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Experience new cultures ... and a career

The benefits of studying abroad as part of a college education are often associated with increasing cultural understanding, improving fluency in a foreign language, taking major courses in a more exotic location, or learning independence as a global traveler away from the U.S. for the first time. For some students, however, a study-abroad experience opens up an entirely new career path. Nicholas Jantzen, a senior Spanish and international business & economics major, studied in Chile during summer 2012. During the next school year, he worked in the Study Abroad Office as a study-abroad student ambassador, helping students to find a study-abroad experience of their own. His passion for international education led to an internship where he explored the career possibilities in study abroad.

ImageI studied abroad with University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC, one of ONU’s study-abroad partners) in summer 2012. My study-abroad experience was life-changing and career-altering. I departed for Santiago, Chile, as a simple student of Ohio Northern and returned a more complete citizen of the world with a heart and mind filled with possibilities. I made more memories and friends in a summer than I could have anticipated. I took a vacation to Easter Island, went sand-boarding on the dunes of the driest desert in the world, and found a home with a loving host family.

My abroad experience was not only valuable for my personal goals, but also essential to my professional goals. Following my experience, I was interested in the behind-the-scenes work that went into providing the opportunities for a single student to study abroad. I also had an internship requirement as a part of the Dicke College of Business Administration. For this reason, I sent an inquiry to my advisor from the USAC Central Office on the possibility of doing an internship with the office in Reno, Nev. This inquiry could not have been timelier, because it turned out the Central Office was one week away from the application deadline for five brand-new intern positions. I received one of the coveted intern positions thanks to recommendations written by a pair of excellent ONU professors along with résumé-writing tips and interviewing skills learned through my business curriculum.

ImageI approached the internship like a domestic study-abroad experience because I was in a new environment surrounded by strange people. I had never traveled to the western U.S. before and was not sure what to expect from Reno. My experience in Chile had taught me that adaptation is the most critical aspect of succeeding in a new setting. Sometimes it’s better to arrive at a new locale without the burden of preconceived notions or expectations.

The internship itself was incredible, and I had the opportunity to run the gamut of USAC. I had a rotation in every department: accounting, finance, IT, student enrollment, student information, marketing and university relations. From each rotation, I created at least one tangible item as a takeaway. I planned and executed a training program for university study-abroad staff from across the nation. I held an interdepartmental meeting proposing changes to the current program fees and options. I completed economic impact studies for selected countries where USAC programs are located.

ImageMy study-abroad experience in Chile led to an on-campus job as a study-abroad student ambassador, which in turn led to an internship, which led to a passion for an international career.

Nicholas Jantzen, a senior Spanish and international business & economics major, studied in Chile during summer 2012. During the next school year, he worked in the Study Abroad Office as a study-abroad student ambassador, helping students find a study-abroad experience of their own. His passion for international education led to an internship where he explored the career possibilities gained from study abroad.