Study Abroad: Brandon Cooper

Classic shot in front of Big Ben

Students in the College of Business and Technology (CBT) are taking advantage of Eastern Kentucky University’s study abroad programs. CBT students are studying abroad through a variety of affiliates and exchange programs.

Following is the next in the Study Abroad Series aimed at sharing students’ life-changing experiences studying abroad through EKU. 

Study Abroad Series: Part Seven – Brandon Cooper

Q - What is your major? Are you currently a junior or senior, and when is your expected graduation date?

A – I'm a senior and my major is Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Film Techniques and Technology option. My expected graduation date is spring 2016.

Q - Where did you go?

A – I studied at London South Bank University in London, England. My study abroad program (KEI) hosted many excursions throughout London, but also provided many trips to other parts of the UK: A day trip to Stonehenge and Bath, a weekend in Wales, a day trip to Brighton, and Oxford. During holidays and weekends I was able to visit other countries such as Scotland, Italy, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Belgium.

Q - Did you take a course and earn academic credit that transferred back to EKU?

A - Every credit transferred smoothly back to EKU. After I chose the school to attend, I was given a list of courses to choose from. Once I figured out what classes I wanted to take, all I had to do was get them approved. I was also provided assistance with any questions regarding transfer credit.

Q - Was your experience through the Magellan Exchange – or some other study abroad program?

A – I went through KEI (Knowledge Exchange Institute). It was a fantastic experience. We had a guide on location that helped us throughout the entire semester.

Q - How long did you study abroad? 

A - I studied abroad for about 5 months. This will be different for everyone depending on the University attended.

Q - Why did you decide to study abroad?

A – I had always wanted to travel. I knew that once I graduated, it would be hard to do; so I took the leap. What really kick-started the whole process was an email that I received from the Center for International Education here at EKU. I was interested enough to show up at their office the next day and the rest is history.

Q - How did you decide to go to that particular location?

A – KEI presented me with many options, but England has always been number one on my list due to their rich culture and history.

Q - What were three of the most important things you learned from your experience studying abroad?

A – I feel that I now have a worldview on many different topics. I learned how manage and adapt myself into other cultures. I learned how to be more independent.

Q - What was your favorite and least favorite part of your abroad experience?

A - One of my favorite parts was being able to visit the museums in London, most of which are free to the public and a lot of them were within walking distance.

Another thing I did that greatly impacted my experience was signing up for meetup.com. It's a free site where you can get together with groups of locals that have the same interests as you. It was a great way to get out there and meet new people.

My least favorite part was having to say goodbye to all the friends I made that had pretty much become my family while abroad.

Q - What did you gain from studying abroad that has changed you as a person and professional?

A – I have gained a new perspective on English culture as well as the culture of many other countries. The experience has also allowed me to reflect upon my own life as a US citizen. I feel that growing up in the US has given me an experience somewhat akin to living life in a bubble. The film Logan's Run comes to mind as a somewhat similar relation to this.

As far as my professional experience, I have yet to find out. I'm hoping that these experiences will have positive effects whenever I enter a professional field.

Q - Would you recommend other College of Business and Technology students to study abroad? Why or why not?

A – Absolutely! No matter where you go, you will learn many things that are new to you and these things will help you grow as an individual. You will meet new people from around the world and you might even form a network that could benefit your professional life!

Q – Who do students contact if they are interested in studying abroad?

A – You can contact Jennifer White (Study Abroad Coordinator) at Jennifer.White@eku.edu or visit her office at the Center for International Education (CIE) located in the Whitlock Building room 455. You can also visit http://studyabroad.eku.edu. Feel free to contact me with any questions at brandon_cooper20@mymail.eku.edu.

Q – What advice would you give to College of Business and Technology students before they go study abroad?

A - This probably goes without saying, but research the location that you will be studying at while abroad. Do in-depth research on their customs and way of life. I also recommend making a list of the places (historical buildings, museums, etc.) that you want to visit beforehand. This list will surely grow as you discover new places during your stay.

The educational systems might also be very different than what you are accustomed to, so it can't hurt to do some research on this as well.

Q – Since you have not graduated, how is your study abroad experience helping you with your job search?  How has it helped you network with potential employers?

A - I'm in the process of touching up my resume. I have high hopes that my abroad experience will look good to an employer.

More photos from Brandon Cooper's Study Abroad experience...

Find out more about Study Abroad:

Students interested in studying abroad may contact Jennifer White at the Study Abroad Office in the Whitlock Building, Room 455, to discuss all the program options. Jennifer can be contacted via phone at 859-622-1705 or by email at ekuabroad@eku.edu.

Find out more about the Broadcasting and Electronic Media major. Contact Dr. Fran Dickson, Chair of the Department of Communication via phone at 859-622-1871 or by email at fran.dickson@eku.edu.

Published on December 09, 2014