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Students Stories

Learning Abroad offers students the chance to share their experiences with the University of Utah community through the * Office for Global Engagement Social Media Scholarship.  Whether you are a prospective student, returned student, or a member of the community, we encourage you to follow our Learning Abroad students as they have the experience of a lifetime!

To learn more about the * Office for Global Engagment Social Media Scholarship, please click here.

Fall 2018 

Tim Austin

Tim Austin


Hi, I'm Tim Austin, a History major studying at the University of Utah. In addition to History, I've been studying Spanish for the past 7 years and love the language. I will be doing an exchange program at the University of the Americas Puebla, in Cholula, Mexico. I'm incredibly excited to learn more about Mexican history and culture, improve my Spanish and take in the local architecture, food, music and environment, all while attending great classes and making new friends.

Julia Friedrichsen

Julia Friedrichsen


Hello! My name is Julia Friedrichsen, and I am originally from Aberdeen, South Dakota. I am a second year student at the University of Utah with Pre-Architectural Studies as my major. I would also like to pursue a minor in French. I am ecstatic to say that I will be spending this fall on the architecture department's trip, "Architecture, Design, and Planning in Tuscany." I can't wait to visit Europe for my first time and experience the ornate buildings as well as the beautiful landscapes of Italy. While abroad, I hope to proliferate my knowledge of European culture and pick up some of the language!



Summer 2018 

Gary Bowers

Gary Bowers


Hi, I’m Gary Bowers, a transfer student to the University of Utah who has returned to the state after five years of active duty U.S. Navy service to finish a degree in Russian. I will be going to Saint Petersburg, Russia, through the CIEE Summer Language program. Upon reaching my goal to become fluent in Russian, I will be open to exploring many possible professions requiring Russian Language knowledge, from military and government positions, to business or teaching opportunities.

Alyssa Hawkins

Alyssa Hawkins


Hi there! My name is Alyssa Hawkins, and I am a senior at the University of Utah. I am majoring in Linguistics and pursuing a minor in German. I'm very excited to say that this Summer I'm going to be studying at Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany! This will be my first time visiting Europe -- or leaving the US, for that matter -- and I cannot wait to immerse myself in a new culture. I'm looking forward to improving my German while participating in a service learning project and staying with a host family. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to explore Germany, try some new cuisine, and see historical landmarks with my own eyes.

Nicole King

Nicole King


Hi! My name is Nicole King, a 2nd year graduate student in the University of Utah Physician Assistant Program. I will be traveling to Bangkok and Mae Sot, Thailand with other PA students to provide free health services and learn about different approaches to medicine. I am passionate about working with underprivileged populations, especially those internationally. Having been to Asia for a medical/surgical mission in the past, I'm excited to go back for health-related work and explore what Thailand has to offer.

Emma Lester

Emma Lester


Hi! My name is Emma and I just finished my freshman year at the University of Utah studying modern dance and kinesiology. I was born and raised in SLC, but love to travel and experience new places. I will be studying in the Greece from Minoan to Modern Times program, where I will explore thirteen different cities throughout Greece. I can't wait to learn about the ancient ruins and temples and better understand their integration into modern cities while learning from the people of Greece, providing me insight on the capabilities and differences of humans worldwide. I am excited to be able to share my travels and what I learn along the way!

Spring 2018

Vivian BentleyVivian Bentley

Taipei, Taiwan

I am a Parks, Recreation, and Tourism major. I will be participating in a National Taiwan University exchange program which is located in Taipei, Taiwan. My dream is to immerse myself in Taiwanese culture, become proficient in the Chinese language, and to continue practicing Kendo while I'm in Taipei.

Matthew DutsonMatthew Dutson

Heredia, Costa RIca

Matthew Dutson is a senior majoring in physics with minors in mathematics and computer science. In his final semester he is traveling to Heredia, Costa Rica to study Spanish and Latin American culture. After graduation he plans to pursue a graduate degree in computer science, with the eventual goal of a career in machine learning and data science.

Nicole FoxNicole Fox


Nicole is a graduate student in the University of Utah's Physician Assistant Program. She will be traveling with a group of 8 students from the PA program to rural Nepal. The group will help to provide health screenings, gather data for public health projects, and participate in a knowledge and skills exchange with local Health Assistants (Nepali medical providers who are similar to PAs). Nicole has spent one and a half years in India on two prior trips, and has always dreamed of going back to the region to do health-related work. She absolutely cannot wait to hike lots of steep mountain passes and eat momos along the way!

