The Lure of Study Abroad

Photo courtesy of Troy Blackwell Photo courtesy of Troy Blackwell
Esraa Elzin by Carol Commissiong Esraa Elzin by Carol Commissiong
Photo courtesy of Troy Blackwell

Photo courtesy of Troy Blackwell

As the next group heads overseas, CCNY students share their insights  by Carol Commissiong

It’s summer and the next crop of CCNY students is getting ready to travel to Morocco, Spain, Italy, Costa Rica, South Africa, South Korea and other countries around the world. By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to experience a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land while learning a subject and building their careers. CCNY students Esraa Elzin and Troy Blackwell recently studied in Africa, capitalizing on what the CCNY Study Abroad Program [link] has to offer. Here, they share their insights.

Blackwell, a junior MCA major, last year studied abroad in France and Spain, and spent four weeks in Senegal conducting service work over the winter semester. He worked under the leadership of Gaia Education, a sustainable development educational program under UNESCO. “I love traveling and discovering new adventures,” says Blackwell, who is minoring in Spanish and public policy.

While in Senegal, Blackwell traveled to four different villages and stayed with host families. With the help of a translator, he worked on sustainable implementation including building a high school, water filtration and teaching English to French and Pulaar speaking children.

After the program, Blackwell spent some time sightseeing in Morocco. “I have traveled many places but this trip in particular was life changing for me,” he says, smiling.

Many doors have opened-up for Blackwell as a result of what he’s learned overseas. He has been given The Art Stevens-PRSA Award and a Colin Powell Fellowship. “I recently applied for the White House Internship Program which provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills,” he adds.

Esraa Elzin by Carol Commissiong

Esraa Elzin by Carol Commissiong

Elzin, another MCA student, spent the winter semester abroad studying at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She studied anthropology with specialization in humans and animals. Elzin, a tall, slender senior, stressed the importance of building a resume using CCNY Study Abroad Program. “You can start on your career and not focus as much on your debt because financial aid covers the program’s tuition,” she says. National and local scholarships are also provided for those who qualify.

Elzin prides herself on all she learned about human and animal anthropology, with photos of South Africa to prove it. She advises other students to “learn how to market the unique college experience you did receive.”

For more information on study abroad, click here.






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