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Aloha from President Wright
with Chatt G. Wright

 

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.


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