Nick HendricksonNick Hendrickson

Innsbruck, Austria

Hi! I'm Nick Hendrickson, a skier from Utah that competed for the the University of Utah Nordic Ski Team and studies Urban Ecology. I am starting my studies in Innsbruck, Austria pursuing International Business and will complete the program in In June. When I'm not studying I spend most of my time traveling, skiing, climbing and look forward to sharing all of it!

Fall 2017

Paul BowlesPaul Bowles

Havana, Cuba

Paul Bowles is a senior at the University of Utah. He is graduating this spring with a BA in International Studies with an emphasis in Foreign Relations and Security. He will be studying in Havana, Cuba this October. Paul is passionate about traveling and immersing himself in new cultures. Depending on how his summer travels go, Cuba could be country #25 for Paul (his goal is to experience 100 countries in his lifetime). He couldn't think of a better way to reach this incredible milestone than with the University of Utah's Cuba fall break program!

Zeke GreerZeke Greer

Akita, Japan

My name is Zeke Greer and I recently finished my sophomore year at the University of Utah. I'm pursuing a degree in business finance with a minor in Japanese. Having spent five years of my childhood living with my family in Japan, I am incredibly excited to finally be going back again. I look forward to the semester I will be spending at Akita International University where I hope to immerse myself in the language and local culture. 

Hannah HansonHannah Hanson

Havana, Cuba

My name is Hannah Hanson and I am a senior seeking a BA in Environmental and Organismal Biology and a minor in Book Arts, this coming fall break I will be learning abroad in Cuba! The program I'm attending is called "Cuba: Community, Complexity, and Change", I will spend a week in Havana analyzing the political, social, economic, and environmental past and future of Cuba. I am excited to document and reflect on my experience in Cuba using social media and blogging. Though my trip is significantly shorter than many of the other learning abroad opportunities I can't wait to immerse myself in my experience abroad.

McKenzie MadsenMcKenzie Madsen

Oslo, Norway

Hello! My name is Mckenzie Madsen and I am a University of Utah Accounting major completing an exchange semester at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway. I love the outdoors, reading good books, eating great food and meeting new people. I have dreamed about studying abroad since I was in middle school and am so excited to finally be doing it in such an incredible country! 

Harry WattersHarry Watters

Puebla, Mexico

Harry is a senior majoring in biology and minoring in Spanish. He is excited to be traveling to Puebla, Mexico to attend the Universidad de las Americas Puebla as part of an exchange program during fall semester of 2017. Harry is looking forward to immersing himself in the language and culture of Mexico as he seeks to improve his Spanish language skills. Along the way he hopes to eat a lot of good food, meet new people, and make great memories.

Summer 2017


Incheon, South Korea

Annette Harris is a graduate student at the University of Utah pursuing a dual Master of Public Policy/Master of Public Health degree. She traveled to Seoul, South Korea to attend the University of Utah Asia campus and complete a course in practical data analysis. Annette is developing a career in health policy with a research interest in health care reform.


Rome, Italy

Taya Wallace is a freshman at the University majoring in history with a minor in anthropology. She is thrilled to be going to Rome, Italy this summer with the Humanities in Motion faculty led program. She looks forward to perusing the amazing museums and architectural wonders such as the Pantheon and the Coliseum. She is excited to learn more about Roman history and the impacts it has had on the formation of new nations, such as the United States. She can't wait to drown herself in a new culture and tons of gelato.


Genova, Italy

My name is Daniel Steiner, and I'm from North Ogden, UT. It's my second semester here at the U, but this summer I'll be in Genova, Italy studying film! I'm planning to apply to the product design program next spring and might even end up doing film as well. I am really interested in telling peoples story through film, and I am excited to meet people from all different backgrounds and tell their stories as best I can.


Tianjin, China

My name is Caitlin Silianoff and I just finished my first year studying Political Science and International Studies. I will be spending my summer in Tianjin, China, studying Chinese in the Intensive Chinese Language program. At home in Utah, I like to ski, hike, and bike, but this summer I look forward to practicing Chinese, immersing myself in culture and history, and diving into the challenges and experiences that come with traveling abroad!


Chelsea Morgan


Kumasi, Ghana & Paris, France

Chelsea is a graduate student at the College of Pharmacy. She will be spending her summer participating in the Global Public Health in Ghana and Paris Program. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Chelsea moved to the state of Utah in 2011 to explore and experience life out west. When she is not studying pharmacy, Chelsea is traversing new hiking trails, dining at local restaurants, or flowing to yoga at her favorite studio. With regard to the learning abroad program she is most excited about immersing herself in a new culture, learning about unique healthcare practices, and having once-in-a-lifetime experiences.


