During the 2015-2016 school year, the University of Findlay’s Office of International Education had more students than ever express an interest in studying abroad. Given the invaluable learning experiences gained and memories made via traveling abroad, it’s no surprise.
Unfortunately, many of these students do not have the financial means to accomplish this goal. Currently, international programs can cost anywhere from $1,600 to $18,000. To offset these costs, the Office of International Education is hosting a community Run the World 5K. This event will take place on Thursday, September 8 at 6:30 p.m. A reception will follow at the Carrothers Home, the residence of President Katherine Fell, Ph.D., with drinks, international food samplings, and a silent auction. All proceeds will benefit study abroad scholarships with the hope that more students can participate in these life-changing experiences.
The race offers both an individual and a team component. Individual participants will run or walk a 5K route that begins at the front of Old Main, heads along Cory Street, down the bike path, and back. The cost is $25 and includes entrance into the post-race reception for community members. Teams can have up to four participants. Each participant will run the same 5K route. The average of all participants’ times will be the team score. Team participants are entered into a separate awards category. The cost per team is $100 and includes entrance into the post-race reception for each community participant. To register for the race, please visit www.findlay.edu/runtheworld5k.
Research from sources such as Time magazine indicates that international experiences make students more creative, better problem solvers, better able to communicate with other cultures, and better able to respond in diverse situations which in turn makes them better employees and citizens of the world.
Students who have already ventured outside of the United States to benefit from educational experiences through UF’s Office of International Education programs have numerous success stories to relay. Here are three of those:
Nick Parsell, a 2014 graduate of Riverdale High School, spent the spring 2016 semester in Sweden through a university exchange program. Parsell shares that the most challenging part of his experience was accepting that he was completely on his own and had no one to turn to for comfort. The feelings of isolation and seeking acceptance were difficult for him. As an international business major, Parsell says overcoming these emotions helped him to grow immensely and will assist him in working with others from different backgrounds. Parsell states, “It changed my perspective on life and culture in so many ways that I have trouble putting it all into words!”
Story Strathman, a local 2013 home school graduate from Arlington, participated in both a month-long University exchange program in Japan and an Oilers Serving Abroad service trip to the Dominican Republic in 2015. Strathman explained both of these trips have challenged her to come out of her comfort zone, speak up and communicate with others. Strathman believes “the people I met have taught me that the world is not nearly as large as I imagined, that each part of the world has its own unique culture, and at the end of the day we are all people, different and individually wonderful.” The lessons learned from Strathman’s previous travels have inspired her to study abroad this fall. She will be studying in Sweden through the same university exchange program that Parsell participated in.
Taylor Tweed, a 2013 graduate of Findlay High School, spent four weeks in Spain in the Summer of 2015. The lifelong Findlay resident previously had never had an opportunity to travel, so this was an amazing and eye-opening experience for her. Tweed, who hopes to become a physician assistant, stated that one of her most memorable moments was visiting a hospital through her Spanish Health Professional class. She learned much about the medical system in Spain and, most importantly, how to better communicate with patients from different backgrounds. Tweed shared that her experience abroad “has changed my perspective and made me a better, more well-rounded person.”
For more information about the University of Findlay’s Office of International Education and the programs it offers, contact Rachel Gerber, assistant director of international education, at 419-434-5943, or at email@example.com.