YSU Students Studying Around the World

By Hannah Werle
YSU Communication and Journalism Major

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University students are learning locally and internationally through study abroad opportunities.

During the 2022-23 school year, individual students and student groups traveled around the globe to learn in a new way.

Grand Moore, a senior hospitality management major, traveled to La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, for the fall 2022 semester. There, he experienced life as a college student in Australia.

“It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I met a lot of good people,” Moore said.

Moore said he had always been interested in studying abroad, so he researched to find a program that would work for him. Moore found La Trobe University through the International Student Exchange Program, an organization that helps students find study abroad opportunities.

In Australia, Moore adjusted to new cultures, environments and academic expectations.

“Classes were harder and longer, but none of them were mandatory. They would be about three hours long and extremely interactive. We were participating in a group discussion,” Moore said. “I also had to adjust to their standards of quality. I wasn’t sure what was acceptable and what wasn’t.”

One of Moore’s goals was to talk to other exchange students and to learn about their cultures as well. He said he was able to make friends and connections as he became familiar with his new environment, which made the experience easier and more enjoyable.

Alexander Smyczynski, a junior electrical engineering major, spent a year abroad in Nagoya, Japan, for language study.

Smyczynski attended Nagoya University of Foreign Studies from August 2022 to July 2023. There, he learned about the Japanese language and traveled the country.

“I would definitely recommend studying abroad to anyone who is thinking about doing it and who’s been considering it for a while,” Smyczynski said. “It was a worthwhile experience. You get to experience life in a different light – to understand different cultures.”

Smyczynski said YSU’s International Programs Office guided him through the process of getting to Japan.

“I was constantly in touch with them. I was sending them paperwork. They were sending me paperwork. They got in touch with Nagoya’s offices. If it weren’t for them, the process would have been a lot more difficult,” Smyczynski said.

Smyczynski said the experience gave him the opportunity to grow, both as a person and a student.

Cassandra Snopik, a senior business administration major, went to Italy in May with her marketing class. The trip was split into two parts, as the class spent four nights each in Florence and Rome.

During her travels, Snopik visited marketing agencies and businesses to learn about international marketing.

“We got to see business aspects that we wouldn’t have been able to see in the U.S., while also experiencing the culture there,” Snopik said.

The experience was made more affordable because of a $1,000 subsidy provided by the Williamson College of Business Administration.

Cassandra Snopik, a senior business administration major at YSU, poses near the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

Snopik and her classmates visited local businesses and internationally present companies. She said the experience gave her a new perspective on business, especially within another cultural context.

Hope Hefright, a senior Graphic + Interactive Design major with a minor in marketing, visited Glasgow, Scotland, for a month to learn from experts in printmaking and Scottish art history.

As a part of a summer printmaking course, Hefright and a small group of students and professors worked at the world renowned Glasgow Print Studio. The group split its time between working at the studio and traveling through Scotland to learn art history and gather inspiration for artwork.

“It was just like being a student here, except you’re kind of in this alternate universe,” Hefright said. “It was some of my favorite things about being a student – getting to make art and getting to learn about things – except in this completely new place where I got to experience new food and new culture.”

Hefright’s trip was a combination of two classes: Special Topics in Art-Printmaking in Scotland and Special Topics in Art History in Scotland. The classes met throughout the summer to prepare for and discuss what they’d be doing while away.

Hefright said the professors were organized, supportive and would regularly communicate with the class to assure the students had what they needed both before and during their time abroad.

“The professors did so much for us during the trip. They were the primary planners. They called the airport if we were going to be late. They worked with our schedules to get classwork done and made adjustments to our travel plans. They worked really hard to make sure we had a good experience,” Hefright said.

The unique learning opportunities provided to each of these students through their study abroad programs introduced them to new people, cultures and experiences. Each student expressed what an amazing experience studying abroad was for them.

Pictured at top: Hope Hefright, second from left, a senior Graphic + Interactive Design major at YSU, and her class pose for a group photo. (YSU)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.