Riana Quinn and Melanie Tummino
Bridgewater State University’s (BSU) Office of Study Abroad offers over 75 study abroad programs in more than 35 countries all over the world. Many BSU students take advantage of this program.
Last spring, sophomore Kara Paulauskas went on a study abroad tour to Ireland. The trip was designed as a twelve day creative writing and poetry class in a foreign country.
As a result of the trip, she has shared many memories with several students and has kept in touch with them since, including her current roommate.
Paulauskas claims her experience taught her “cultural awareness.”
Her roommate, Stephanie Maher, was also a student on the Ireland tour this past spring. Maher said the Ireland tour made her “more knowledgeable in public transportation” and made doing things out of her comfort zone significantly easier.
Faculty leaders, Professor John Mulrooney and Dr. Julia Stakhnevich, have conducted the Ireland study tour for several years now.
“I have conducted multiple study abroad tours, educational trips and courses with students before,” stated Stakhnevich. “I’ve always been interested in going to places with a lot of history and different languages, learning how they co-exist. Ireland is a prime example considering it’s a country constantly working on preserving its original language.”
Similarly, Mulrooney explains, “the trip is made by the people,” and no two trips are alike.
Stakhnevich mentions that the trip itself is very flexible, for they always have to put into consideration the weather and political situations taking place.
“It’s important to take advantage of the events happening right then and there,” said Stakhnevich.
Both of them agree that to study abroad is a life changing experience that can be used as an inspiration and improve one’s resume.
Mulrooney is so passionate about study abroad and explains, “no one should be able to attain their degree without having studied abroad.”
Mulrooney and Stakhnevich concluded the interview by stressing that anyone considering study abroad should do it, and not be shy about reaching out to faculty and past study abroad students.
The two professors will be leading another study tour to Ireland this coming May, and encourage students from all majors to apply, and/or contact them with any questions regarding the itinerary or requirements listed on the study abroad website.
The Office of Study Abroad (Maxwell 330) can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (508) 531-6183.
Riana Quinn and Melanie Tummino are Comment Contributors.