Canberra, Australia

Hannah is a junior majoring in Kinesiology with a minor in Nutrition. She will be traveling throughout Australia with the ISA Sport Research and Practice program through the University of Canberra during the Summer of 2017. She is excited to experience Australian culture by visiting many cities, hiking through the Blue Mountains, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, visiting with Olympic Athletes at the Australian Institute of Sport, and eating lots of new foods.

Alice Ryan


London, England

Alice Ryan is a junior majoring in Musical Theatre. She will be traveling to London, England, this summer with the Theatre, Fine Arts, and Humanities in London Learning Abroad program. Alice is so excited to be studying Shakespeare and contemporary theatre in the heart of Europe. She is excited to return to the U with newfound theatrical knowledge and a greater passion to fuel her studies before she enters the professional theatre world.


London, England

Lilly is a fourth-year (senior) majoring in English and pursuing the University's TESOL certificate. In Summer 2017, Lilly will go to London, England with the Street Scenes: Imagining Cosmopolitan London study abroad program. Lilly plans to teach English abroad and thinks the London program is a wonderful opportunity to experience living in another country. She hopes that while in London she can meet many new people and renew her love for travel and adventure.

Spring 2017

Michelle Graham


Michelle is a junior, double-majoring in psychology and sociology. She will spend her Spring semester studying at the University of Granada in Granada, Spain through a CEA Affiliate program. She is most excited to immerse herself in the Spanish culture and do lots of traveling around Europe. Michelle hopes to come back from her semester abroad with a more worldly perspective that she will be able to apply to the rest of her studies at the U.

Kylie Kingsbury


Kylie Kingsbury is a first year graduate student working to get her MPH. She is taking classes at the University of Utah Campus in Songdo, South Korea. Professionally, Kylie works with refugees in Salt Lake County and is interested in global public health. She is looking forward to eating Korean food, watching Korean films, listening to k-pop and learning more about international health issues.

Anne Platt


Annie is a sophomore painting and drawing major going to Florence, Italy spring semester of 2017 through the CEA Studio Art program. She is ecstatic to engage in a new culture to grow valuable skills like resiliency and cross-cultural competence. She hopes that by going abroad she will by expand her capacity to learn, work with diverse people, and gain skills that will enhance her artistic career.

Vladyslava yaramenko


Vlada is a junior at the University of Utah majoring in International Studies, with an emphasis on Culture and Identity, as well as a Music minor. In the Spring of 2017, she will be traveling to Munich, Germany to study at Ludwig Maximillians University and is very excited to travel abroad to expand her horizons and learn about a new culture. Her passion for cultures comes from her move to the United States from Ukraine six years ago, when she was faced with a culture shock for the first time. Now, Vlada appreciates all the challenges and beauty that comes with adapting to a new culture, and hopes to show other students the process of becoming familiar to a new culture, as she adapts to life and study in Germany.

Fall 2016

Joe Van Alstyne


Joe is a senior majoring in Japanese language and pursuing a certificate in Book Arts. He will live in Akita, Japan during the 2016-2017 academic year as an exchange student at Akita International University. Joe is not only looking forward to participating in AIU's demanding Japanese Language program, but also the many chances he'll have to learn first-hand about traditional Japanese bookmaking, printmaking, and calligraphy through independent research. On the off chance he has any spare time left, he hopes to possibly pick up a few Japanese cooking skills, too.


Bryn is a Russian Major who appreciates the power of language to connect humanity. The next step in her odyssey from obscurity to world domination will be spending her Senior year of study at St. Petersburg State University of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia. Studying through Utah Learning Abroad's affiliate SRAS, and with belly-laughing (and probably some ugly crying) as her creed, she hopes to become fluent in Russian as she navigates the circus of discovery that is living abroad. When not immersed in her studies, she plans to spend her time traipsing around every palace they'll let her into; making a slew of embarrassing mistakes; and smiling more than is socially acceptable in Russia - because she won't be able to help it.


Travis is a senior majoring in International Studies and minoring in Spanish and Chemistry. He is preparing to attend dental school and one day hopes to provide dental services to those in Central America. He has decided to study abroad in the homeland of his great-grandmother in beautiful Havana, Cuba. He is excited to experience what life is like where his ancestors lived and to get in touch with the community through the program "Cuba: Complexity, Community, and Change." He looks forward to growing from his experience and sharing his adventures with those looking to have an adventure of their own.

Madison donnellyMADISON DONNELLY

Madison is a senior studying Sculpture Intermedia. In fall 2016 she will be studying Swedish furniture design in Växjö/Kalmar, Sweden at Linnæus University. Growing up under a carpenter mother laid the groundwork for her fabrication skills and passion for three dimensional art. She is extremely excited to attend a school specializing in design and to hopefully get a chance to travel north to see the northern lights!


