AUIP Study Abroad Programs
American Universities International Programs (AUIP)
Study Abroad in the South Pacific
AUIP Study Abroad Programs
Study Abroad in the South Pacific
AUIP Study Abroad Programs
 
AUIP Study Abroad Programs

Alumni Profiles

Hopefully, studying abroad has helped you to discover and appreciate another country in a way no tourist ever can. You have come away wide-eyed and with broadened horizons.

AUIP regularly highlights an outstanding alumnus or alumna to be featured on the website and all social media and receive a prize. Just complete the application here at any time and email it to eleanor@auip.com to be considered.

Enjoy reading the following alumni profiles to see what several of our alumni have taken away from studying abroad!


Hannah Rogers

Hometown: Tampa, FL

University: University of Florida

AUIP program(s) completed: North Queensland and Fiji 2009

Where are you currently working/studying/traveling? I am currently studying to get my Masters in Urban & Regional planning with a concentration on Landscape Preservation at the University of Florida. Presently I am based in Paris, France, studying Landscape Architecture and Urban Studies. I am doing an internship with the Historic Preservation department of Gainesville and was a student assistant for the 2011 ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, CA (a leading GIS software company).

What impact did study abroad have on you? My study abroad experience with AUIP solidified every interest that I had to be academically and professionally involved within our environment. It has guided my studies into preservation of unique landscapes, in addition to planning our current and future cities to be as sustainable as possible. I not only established a professional passion but I grew as an individual as well. Studying abroad and the experiences you have in a foreign country not only gives you life long memories but you gain so many new perspectives on life and learn to establish yourself as a person. I not only learned invaluable things, I also learned who I wanted to be. This is one of the most important things that a young person can achieve and studying abroad is one of the best ways that I can think of in facilitating this.

What are your future life and career goals? How do you think study abroad has helped or will help you towards these goals? My future goals are to work both in the States and internationally to preserve our historic and environmentally unique landscapes. I want to be able to assist in planning for our future in ways that have the least environmental impact as possible. Studying abroad in North Queensland and Fiji opened my eyes to new and wonderful landscapes that need to be advocated for. This in turn guided me into my academic profession and studies of landscapes and planning worldwide. I gained experience in a foreign country that has helped in diversifying myself and has lead me to study abroad again in my graduate studies.


Joe Phillips

Hometown: Falling Waters, WV

University: Virginia Tech

AUIP program(s) completed: North Queensland 2006

Where are you currently working/studying/traveling? I am temporarily positioned in Panama acting as the Americas Regional Human Resource Manager for ChildFund International. My regular position is Global Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) Specialist, and I have also been stationed in The Gambia to act as the Africa Regional Human Resource Manager. I collaborate with my International colleagues on a daily basis to get input on how to best manage global Human Resource initiatives and tailor them to local culture. I also provide on-the-ground training in the developing countries in which the organization works.

What impact did study abroad have on you? Studying abroad with AUIP showed me how traveling could, and should be. I saw how having a basic understanding of one’s surroundings as well as having a hunger to learn more could really enhance and give  more depth to a new experience.  Since traveling abroad, I have focused my efforts on continuing my international experiences. I am grateful for the opportunities that have taken me to over 30 new countries on 6 continents since traveling with AUIP.  AUIP taught me to immerse myself in the local culture, which allows me to build bonds no typical tourist or business traveler could.

I have an environmental awareness and appreciation that I did not previously possess. Whether at home, traveling domestically, or exploring internationally, I think about how my decisions impact the environment, and act more responsibly. I have a much different view of “pests.” Recently while traveling in West Africa, I opened my toothpaste to find cockroaches. Instead of being angry or grossed out, I was truly impressed with the tenacity of the species and its ability to adapt. 

What are your future life and career goals? How do you think study abroad has helped or will help you towards these goals? The study abroad program I experienced with AUIP helped confirm my desire to be a global citizen. My life goals are to continue to learn and to forever be a student of international culture, to share my experiences with others, and to encourage everyone to expand their boundaries. I do not have a desired occupation or location in 5 years, but I hope to truly appreciate the wonders of my natural & cultural environment, to be acting as a positive steward for my home country, to be living environmentally consciously, and celebrating the overwhelmingly large percentage of aspects that unite the World as a global culture.


Noah K. Strycker

Hometown: Creswell, OR

University: Oregon State University

AUIP program(s) completed: Australia and Fiji 2007

Where are you currently working/studying/traveling? I am living an adventurous life of birds. I serve as Associate Editor for the American Birding Association’s Birding magazine, authored the new positively reviewed book Among Penguins: A Bird Man in Antarctica (Oregon State University Press, 2011), formerly wrote a column for WildBird magazine, and am a frequent contributor to other bird-related publications. My photographs and articles have appeared in National Wildlife, Birder’s World, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Living Bird, Birds and Blooms, and Popular Birding, as well as several books and other print media. See my website (noahstrycker.com) for more details, and check out my Washington Post interview about work with Adélie Penguins in Antarctica: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/12/AR2008121200951.html.

On Sept. 18, 2011, I completed hiking (and birding) the 2,665-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada during one of the most brutal snowpack seasons on record, finishing the trail in 123 days and averaging more than 21 miles per day. My epic hike was featured in newspapers and television (watch the KVAL-TV news clip: http://www.kval.com/outdoors/active/130313038.html). My upcoming projects are to work on a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service funded migratory bird banding project on Metinic Island off the coast of Maine (September - October 2011) and to monitor Wedge-billed Woodcreepers and mixed bird species at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Amazonian Ecuador (January - March 2012). I most recently spent field seasons conducting bird research in Costa Rica, Antarctica, the Australian Outback, and the Farallon Islands. I have also studied birds in Ecuador, Panama, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon; helped Taiwan design an ecotourism program; and searched for Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in Florida, in between birding trips. My “life list” is approaching 2,000 birds observed on six continents – one-fifth of the entire world’s species.

