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#1StudentNWI: Blazers Travel the World Through Study Abroad


What's Happening: Study Abroad Trips

Imagine getting to travel all around the globe. At Marquette, everyone is encouraged to travel abroad, whether for a month or semester in Spain or France, or going on a Spring Break trip with your friends for almost two weeks.

This past Thanksgiving break, MQT sent a group of freshmen to Barcelona, Spain as part of the University program, but they also sent two other students on an adventure through China.

Olivia Burkhart, a sophomore, had this amazing opportunity. She spent 10 days visiting many famous landmarks such as the Great Wall, Jade Factory, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and Ming Dynasty Tombs in Beijing.

They visited the city of Zibo where they attended Zhangdian Experimental Middle School and stayed with a teacher’s family.

Burkhart said, “Staying with a family really showed me what day-to-day life was in the Chinese culture.”

Burkhart’s favorite part was, ironically, going to school.

Burkhart said, “I loved the children, being able to speak with them, and spending time learning about their life.”

All in all, Burkhart had a great trip and wishes she could go back.

Student Spotlight: Scout Steinhiser

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After spending three months in France, another Marquette student has returned from studying abroad; Scout Steinhiser is back home. She spent a semester studying at Saint-Denis International school in Loches, France.

Steinhiser said, “My semester was great. I made many friends and had many laughs.”

She spent the weekdays in the boarding school and spent the weekends with her host family. Steinhiser said, “They treated me like family.”

While Steinhiser is a junior at MQT, she was placed in the sophomore year at Saint-Denis because “in junior year there are many tests. It’s already tough to begin learning another language, so they put you in a year that is not as busy.”

Steinhiser also said that the grading system was quite different in France, and that confused her for most of the trip. She had many adventures and had the opportunity to sightsee the country.

Steinhiser said, “My favorite part was seeing all the beautiful scenery. The castles, landscapes, and beautiful old towns.” She traveled to Paris for a long weekend stay and visited one of the most famous zoos in Europe. She would love go back, and says to those interested in studying abroad, “It is a great opportunity, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Teacher Spotlight: Casey Martin

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Mr. Casey Martin is someone who can say he has seen the world. Having visited 29 out of the 50 states and, in addition, six countries, Mr. Martin has had an incredible experience.

His favorite place to have visited is New Zealand. Right out of college, he got a job in sales and spent a year working there.

Martin said, “I could not have scripted a better trip. The country was more beautiful than I could’ve imagined, and I returned a year later without a single regret and having seen nearly every inch of the country I had set out to see.”

Mr. Martin has also spent ten months time collectively in China. Marquette sent him to China for one month to teach in one of MQT’s partner schools in Zibo.

Martin said, “I think it’s unbelievable the perspective you gain from spending time there.”

His teaching philosophy is to “encourage growth, compassion, tolerance, and faith, inspire critical thinking, and challenge students to embrace high expectations.”

This year he teaches US History, Government, and Economics. His traveling experience has been incorporated into his teaching by making it easier to understand different cultures, and it has made him more passionate about the things he teaches. His favorite part of teaching, though, is “those moments where we can see we’ve made a positive impact. If we can use our experiences to expand their own, then it’s been a good day.”

What's Coming Up: Spring Break 2018

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There are always opportunities to travel at MQT; students can spend a semester or month studying abroad in one of the partner schools in Loches, France, or Barcelona, Spain. Students can also go on a spring break trip, which is usually the popular choice.

This spring break MQT is traveling to Ireland. The itinerary consists of visiting major cities such as Dublin and Killarney, visiting historical monuments such as the Blarney Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and it also includes cultural experiences like eating local food and exploring the cities.

One of the students who is going on the trip, sophomore Abbie Grusak, is most excited to visit Grafton Street with “all the little shops,” to tour Killarney, and to see the Ring of Kerry.

Grusak said, “My heritage has played a huge part in this decision. Ever since I was little I’ve always been proud to be Irish and have always wanted to experience Ireland.”

Another student, Joe Disser, said, “I am looking forward to seeing the cultural difference between Ireland and the US. I think it is interesting to see how a different group of people lives in a place so different than what I am accustomed to.”

Although these are short trips, they always make for a positive travel experience and inspire future travel plans. They help Marquette students open their minds to the world, see new things, and embrace new cultures.

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