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Nov. 17, 2015
By Tiona McKinney, media relations assistant
Studying abroad and traveling the world offers students extraordinary experiences in different countries while they enhance their social and cultural knowledge on the way to becoming more well-rounded professionals.
Dylan Anstine and Delaney Howell are two Northwest Missouri State University students who are now realizing the added benefits from their study abroad experiences. Both recently completed rigorous application processes for prestigious international scholarships.
“As an American citizen you run through your typical day,” Anstine said. “When you go to another country you experience something that is inherently different, and unexpected.”
Anstine, a senior nanoscience major from Raymore, Mo., spent last summer studying at Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France, as a research intern, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. He was one of eight students selected from hundreds of applicants to participate in the internship.
Anstine worked on two research projects. He studied the characterization of hemichelation transition metal complexes with electron-deficient centers as well as the characterization and analysis of polarized region within a new library of frustrated Lewis pairs.
“The experience was highly beneficial because research work, particularly for science majors, is a key factor in both expanding knowledge while making contributions to a field, and an attractive application item that will most likely lead to graduate school acceptance,” Anstine said.
This fall, Anstine’s experiences helped him apply for a Rhodes International Scholarship, the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship award in the world.
He plans to attend Oxford University, located in Oxford, England, for graduate school. He aspired to launch his own company and streamline a system with nanoscale components to make energy-efficient electronics.
“The biggest thing you could do if you’re even slightly interested (in studying abroad) is get out there and get the information and ask questions,” Anstine said. “You cannot lose anything by asking questions, considering the implications of what it means to do study abroad it makes you incredibly marketable, and the personal development you gain from it as well is hard to describe.”
Howell, a senior agriculture science major from Columbus Junction, Iowa, spent the spring of 2014 in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, at the American University in Bulgaria. She used the International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP) to look for programs that fit her agriculture and broadcasting interests and studied a variety of subjects including journalism, modern European history and introductory language course.
“Initially, I felt behind because students who attended the school with me knew up to three languages,” Howell said. “I also noticed how much more aware of American culture they are compared to how little we know about cultures outside of our own.”
As a result of her experience Howell added a minor in international studies.
“I always thought that I was a well-rounded person until I participated in study abroad,” Howell said. “It was not until I got to Bulgaria that I realized I do not know as much as I thought I did. So I wanted to educate myself to become a better global citizen.”
Howell applied this fall to be a Fulbright Scholar, a scholarship program that sponsors U.S. and foreign participants for exchanges in all academic areas. She also hopes to return to Bulgaria to teach after she completes her degree at Northwest.
“I wish I would have gone for a full year, instead of one semester,” Howell said of her study abroad experience. “It was the best experience, hands down, that I have had so far. It changed my perspective on the world and my goals after graduation.”
Study abroad experiences offered through Northwest provide students with opportunities to participate in academic programs that increase awareness, appreciation and respect for other cultures in the context of their chosen disciplines. Through direct contact with other people, languages and traditions of other cultures, students enhance their understanding of themselves, their academic curriculum, their communities and the world.
“Study abroad gives students the opportunity to learn more about themselves and discovering their true potential,” Jeaneth Puriel-Foot, Northwest’s study abroad coordinator, said. “Just as we see it reflected in Delaney’s and Dylan’s cases, living abroad has made them realize that they can do so much more and as result, they have applied to these very prestigious scholarships.”
For more information about Northwest’s study abroad program, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/international/studyabroad/.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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