Study Abroad: Joanna Webb

Joanna in Brussels.  It is always rainy, so best to be prepared!

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 part one of a Study Abroad Series aimed at sharing students’ life-changing experiences studying abroad through EKU. 

Study Abroad Series: Part One – Joanna Webb

Q - What is your major? When is your expected graduation date?

A - My major was in International Business (an option of the General Business major at EKU).  I received two bachelor’s degrees; one from Avans Hogeschool in the Netherlands and one from EKU.  I graduated in July of this year from Avans and in August of this year from EKU.

Q:  How long did you study abroad? 

A:  I studied for one year abroad.

Q:  Why did you decide to study abroad?

A:  It was required for my major to study abroad, but it was also something that I had always wanted to do.  I love exploring new languages, lands and cultures.

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

A:  If I went to the Netherlands, I could retain my scholarship to pay for the tuition, and by staying for one year, I could earn two degrees.

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

A:  First, I learned that no matter what it is, I can do it. I went by myself to a foreign country and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I didn’t know anyone and trying to get settled in was difficult. Then the classes turned out to be much harder than what I had expected. But I passed everything, made a lot of wonderful friends, and had the time of my life. I can do it. Secondly, I learned a lot about other cultures. I didn’t just learn about the Dutch. I had classmates from 22 different countries and they all percepted things and responded to things different. So many things were different, yet so many things were the same. I loved it. Finally, I learned a lot in my field. We had projects like I had never encountered at EKU, where it felt like I was really working for a company and I felt the most accomplished than I had ever felt in my life.

Q:  What was your favorite part?

A:  My favorite part was all of the friends that I made. I met people from all over the world, and still stay in contact with a majority of them.  We had so many experiences together, all of us traveling and figuring out a world which we had never explored before.

Q:  What was your least favorite part?

A:  My least favorite part was the beginning. The school was not very organized, and trying to get settled in a new apartment and at a new school without help was hard.

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

A:  The biggest thing that I gained was confidence. I learned that I can overcome any obstacle.

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

A:  I would recommend studying abroad to anyone. It is such an eye-opener. You realize just how similar everyone is in spite of cultural differences, and how much world events really matter. Even simple things really can change the world.

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

A:  Be prepared. I cannot stress this enough. Be ready to study harder than you would at most schools in the U.S., but also be prepared to have the most fun of your life. Research the country in which you are planning to study and learn a few phrases in that language. Even if it’s not necessary, it really makes a difference. Also, research the area ahead of time. Find out where the local stores are, if there is internet service, how to dial emergency numbers, etc.

Q:  Do you have a job now?  If so, how did your study abroad experience help you in finding a job?  If you haven’t found a job, how has your study abroad experience helped you in your job search & networking?

I have just started my training at PNC Bank and studying abroad really impressed the hiring manager. It wasn't just studying abroad though, it was the fact that I lived for an entire year overseas, received two degrees, and that I handled my money and school efficiently while still enjoying my friends and my time there.

More photos from Joanna Webb'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 International Business major. Contact Dr. Lana Carnes, Chair of the Department of Management, Marketing and International Business via phone at 859-622-1377 or by email at lana.carnes@eku.edu.

Published on October 06, 2014