Joseph Madden

Joe (far right) with friends on the Pembrokeshire National Trail, St. David’s Head, Wales, UK. A weekend excursion affectionately named the “Tale of Wales”.

Joseph studied abroad in Oxford, England and now works as the International Admissions Officer for Universum College in the Republic of Kosovo.

Where did you go to school?

Georgia Institute of Technology

Where and when did you study abroad?

Summer 2010: Oxford, England on The Oxford Program

What was the BEST part about studying abroad?

Experiencing life beyond the borders and confines of your home country.  I particularly enjoyed figuring out that I can survive outside my own comfort zone, plus I can navigate the city of Venice relatively well.

What did you learn about the rest of the world from studying abroad? What did you learn about yourself from the experience?

That things are not unique to the United States. Jokes, experiences, and life is similar throughout the world and that everybody will have something in common with somebody else. I learned that I can relate parts of my life with people that are born across the globe.

What was your BIGGEST challenge when studying abroad?

The biggest challenge, for me, was related to my program; it was a fast paced program that had lots of group travel, late nights, and early mornings. The challenge that presented itself most often was being able continue to explore, enjoy, and immerse myself in the culture despite feeling fatigued and having little sleep.

How did studying abroad change your life? How did it help you personally and professionally?

I had always held the notion that I enjoyed traveling and romanticized traveling the world. When I actually was able to do this, to an extent, it was confirmed that I wanted to spend a large portion of my life interacting with other cultures and convincing people to get out and explore the world. It is exciting and beneficial in professional way, as I now have plenty to talk about in an interview. I was able to network with the local professors and staff (of the program) and this ultimately led me to a student position at Georgia Tech’s International Education office. My time there helped me secure my current education abroad position.

What have you been doing post studying abroad?

I graduated University and secured a job in the Republic of Kosovo. I am currently the International Admissions Officer for Universum College. This includes helping local students study abroad, recruiting international students to come study here, and building a study abroad program to be implemented in the Summer of 2013.

What’s your BEST piece of advice for a student who is thinking about studying abroad?

Do it. It honestly does not matter where. Just get out there. You will find the money, so do not let that be your reason. Leave the nest that is your home country and see all there is to see.

Kristine Zamastil

Kristine studied abroad in London and Exeter England as well as interned in Prague, Czech Republic. She is now the Managing Director of ESAC and a visiting professor at the Univer[...]

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