Forum Touts Study-Abroad Benefits
The McGillycuddy-Logue Center for Undergraduate Global Studies wants to give students who study abroad the tools they need to maximize the personal and professional benefits of their overseas academic experience.
Earlier this month, in collaboration with the Career Center and the Office of International Programs, the center hosted “Back at BC: Marketing Your Experience Abroad” in the Heights Room of Corcoran Commons to give returning study-abroad students a chance to hear how others have benefitted from their experiences.
Approximately 1,200 BC students study abroad each year, said Nick Gozik, the director of the center and the Office of International Programs.
“We’ve realized that when we send students abroad we do a lot with them pre-departure and we do a lot with them while they are abroad with our mentors and faculty overseas,” Gozik told the approximately 100 students in attendance. “It’s when they come back where we want to do more to help them adjust to the transition, as well as help them tell their study abroad story, be it in an academic setting or in a discussion with a potential employer.”
Junior Emily Churchill, who spent the fall semester in Ecuador, agreed with Gozik’s observation that many students are startled to find their transition back to campus life includes some culture shock. Having been away from campus since last May, Churchill is adjusting to new classes and off-campus housing while trying to catch up with classmates and friends.
“I went from rural Ecuador to spending a month at home basically just with my family to being on campus with thousands of students,” said Churchill. “It is great to be back. But it was a little overwhelming at first.”
Students also heard from a panel that included two seniors with study-abroad experience, Megan Cain (Spain) and Dara Fang (Italy), Career Center Associate Director Louis Gaglini, PricewaterhouseCoopers recruiter Leslie MacKenzie and Theresa Higgs, vice president of global operations at United Planet.
From an employment perspective, Gaglini said study-abroad experience helps form a well-rounded resume when added to academics, extracurricular activities, service, internships and employment.
“Study abroad fits very nicely into creating a picture of a whole person for an employer,” said Gaglini. “It’s an experience that is very special and it’s important to give it the emphasis it deserves.”
The McGillycuddy-Logue Center for Undergraduate Global Studies, established in 2008 through a gift from BC Board of Trustees Chairwoman Kathleen McGillycuddy NC ’71, and her husband, Ron Logue ’67, MBA ‘74, promotes and fosters innovative international learning opportunities for BC undergraduates.
The benefactors were also in attendance, along with Provost and Dean of Faculties Cutberto Garza.
“Ron and I are delighted to be part of a program that supports students in their education and personal growth,” McGillycuddy said. “We feel students should have the chance to study abroad and experience cultures and people beyond the US. It’s a crucial part of an education that prepares students to be global citizens.”