Office of International Programs and Services

Contact - Study Abroad

Meet the Study Abroad Office:

Jim Gieser - Study Abroad Advisor

 

Jim Gieser - Study Abroad Advisor

jdgieser@wcu.edu | +1.828.227.2569

Hometown: Wheaton, IL

Countries Visited: 44 and counting. I have worked and lived abroad for four years in Germany and South Africa and spent summers in Ethiopia, The Netherlands, Australia, and Thailand.

Favorite Foods Abroad: Momos in Nepal; Pierogis in Poland; Pad Thai in Bangkok; Saag paneer and daal in India; Snoek bobotie in South Africa; any bakery item in Europe. I try everything and I usually love it!

Why I Think You Should Study Abroad: Studying abroad while still in college is the opportunity of a lifetime to gain firsthand experience of other cultures and societies, to make friends from around the world, and to study familiar disciplines from other perspectives.

M Blizzard

 

Meghan Blizzard - Graduate Assistant Advisor

studyabroad@wcu.edu |

Hometown: Morehead City, NC

Undergrad Institution: Western Carolina University 

Undergrad Degree: B.S. Political Science, B.A. International Studies

Countries Visited: Mexico, Canada, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, and Italy 

Favorite Foods Abroad: Doner Kebabs, Saag Paneer, and Panang Curry

Why I Think You Should Study Abroad: Studying abroad gives students a sense of cultural awareness and broadens their view on the world. 

Anything else? I am passionate about education, language, and travel. 


Talk to Western Students who have Studied Abroad:

Ali K Study Abroad Ambassador

 

Ali Kabrich - Study Abroad Ambassador

Hometown: Clayton, NC 

Major: Graphic Design

Countries Visited: Italy

Favorite Foods from Abroad: Margherita Pizza, Spaghetti, Banana Gelato, and Prosecco 

Why Do You Think Students Should Study Abroad?: Students should study abroad to be pushed out of their comfort zone and to grow as a person.

Anything Else We Should Know About You?: As a member of the Honors College and Phi Mu, studying abroad is just one more incredible experience to add to my resume to set me apart from others!

Ali R Study Abroad Ambassador

 

Ali Russell - Study Abroad Ambassador

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Majors: International Studies/Philosophy; double minor in Leadership and Film Studies

Countries Visited: France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, China, Canada

Favorite Foods from Abroad:  Warm, fresh baguettes; gnocchi; Carte Noir coffee; Chinese yogurt.

Why Do You Think Students Should Study Abroad?: I believe students should study abroad because it opens so many doors—to different cultures, languages, people, and even to aspects of yourself—that help you learn who you are and what you'll do in a new environment, that ultimately helps you become a better version of yourself.

Anything Else We Should Know About You?: I love coffee and philosophy!

Andrew B Study Abroad Ambassador

 

Andrew Berenfeld - Study Abroad Ambassador

Hometown: Charlotte, NC  

Major: English Education  

Countries Visited: England, Scotland, France

Favorite Food From Abroad: The full English breakfast

Why Do You Think Students Should Study Abroad?: Never again will you be as young as you are, set to study and explore a foreign country all on your own.

Anything Else We Should Know About You?: Ducks are hands-down the best animal, and I dare you to prove me wrong.

Deanna H Study Abroad Ambassador

 

Deanna Hellinger - Study Abroad Ambassador

Hometown: Hickory, NC

Major: Environmental Science

Countries Visited: New Zealand

Favorite Food from Abroad: Fish & chips

Why Do You Think Students Should Study Abroad?: Studying abroad offers a life changing experience that you cannot get anywhere else, you’ll come back a completely different person.

Anything Else We Should Know About You?: I’ve only been out of the country once, and that’s all it took for me to catch the travel bug. 

Jansen H Study Abroad Ambassador

 

Jansen Haneline - Study Abroad Ambassador

Hometown: Burlington, NC

Majors: Anthropology & International Studies

Countries Visited: England, Norway, Sweden, and Finland

Favorite Foods from Abroad: Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Rolls), Reindeer in any form, and Lingonberry Juice

Why Do You Think Students Should Study Abroad?:  Studying abroad allows you to not only see and understand more of the world but it allows you discover more about yourself.

Anything Else We Should Know About You?: I am a coffee addicted, heavy metal loving, Nordic enthusiast.

Katie R Study Abroad Ambassador

 

Katie Riley - Study Abroad Ambassador

Hometown: Durham, NC

Majors: Criminal Justice, Spanish, Philosophy

Countries Visited: Brazil, Canada, Spain, Belgium, Portugal

Favorite Foods from Abroad: Spain's paella and Portugal's seafood in general. I had the best oysters of my life there. 

Why Do You Think Students Should Study Abroad?: Exploring other countries pulls you out of your comfort zone in a surreal and lasting way, teaching you things about yourself that you could never learn in your home country.

Anything Else We Should Know About You?: Although I may not be your typical traveler (I am hesitant about change and intensely cautious), I still push myself to get out there and live in different spaces because whenever I do, I feel like my home has expanded.

Kenyetta M Study Abroad Ambassador

 

Kenyetta McGowens - Study Abroad Ambassador

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

Majors: International Studies and Communications with a concentration in Public Relations

Countries Visited: I studied in Bulgaria and traveled to UK, Greece, Amsterdam, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Belgium.

Favorite Foods from Abroad: Milka brand Milk Chocolate and croissants! Also, the Gyro from Greece was one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth.

Why Do You Think Students Should Study Abroad?: You learn so much about yourself as well as the world and other cultures.

Megan S Study Abroad Ambassador

 

Megan Shaw - Study Abroad Ambassador

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Majors: Interdisciplinary Studies in Arts and Sciences

Countries Visited: Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland, Iceland, the Netherlands, France, Germany

Favorite Foods from Abroad: Guinness Pie, Blood Pudding, Bakewell Tarts, Skiev, Pommes Frites, Weitwurst and Pretzels with mustard Why should students studying abroad? Because studying abroad will teach you things about yourself that you can't learn by staying in the same place and you will be

Why Do You Think Students Should Study Abroad?: Because studying abroad will teach you things about yourself that you can't learn by staying in the same place and you will be a better person because of it.

Anything Else We Should Know About You?: Studying abroad was my first time on a plane, my first time out of the US, and my first time being away from friends and family for more than one month, and I did not have the best experience 100% of the time, but I did it anyway and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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