Christi is a sophomore planning on majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She will be spending one semester in Seoul, South Korea where she hopes to improve her Korean and become more familiar with her heritage. Christi loves to travel and is excited to see new sights, meet new people, and know what it is like to be a student in another country.

Summer 2016 


Ethan is a junior studying Biology and Art History. He will be journeying to Florence, Italy, to learn about art and photography with the CEA affiliate program. Ethan is also a student athlete, and enjoys spending time in the outdoors in his spare time. He hopes to see the Alps while in Europe, and of course, enjoy as much Italian food as possible.


Abeni is a junior majoring in film and media arts and international studies. During the summer of 2016, Abeni will be participating in the film and media arts study abroad program hosted in Genoa, Italy. Abeni loves experiencing different cultures of the world and hopes to pursue a career that combines her love for traveling as well as filmmaking.


Ali is a soon-to-be sophomore who plans to major in Materials Science and Engineering and minor in English Literature. In an effort to push her out of her math and science comfort zone, she is studying English Literature and Irish History with USAC in Galway, Ireland this summer. She is excited to explore the culture and history of Ireland and meet some cool people in the process. When not studying, she will be running around Galway exploring every castle and hiking trail she can find.


Anna is an International Studies major also working towards a TESOL certificate to be able to teach English abroad someday. Anna is overjoyed to be participating in the International Studies Learning Abroad Program at the Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany this summer! I love traveling and experiencing different cultures, but I'm really excited about the opportunity to explore my German heritage while abroad! When I'm not at school, I spend as much time in the mountains as I can climbing, hiking, camping, and having a good time with my dog.


Conor is a first-year graduate student in the Film and Media Arts department who will be going to Genoa, Italy this summer to make a film and assist in teaching. His passions are traveling and filmmaking, and he is happiest when he can do both at the same time. Having traveled to over 40 countries and made films in many of them, he couldn't be more excited to get the opportunity to flex his cinematic muscles in Italy. An adventure awaits, and he can't wait to share it with you.

Rachel Luebbert


Rachel is a second year student who is double majoring in Spanish and Modern Dance with a minor in Business. She is participating in the Learning Abroad Faculty Led Program to Oviedo, Spain. She is excited for the opportunity to become more fluent in Spanish and become immersed in such a fascinating culture. When not taking classes, Rachel plans to spend her time meeting new people, exploring the city, visiting art museums, and learning flamenco dance.


Taylor is a second year honors student, studying Animation with a Drawing minor and Arts & Technology minor. The opportunity to participate in the language immersion program in Oviedo, Spain will be the first time she's been outside of the United States; she couldn't be more excited!! She's extremely stoked for encountering the beautiful scenery, different culture, and wonderful people of northern Spain. She cannot wait to soak in the food, language, and art of this experience.


Katryna is a sophomore studying in the BFA Actor Training Program. This summer she will be spending six weeks studying theatre in London, England. She has been performing since before she can remember and cannot wait to peruse a life-long career in the arts. Katryna is thrilled to have the opportunity to explore the city of London, and plans to see as much theatre, and eat as much food as possible

Spring 2016

Delaney Dangerfield


Delaney is an Anthropology and International Studies major who enjoys the convergence of culture. She will be spending a semester immersed in the Dutch culture of Amsterdam while studying on an exchange at VU University. In the heart of Europe, the Netherlands will satisfy her travel craving, while the people she encounters will leave her wanting more.

Chelsey Hancock


Chelsey is a fourth-year pharmacy student who will be flying to Thailand this spring to learn more about health care and medicine with the faculty-led Thailand International Elective program. She loves learning about medicine across the globe and spent time in Armenia a few years ago teaching about diabetes. She is also passionate about food, and is THAT person who is going to make you wait before trying your dish in order to get the perfect picture! She is excited to go to Thailand for the mangoes and the monkeys, and can't wait to share her travels and experiences with you!


Erica is a second-year student double-majoring in International Studies and Peace & Conflict Studies. She is also working towards her TESOL certificate so she can one day teach English abroad. She lives for adventure and travel and is looking forward to studying at the American College of Greece on her exchange program. Greece will be her 24th country! When she's not reading Bukowski novels, she's either writing or planning her Next Great Adventure.


Erynn is a junior majoring in Writing & Rhetoric. She will be studying with USAC during the spring semester in Viterbo, Italy. She is excited to continue learning the Italian language and to experience the beauty, culture, and community that Italy has to offer.




Last Updated: 8/21/18