was able to travel all around Morocco seeing mosques, ancient cities and a sunrise in the Sahara. The trip also helped Morgan pinpoint a goal for her education--International Law.

Of her trip Morgan says “I created friendships with people that influenced my life deeply; the Moroccan students I met introduced me to new places, new experiences, new foods, new cultures, and new outlooks.” Morgan hopes to return to Morocco.

Jason Roland, Nicaragua

Major:  Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics

Jason spent his summer with the ETHOS program in Ocotal, Nicaragua, where he worked with other engineers to develop a solar autoclave to sterilize medical equipment utilizing solar energy as the only power source. While in Nicaragua Jason stayed with a host family, sleeping when it was dark and sticking to a very strict eating schedule. He was able to immerse himself in the language and the daily life of the Nicaraguans.

Jason said of his trip that “My time spend in Nicaragua is irreplaceable, having given me a unique opportunity and friendships that will never be forgotten.” Jason said his trip allowed him to grow both educationally and personally and taught him things he never could learn in class.

Kelli Schimmoeller, Malawi

Major:  Chemical Engineering

Kelli spent her summer in Chilumba, Malawi, Africa, with UD’s ETHOS program. Kelli lived at a lodge, run by a UD alum, where many locals live and work. While in Malawi, Kelli worked on several engineering-related projects with two other undergraduate University of Dayton students. The projects included the construction of classrooms for an orphan care center, diagnosing and fixing a solar-powered water pump, and building a rocket stove. At the end of the ten weeks, Kelli and her teammates took a side trip to Mount Mulunje where they climbed Sapitwa Peak.

Kelli said “This experience and the lessons learned from it will stay with me all my life.”

Kate Schuster, Ecuador

Major:  Operations Management

Kate spent 8 weeks of her summer traveling throughout Ecuador volunteering with Social Entrepreneur Corps, which works directly with a business called Community Solutions. This business' mission is to create and implement business and education activities to benefit the rural communities of developing countries. While there, Katie and other volunteers did everything from helping local entrepreneurs sell products and develop cliental to teaching workshops on accounting, marketing, customer service, quality control, hygiene, creating a business plan and team work to local organizations. Kate took 45 hours of intensive Spanish classes while she was there and lived with two host families.

Kate said that during her trip she “learned more than I thought I would, gained valuable business experience, and had many amazing adventures along the way.”

Alexander Ulintz, Germany

Major:  PreMedicine

Alexander spent 10 weeks during a summer working in an organic chemistry lab with a doctoral student and a larger work group in Kiel, Germany. He was exposed to whole new culture, which turned out to be both a challenging and rewarding experience. In addition to his work Alexander was able to get to know other students in Germany, travel to visit family and to the Baltic Sea. Alexander was exposed to a whole new type of working environment and way of life. He also experienced a unique festival known as Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) where millions of people and thousands of sail boats pack into the normally quiet city of Kiel.

Alexander's trip inspired his future career. He feels his “experience seeing the world has pushed me to pursue a medical degree and a degree in public health because I don’t want to just change one community, but an entire world of communities.”