Study Abroad: Sarah Franklin

Akita International University

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 Twenty-one – Sarah Franklin

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

A - Dual Degree Major- Management, International Business; Minor, Asian Studies. Expected Graduation, May 2018.

Q - Where did you go? 

A - Akita International University, Akita, Japan

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

A - Yes, I took Japanese language, Japanese business culture, etc.

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

A - KEI-Knowledge Exchange Institute

Q - How long did you study abroad?  

A - 2 semesters-about 9 months

Q - Why did you decide to study abroad?

A - I wanted to live and study in a different environment, experiencing first-hand cultural variances, while testing my adaptability in managing cultural navigation. 

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

A - I was able to study the Japanese Language and take business classes that would transfer back to EKU. Also, the language to which the classes were taught was English.

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

A - (1) When learning a new language, do not be afraid of making mistakes, it is all a part of trial and error. (2) When living in a new cultural environment, one can not just be knowledgeable and show awareness of the culture, but one must adapt their behavior to respect the cultural differences and people. (30 Have fun. Travel to other places if the chance is there. Join a club or sports team. The study abroad life is all about experiences and meeting new people, so go out there wanting to experience everything you can. (but don't forget about school work)  

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

A - Favorite- I was able to travel not only within Japan, but to three other countries (Taiwan, Malaysia, and the Philippines) and truly immerse myself into and experience a culture. Difficulty- Homesickness and the ability to communicate (my Japanese got better but it was still limited) 

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

A - Studying abroad has provided me the chance to be educated in a variety of learning environments and business areas. It increases my qualifications and competitive advantage over others vying for the same job. Obtaining the skill to navigate different cultures will support my future business endeavors because the world is becoming more globalized. The benefits in the end will be that I have developed a global mind and the eagerness to cultivate into a global leader. These lived experiences will provide me with: deeper awareness, understanding, appreciation, and acceptance for divergent worldviews. I will have the chance to develop skills, facing new challenges and problem solving. My horizons will broaden with fresh perspectives and ideas that will influence my own way of life and beliefs.

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

A - Yes, it is an amazing experience. I have made so many lifelong friends.

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

A - ​Jennifer White or Katie Samuels from the study abroad office

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

A - Be ready for culture shock and homesickness. Study the culture before you go to get acquainted with the differences to help you better adapt.

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 - My study abroad experience inspired me to find an internship in Japan, which is what I did. I was accepted to an internship in the human resources department with Hitachi Automotive Systems (HIAMS). I will begin and end my internship in Berea, Ky. However, for a month, I gained acceptance to work in Tokyo at the HIAMS Otemachi Division. I recently finished my duties in Japan, and it was amazing to be able to experience Japanese Business Culture, which I have decided to write my honors thesis on.

More photos from Sarah Franklin'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

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

Published on March 28, 2017