Study Abroad: Rachel Droege

Rachel Droege in Spain

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 Eight – Rachel Droege

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

A – My major is marketing with a minor in public relations. I am a current junior and expect to graduate in May of 2017.

Q - Where did you go?

A – I studied in Segovia, Spain. However, during my trip I also got to go to Madrid, Barcelona, and Tangier, Morocco.

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

A - Yes, three credit hours.

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

A – I went through the KIIS program.

Q - How long did you study abroad? 

A - I chose a two-week program.

Q - Why did you decide to study abroad?

A – I’ve always wanted to study abroad, so when a best friend of mine   asked me to go to Spain with her, I jumped at the opportunity.

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

A – The program offered for Segovia, Spain fulfilled a program requirement I needed. In addition, the short two-week length worked well for my summer schedule.

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

A – The things I learned while abroad were numerous. Firstly, I gained a new perspective. Traveling abroad has a way of combating egocentrism, and gave me a global perspective to bring home with me. I now don’t think simply of my home country but find myself feeling more concern for the world as a whole. 

Secondly, my trip abroad taught me to trust others. Being a foreigner can make you feel helpless at times, and can even make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of the locals. Whether it is getting directions to the nearest coffee shop or trusting a taxi driver to take you to the airport, I learned to put faith in complete strangers.

Lastly, I learned that people are people no matter where you go. It’s easy to somewhat dehumanize groups of people that you’re unfamiliar with. It’s easy to be scared of people abroad because you know that they live much differently than you or speak a different language. However, even though lifestyles may vary, people are essentially the same worldwide, and a smile is universal.

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

A - My favorite part about my trip abroad was the adventure. I loved traveling to new places and getting to explore cities and experience new cultures. My least favorite part about the trip was not being able to speak the language. My program was labeled as “no Spanish needed” because all classes were taught in English. However, my host family only spoke Spanish, so it was very difficult to communicate like I wanted to. Thankfully, my friend and roommate was able to translate some, but we still struggled.

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

A – As previously explained, I gained a more global perspective. Not only does this make me a better person, but this will be important to me  in my career to be able to make business decisions that can have an international effect.

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

A – Yes, I would absolutely recommend every CBT student to study abroad, regardless of his or her major. I promise they will learn so much that will help them in their career.

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

A – Students interested in studying abroad can contact Jennifer White at the Study Abroad Office.

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

A - Just do it! It’s an invaluable experience you’ll never forget.

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 yet begun my job search. However, I do know that my experience has taught me many invaluable things that will be applicable to any workplace.

More photos from Rachel Droege'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 the Marketing 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 August 24, 2015