I graduated magna cum laude from Oregon State University in 2008 with a degree in Fisheries & Wildlife Science, minoring in Art, on full academic scholarship with additional national Udall and Goldwater Scholarships. I was named the American Birding Association’s “Young Birder of the Year” in 2004.

What impact did study abroad have on you? The AUIP study abroad program to Australia and Fiji, as well as a study abroad program I completed the previous year in Ecuador, impacted me in every way. Academically, I learned far more, and in a far more meaningful way, than in a classroom. I was in the places I was studying about, seeing the people and, important for me, birdlife and habitats, for myself. As a study abroad student engaged in purposeful travel, rather than a tourist, I was able to stay in places long enough to become a part of them, to understand their environments, cultures, and rhythms. Personally, study abroad opened up for me a whole world of possibilities! I learned to be comfortable traveling to faraway places and among strangers. I came to feel deeply that our planet is a very small place, with each place and each person connected to all the others. I could readily see that human societies are struggling everywhere with the problem of sustaining themselves while conserving the natural environment. Professionally, study abroad galvanized my career plan to live large in the pursuit of birds while experiencing some of the world's most interesting places. My study abroad experiences were among the best times of my life.

What are your future life and career goals? How do you think study abroad has helped or will help you toward these goals? Birds and birding are my passion. I plan to continue my career as a bird-related field researcher, author, and photographer. I see a role for myself in understanding and conveying to the general public the knowledge and excitement being generated in worldwide avian research, field ornithology, bird preservation and conservation efforts, and habitat/resource management. This is an unusual and challenging scientific career path. Study abroad provided me with well-designed opportunities to go out there, and to see and learn about different places. Study-abroad programs helped me envision a lifetime of going out there, seeing, and learning.

AUIP Study Abroad Programs

Brandon Trelstad

AUIP Study Abroad Programs

Brandon Trelstad

Antarctica

Email: trelstab@onid.orst.edu

In December 2009, rather than spending the holiday break with family and friends, or sticking around to see a rare snow event in the Willamette Valley, 15 Oregon State University students experienced a little snowfall in the extremes of Antarctica. The two-and-a-half week trip was preceded by a full term of online lectures in which students learned about early Antarctic exploration, policy, flora and fauna, glaciology and geology, and many other aspects.

After two days in Ushuaia, Argentina, the group sailed for the Antarctic aboard the M/V Lyubov Orlova, an ice-strengthened Russian vessel. Most students seemed to have a great time aboard the comfortable ship, according to Trelstad. "The Orlova seemed to be a perfect fit for this program, with enough room in the staterooms and common spaces, but not so many other passengers on board to make activities cumbersome." Crossing the Drake Passage, known to harbor the roughest seas in the world, went smoothly on the way to Antarctica. While near the continent and surrounding islands, the Quark staff ran landings via Zodiac boat for all passengers. Landings consisted of wildlife viewing, typically penguins and seal species and were the highlight for passengers and students alike. "The landings were great because they were so varied, and offered such a different experience each time. Some landings were packed with penguins, some had lichen and moss 'forests', while others offered great views and even hikes up to viewpoints." Whales were also seen, mostly from aboard the ship.

AUIP Study Abroad Programs

Jillian Loti

Australia

Email: jll89@ufl.edu

I have always been somewhat knowledgeable on environmental protection and sustainability, but learning in a classroom and experiencing in the field give you an entirely different point of view. This study abroad experience has changed me in a way where I feel not only do I need to take care of my own carbon footprint but look out for others when I can. I am now more aware of others around me, and take the extra effort to "pick up after" others to help the cause. 

The main way this program has changed me is through knowledge. I now possess much more knowledge about not only a different country and culture, but also the entire world, which we all share. This knowledge has helped me to live my life more "green" and also spread awareness with friends and family. Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef was an experience that many people will never get to have. Thanks to my time spent there, I now feel I have an obligation in protecting it so other people can share that same experience. I now have more of an interest in construction that takes place in or around the area of the reef, and question the legalities behind it. 

I am so fortunate to have had this experience to learn in such a beautiful place with so many brilliant faculty.  Studying abroad in Australia was an amazing experience that I would encourage to anyone who is open-minded and open to adventure. "
AUIP Study Abroad Programs

Abinnett Ainalem

Australia

"This adventure has been very eventful and improved my ability to adapt to novel and challenging environments. On the whole, I believe I have grown greatly and better realized my own strength. My trip started out in North Queensland, Australia with Dr. Haynes of SUNY-Brockport (State Universities of New York). There I toured the varying climates of coast and inlands. The focus of the course with Dr. Haynes was sustainability, and I learned about efforts to preserve the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and environments within Australia. In addition, I was able to reflect on Rural Indigenous Health within Australia. Along with background papers, I was able to interview indigenous persons and healthcare personnel that worked with Aboriginal and Torres Islander populations. 

In Sydney, I worked with Northcott, a community centre in a housing development. In the afternoons, I had epidemiology class with Dr. Williams where I worked on our research project on migraine prevalence and Body Mass Index among reproductive aged women. At Northcott, I was working with pensioners and disabled populations. Through my interactions with the community members I was able to learn about safety within the housing complex. In the process, I discovered many of the tenants' life stories and even how to make a wire butterfly in art class. Working with this population was so rewarding because the people were very welcoming and active in their community. "
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