Meet our Fall 2017 Study Abroad Bloggers!

We're excited to announce our Study Abroad Bloggers for the fall 2017 semester! These unique individuals were selected from a competitive pool of writers to tell the story of their destination and represent the voice of University of Iowa students while abroad. Throughout the semester, these students will share their experiences through writing and photography to be published weekly here on International Accents. 

Interested in becoming a Study Abroad Blogger yourself? Visit http://international.uiowa.edu/study-abroad/living-abroad/blogging for more information.

Melanie Kessler

Melanie Kessler

Melanie Kessler is a speech and hearing science major at the University of Iowa. A native of Bettendorf, IA, she will be spending her semester at the University of Newcastle on the Iowa Regents Semester in Australia program

 

When did you know you wanted to go abroad? 

I knew I wanted to study abroad my Junior year of high school. I love traveling and I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to be able to go to school while being able to explore in my free time. 

 

How did you pick your program?

It’s kind of funny because I really didn’t have a choice about where I could go because of my major, which is speech & hearing science. But it couldn’t have worked out more perfectly because the only program that they had available for my major was EXACTLY the country where I wanted to study abroad! 

 

What are you most excited about?

I think I’m most excited about gaining a new perspective on the world and seeing myself grow in ways I wouldn’t be able to experience here. I’m also really excited to explore a new place and meet people who are from different parts of the world. 

 

Bailie Uppena

Bailie Uppena

Bailie Uppena is a marketing and accounting major at the University of Iowa, who will be spending the semester at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration as part of the Vienna Exchange program

 

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?

My older sister studied abroad her junior year in 2014 and had so many great things to say about her experience abroad. Ever since she came back with all of her photos and stories, I knew it was something that I wanted to experience for myself if I ever had the opportunity. Three years later and I couldn't be more excited for my own semester abroad!

 

How did you pick your program?

 I knew that I wanted to go somewhere in Europe because I really want to see as much as possible while I'm abroad and with European countries being so close together, it makes travel fairly easy and inexpensive. Once I had it narrowed down by continent, I decided that I wanted my program to be a reciprocal exchange program so that I would be able to pay the same tuition and fees that I would be paying at UI. While considering my remaining options, I googled each of the cities and looked into the various courses offered to incoming exchange students and decided that the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration best suited what I was looking for. 

 

What are you most excited about?

I'll be going into my semester abroad knowing absolutely no one, so one of the things I'm most excited for is all the new people I'll meet. I've also never been to Europe so I'm very excited to explore not only all that Vienna has to offer, but also hopefully most of what Europe as a continent has to offer as well. 

 

Tia Dacquisto

Tia Dacquisto

Tia Dacquisto is an international relations major at the University of Iowa.  She will be spending the academic year in northern Greece at the American College of Thessaloniki

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?

I knew I wanted to go abroad when I declared my International Relations major. I felt in order to take full advantage of my time at Iowa while incorporating my studies; study abroad was a great opportunity that I could not pass up.

 

How did you pick your program?

I give credit to my study abroad advisor Amy Bowes. She was able to sit down with me and we discussed different programs that offered similar courses to the ones at Iowa. I wanted to make sure that all of the courses I chose came back as credit so I can graduate on time. 

 

What are you most excited about?

I am most excited about sharing my journey with family and friends. I am a very shy person who does not put myself out there. I hope through this blog they are able to see my growth and hopefully, I can help someone just like me to move out of their comfort zone. 

 

Tyler Jenness

Tyler Jenness

Tyler Jenness is a pre-med student at the University of Iowa. A Spirit Lake, IA native, he will be spending his semester in Palma de Mallorca on the CIEE Palma Liberal Arts program.

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?

The first time I knew I definitely wanted to go abroad was in high school. I became very close with a few foreign exchange students and was immediately interested in learning different cultures and ways of life around the world.

 

How did you pick your program?

I picked my program when my study abroad advisor was describing my program options throughout Spain. She had recently returned from a trip to Mallorca, and was passionately describing how beautiful life was on the island; I was hooked.

 

What are you most excited about?

The opportunity to stay with people who live in the place you are visiting is one most people do not get. Therefore, I am most excited about learning the Mallorcan life from true Mallorcans!

 

Emily Van Kirk

Emily Van Kirk

Emily Van Kirk is a Des Moines, IA native and Chinese and international relations major at the University of Iowa. Winner of a 2017 Boren Fellowship award, she will be spending the academic year in Beijing, China on the CIEE Beijing Intensive Chinese Language program

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?

As an aspiring language major, it was important to me that I chose a university with opportunities to study abroad. After declaring my Chinese major, I began searching for programs to spend time studying abroad. I completed an eight-week intensive language program in China during the summer of 2016 and afterward decided that my language skills would benefit from completing an academic year abroad.

 

How did you pick your program?

After speaking with other Chinese language students and researching available programs, I decided that the CIEE Intensive Chinese Language Program at Peking University would best equip me to achieve my language proficiency goals.

 

What are you most excited about?

Beijing is a massive metropolis and Peking University is a well-known school in China. I am looking forward to experiencing the city's subcultures and learning more about the PKU campus.

 

Jacob Levy

Jacob Levy

Jacob Levy is a Spanish major at the University of Iowa. Jacob will be spending his semester in Chile on the CIEE Valparaíso Liberal Arts program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroad? 

I've known that I wanted to spend a semester abroad since high school.

 

How did you pick your program?

I had a hard time choosing, as most study abroaders do, among the mind blowing amount of great programs offered. I chose Chile because of the unique language, the history, and the idea that Chile has both the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean at its fingertips. 

 

What are you most excited about?

I am most excited to live by the ocean, for sure. 

 

Katherine Agey

Katherine Agey

Katherine Agey is an enterprise leadership major at the University of Iowa. A Des Moines, IA native, she will be spending her semester in Italy on the USAC Reggio Emilia program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroad? 

I knew I wanted to study abroad when I was in high school. I had the opportunity to go to Europe through a program called EF Tours, which one of my teachers organized. After that experience, I fell in love with traveling and knew I had to go abroad when I was in college.

 

How did you pick your program?

I picked my program for three reasons. The first one was based on the fact that I have cousins that live two hours away from my location. My second reason is the Reggio Emilia program offers an array of classes that I was interested in taking. The last reason is the Reggio Emilia program is one of the more affordable options, so that was definitely attractive.

 

What are you most excited about?

I am most excited about connecting with family, learning to speak Italian, and having the chance to explore a new part of this amazing world. 

 

Emily Kagan

Emily Kagan

Emily Kagan is a biomedical engineering major at the University of Iowa. She will be spending the semester in Callaghan on the Iowa Regents Semester in Australia at the University of Newcastle. 

 

When did you know you wanted to go abroad?
I wanted to go abroad even before I committed to a college. It was actually a deciding factor of what school I went to. 

How did you pick your program?
I'm a biomedical engineering student so it was important that all of the classes aligned with my schedule and I could graduate on time. I needed a program that offered specific engineering classes, so Australia it was!

What are you most excited about?
TRAVELING!! I love hiking and exploring. 

 

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