Providing our students with opportunities to
study abroad is one of the best ways HPU embraces the mission
of educating global citizens who can provide solutions for
the world. Study Abroad experiences not only give students
the chance to travel and take part in academic programs in
other countries, they also increase the opportunity to learn
more about other cultures and enhance future employability.
I had a personal experience with these benefits when I spent
two years in the Peace Corps after college. Like Study Abroad,
the Peace Corps provides something more than tourist memories.
That’s not to say that the travel aspect of Study Abroad
doesn’t have important rewards. Students get a chance to
see some of the most beautiful and interesting places in the
world. Many HPU students study abroad in France, where HPU has
several partners, including a university in Nice on the French
Riviera, one of the most scenic places in the world. HPU will
soon have an exchange partner in Istanbul, Turkey, the site of
many empires over the past 3,000 years and a perfect place to
study history and international relations.
Whether it’s Nice or Istanbul, Tokyo or Berlin, students
are exposed to cultures very different from their own. Cross-cultural
encounters are great learning experiences. Figuring out how to
live in and adapt to a new cultural environment changes the way
a person sees the world. My two years in Africa made me a more
flexible and adaptable person. I credit that experience with
molding my views about international learning, something that
led to HPU’s mission. Students who have lived and studied
or worked abroad come back changed people.
There’s also a tangible benefit to Study Abroad. It gives
students a better understanding of how the global economy works
and enhances their job prospects. Potential employers are looking
for students who have had international experience, already know
how to adapt to new situations, and can readily interact with
people from other cultures. An excellent example is HPU graduate
Yuiko Miyazaki, who studied at Sunkyunkwan University in South
Korea in the fall of 2008. Yuiko recently received not one but
two job offers from Japanese companies that work in South Korea.
These employers told her they decided to offer her the job for
two reasons: her intensive language experience while studying
abroad which helps her understanding of the cultural context
in which South Korea does business, and her ability to deal with
business contacts in Korean.
For more information on the Study Abroad Program, call 544-0811
or visit www.hpu.edu/index.