Study Abroad: Kimberly Smith

Kimberly Smith at the base of the Eiffel Tower

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 Nineteen – Kimberly Smith

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

A - International Business. May 12, 2017.

Q - Where did you go? 

A - Hasselt, Belgium

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

A - Yes, all of my courses were transferred for EKU credit.

Q – What study abroad organization was your trip through? (Magellan Exchange, CCSA, KIIS, etc)

A - the Magellan Exchange

Q - How long did you study abroad?  

A - For the fall semester- four months.

Q - Why did you decide to study abroad?

A - I always wanted to study abroad and travel, and my international business major also required me to receive credits abroad, so it was a perfect fit!

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

A - I needed a program that would allow me to receive credit for a particular class at EKU, and the university in Hasselt had classes that corresponded

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

A - It is important to have an open mind when facing new cultures because it might be even more different than you anticipate. If you simply ask you can go anywhere or do anything you put your mind to. I would have been so lost if I didn't constantly swallow my pride, make mistakes, and ask for help. Don't be afraid to try new things even if you do not have a clue what you're doing, you learn so much about yourself and others through the process. Because of this I was able to travel to eight countries, learn of culture, and make new friends.

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

A - My favorite experience was making new connections across the globe with professors, classmates, and even new best friends. One of my least favorites would be the overwhelming nature of some of the transportation systems, especially in some countries where I struggled with a major language barrier.

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

A - I learned how important soft skills, such as communication and presentation are, and how it is equally important to be aware of what is going on globally and be well read, because we live in more of a bubble than we would like to believe we do.

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

A - Absolutely. It is a very eye-opening and challenging experience that helps to expand a person's world and helps a person grow and learn more about who they are.

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

A - ‚ÄčKatie Samuel and Jennifer White in the Study Abroad Office.

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

A - Research the area you are going to. Learn some key phrases in the language if it is not your native language. If you need a visa allow time, and do not neglect to include anything the embassy requires for a visa - this will allow a smoother process. I know some other students who faced challenges with the visa process. Utilize the resources that your university both here and abroad offer, the advisers can help you out so much. Go with an open mind, make sure to get your school work done because it is a different responsibility level in many places, and have fun!

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 have not spoken to many potential employers yet, I am currently in the process of making contacts and applying, so in a few weeks I may have more information on this, but the ones that I have spoken to show a lot of interest in my international experience, and I often get the comment that it is very good. For my internship last summer, before I even traveled abroad, they were very pleased to know that I would be gaining that experience.

More photos from Kimberly Smith's Study Abroad experience...

Find out more about Study Abroad:

Students interested in studying abroad may contact Jennifer White in the Education Abroad Office in the Keith Building, Room 129, 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 International Business. 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 February 28, 2017