Hull Experiences

The Global Experience: The Hull Fellowship Abroad

Support from the Cordell W. Hull International Fellows Fund has helped UD Honors students reach academic, career and personal goals across the globe. Trips to Liberia aimed at understanding the important role of women in international peacekeeping efforts, language immersion trips in Spain, and service learning trips to Africa and other developing regions meant to understand, address, and become involved in a variety of issues facing the world.

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

Becca LeBouef, Germany

Becca studied in Berlin with a group of faculty and students on the German Language Immersion program. She was able to take the language skills she learned in the classroom and apply them to daily interactions. The most meaningful moment of her study abroad experience came while talking to a woman at a bus stop. Because of the immersion, Becca had enough confidence in her skills to carry on a conversation. Her experience abroad also opened her eyes to the value of diversity through language. “Embracing a new language opens the door to more communication and an entirely new part of the world.” 

Megan Taschner, Spain and Portugal

Megan participated in a study abroad program with the Department of Health and Sports Science. She stayed in Lisbon, Portugal for six days, then traveled to Sevilla, Spain where she spent the remaining four weeks of the program. The classes Megan took integrated classroom learning with real-world experiences. By going on this trip, she was able to deepen her understand of health sciences and take one step closer to becoming a physical therapist. “My trip helped develop me into a better leader, a passionate researcher, and an open-minded person.”

Andrew Kramer, Chile

Andrew studied abroad in Chile with a cohort of students from the Department of Health and Sport Science. His time was spent taking classes at the Universidad de los Andes and volunteering. In his research methods class, Andrew had opportunities to meet the Chilean Futbol 7s Paralympic Soccer team and conduct his own study regarding the effect of studying abroad on students’ physical health. He also taught children at a Marianist grade school about the importance of exercise and nutrition. The impact of Andrew’s experience is something he will always hold with him. “I count the lessons I learned and the people I met among some of the most valuable of my life.”

Lisa Laurenzana, Trinidad and Tobago

Lisa served in Trinidad and Tobago with UD’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity. She spent a week building a retention wall for a home severely damaged by mudslides during the rainy season. While she spent most of her time moving concrete blocks and digging trenches for the wall, Lisa also had the opportunity to play with local schoolchildren for an afternoon. She says despite all the challenges her group faced during the trip, it was an amazing experience that helped her realize that even a small group can make a huge, positive impact. “It reminded me of the innate desire of many to help and learn about others, and it reminded me of the unlimited compassion displayed by others and felt within ourselves.”  

Abbey Groszkiewicz, Nicaragua

Abbey traveled to La Corneta, Nicaragua for the second time as part of Global Brigades. As a member of the leadership team, she helped coordinate medical stations and provided care to people in the village. One of the most meaningful moments of the trip for Abbey came when she reunited with a child she met on the previous trip she made. With a newfound love of service, Abbey hopes she can continue to help underserved populations in her future career as a medical professional. “It is an experience unlike any other, and I feel so blessed to have been a part of it.”

Ellie Rizzo, Zambia

Ellie participated in a six-week service immersion trip to Zambia. She spent time listening to stories, hanging out with the children and learning about the local culture. Being immersed in Zambian culture was a life-changing experience for Ellie. Her time talking to and playing with the children taught her so much about life. She gained a better appreciation of what it means to love, and she hopes to carry that with her into the future. "I want to return there, and I hope to get to know the community better someday."

Josh Romo, Iceland

Josh traveled to Iceland with the GREEN Program, an organization designed for students interested in sustainability. He spent eight days taking classes at the University of Reykjavik on energy usage, hydroelectric energy, geothermal energy and energy economics. Josh also hiked on glaciers and volcanoes, visited sites with environmental significance and experienced Icelandic culture. Studying abroad gave Josh the opportunity to apply his knowledge in a practical setting and further develop his passions for the environment and serving others. “Overall, the trip was an once-in-a-lifetime experience. It connected me with like-minded people, and it inspired me to continue pursuing a career in humanitarian engineering.”

Olivia Stanforth, Peru

Olivia went to Peru to study Spanish and culture in a new context. By living with a host family and taking small, discussion-based classes, she was able to truly immerse herself in the language. In addition, Olivia was able to see historic sites important to Peruvian and Incan culture, including Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. She learned from native Peruvians about art, history, dance and food. Through her experience, she gained a better appreciation and knowledge of the culture. “I feel we learned so much more by immersing ourselves into the landscape and by experiencing the Incan ruins hands-on, rather than just reading about them.”

Sam Windsor, India

Sam spent six weeks in India and lived with a community of Marianist sisters. She enjoyed living and connecting with the sisters and gained a new perspective on what it means to be a community. Sam also volunteered with the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, and served the underprivileged in India. This was one of the most powerful and impactful aspects of the trip for Sam. She hopes to take the lessons of compassion she learned and apply them to her future career as a teacher. “I am thankful to be surrounded by a network of encouragement in a community that continually inspires me to work for better.”  

Lauren Heister, Italy

Lauren participated in the Business in Rome study abroad program offered through the School of Business. Being in a different country for just five weeks opened Lauren’s eyes to many cultural differences. She recognized that the American way of living and thinking is not necessarily the standard for the rest of the world. With this new insight, Lauren hopes she can become a more effective and confident leader. “I found it significantly meaningful just to have had the experience of examining myself and gaining an expanded view of my life and of people as a whole.”

Kara Langenderfer, Ireland

Kara spent a semester studying abroad in Maynooth, Ireland. While taking classes, she was able to learn more about Irish culture and traditions. Kara also developed friendships with people she met from other countries like Germany and Italy. Her time abroad helped her grow as a student and a young professional. Cultivating global relationships gave Kara insight on what she would like to do in the future. “It has really taught me how to live in another country, and it has prepared me for a job that travels in the future.” 

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