Study Abroad: Rocklyn Endfinger

At an international market at a NATO convention in Turku, Finland

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 Four – Rocklyn Endfinger

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

A – I am currently a senior (Computer Information Systems).  My expected graduation is summer 2015.

Q - Where did you go?

A – Finland. Pori is the city. The program is SAMK. This program is different than a University is that it offers practical experience, not just lectures.

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

A – No.

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

A – Magellan Exchange.

Q - How long did you study abroad? 

A - 4 months.

Question - Why did you decide to study abroad?

A – I decided to study abroad to gain experience interacting with other cultures and to gain a better perspective about international affairs, so that I can build a desirable skill set for careers in global companies.

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

A – My first concern was that the exchange offered classes in English and that the country would be familiar with the English language so that I could get around while in country. My second concern was to look at classes related to my major and in the semester that I needed the exchange completed. Another influential factor was that the international office recommended this program because they said the contact in country was great, and I liked having a location by the sea. The final factor was finding out that Finland is known for having the best education system, so I was excited to be able to experience that; and my decision was influenced by the fact that they had a CISCO lab, because CISCO is known to be the gold standard in networking.

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

A – The three most important things I learned from my experience studying abroad so far is how people from other countries are strongly and proudly identified with their country's history and culture differences, how casual our American culture is but for the most part willing to attempt to be “united” in similarities, and I am learning to communicate more precisely and professionally in the English language, with less “slang” or casual phrases.

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

A - My favorite part of my abroad experience is the ability to travel to learn about other cultures, and in the process because I am no longer embedded in the American culture, to learn more about my own culture. My least favorite part of my abroad experience is to realize some of the stereotypes and hostilities other cultures have about Americans, some partly due to what Snowden is revealing.

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

A – I have gained a better perspective of American culture, because I have been able to see how other cultures have different approaches. My communication in English is becoming more precise, and I am working on making my communication less casual.

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

A – Yes, I would recommend other College of Business and Technology students to study abroad. I believe professionally it will make students more aware and understanding of global trends.

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

A – I contacted the International Office in the Whitlock building, fourth floor.

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

A - For me, I would advise them to have a bank that is cable of doing international wire transfers, to have a phone that is capable to work internationally, and to know that what the purpose of an embassy on foreign land is for. I would also recommend learning the other country's alphabet and some common phrases. I would invest in an up to date travel book also, because relying on the internet is not always the best route to go. For me Wi-fi is like the air that I breathe, I need it to function. But Wi-fi is not as available in other countries, depending on the country one goes to.

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 do not believe that it has helped me network with potential employers. This is partly because one has to be fluent in Finnish to get a job in in Finland, and the Finnish language is a unique language to try to learn. It has helped me in my job search, because I love being involved in projects that have different cultures involved in them. So I will now be narrowing my job search to positions in companies that are global. I believe I am building my resume in a way that will make me stand out above other applicants with this experience. I have also become more aware of some of the international organization that shape policies in the computers and networking field.

More photos from Rocklyn Endfinger'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 Computer Information Systems major. Contact Dr. Oliver Feltus, Chair of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems via phone at 859-622-1087 or by email at oliver.feltus@eku.edu.

Published on October 15, 2014