The Beauty of Studying Abroad
Story by Jessie Roller
A recent exhibit at the Drury University art gallery on Commercial Street celebrated Drury’s study abroad programs and the beauty students found in their experiences.
“Study Abroad: The Student View” featured photos that gave an inside look at the different study abroad experiences of more than a dozen Drury students. Students who study abroad say they learn about other people and cultures, but also frequently say they learn about themselves, too. About 40 percent of all Drury undergraduates study abroad during their college career.
Kashif Masoud, an architecture major, was heavily influenced by the rich history of the places he traveled to during his study abroad experience. Being able to experience the history that he had read about in the cities where it had occurred gave him a stronger sense of what it would have been like to live through.
“In some cases it was an eye opening experience to learn about the skill and workmanship of those times and in other cases it was a realization of how humans have developed and advanced their way of life,” he says.
Kashif’s three photos tell the stories of the places he traveled, really capturing the essence and history of these places, as well as observing their architectural importance and beauty.
“They shed light on the value of a study abroad trip that opens one’s minds to great works of architecture that have influenced the world,” he said.
Trevor Cobb, a Spanish major, traveled to Ecuador last summer to experience Latin and South American culture first hand, rather than just learning about the culture from books, in a classroom. Living within a different culture had him constantly learning and adapting to new ways of life.
“Nothing ever felt boring or old,” he says.
He said that even the everyday things, like going to class or to a café, were exciting simply because he was on a different continent. Cobb’s photos reflect the different experiences and moods of his experience in Ecuador. They also include the people that made his trip even more memorable.
“One of the most surprising things about the trip is how close I got to the other students from Drury that I went on the trip with,” he says. “I expected to gain new knowledge and discover another culture, but I didn’t expect to make such great friends that I would keep at Drury. The photos of people helped me to capture memories that I can share with my peers.”
Ultimately, study abroad experiences are meant to broaden one’s perspective on the wider world. That is exactly what architecture major Yasmeen Al Tamimi (an international student from Kuwait) says her travels – and her photographs – are all about.
“My photos illustrate the wonderful things in this world,” she says. “It is to show that there is so much more to see.”