Earlier this year, Whitney Breech (Hometown: Lucasville: OH), took advantage of the study abroad program at Shawnee State University offered through the university’s Center for International Programs & Study Abroad (CIPSA). A double major in Middle Childhood Education math and science, and Adolescent-to-Young Adult (AYA) for integrated science, Breech traveled to Germany and spent a semester taking classes at the Ludwigsburg University of Education.
Breech’s love for travel started in high school when her school provided an opportunity for students to travel to Europe for two weeks. After returning home, she knew that she wanted to explore more.
“I firmly believe it changed my life and opened my eyes to a love for travel,” Breech stated. “When I came home, I knew I wanted to travel more and when I discovered that SSU had a study abroad program I thought on it for a while and decided it was something that I wanted to do both for the travel opportunity, but to also learn more about a different culture and myself.”
While taking part in her classes in Germany, Breech found ways to relate the environment around her to what could potentially be instances that arise in her own classroom one day.
“I was able to take in information about international students and what to do in cases of language barriers,” she said. “I met many students who were both not native German speakers or native English speakers. I think this gave me a lot of ideas and experiences to draw on if I were to have any students in my future classroom who could potentially struggle due to similar circumstances.”
Overcoming her own language barrier when partaking in her day-to-day activities gave her an opportunity to expand her understanding and problem-solving skills.
“Grocery shopping and things that require a knowledge of reading can be difficult when you do not know any German,” she said. “I found I learned a ton of vocabulary relating to foods because of having to buy things from the store.”
Breech’s advice for students who are considering studying abroad is to think about and take into consideration all the factors in their decision.
“My biggest advice would be to travel as much as you can, see as much as you can, and try to enjoy every moment you have,” she says. “Talk to as many people as possible and ask lots of questions. It is not every day you get this opportunity – make the most of it.”
To learn more about study abroad opportunities through Shawnee State University’s Center for International Programs & Study Abroad, visit www.shawnee.edu/cipsa.