For many JMU students, summer is a time to relax and unwind from a busy school year, often back in their hometowns. But for some lucky Dukes, this past summer turned into an unforgettable adventure in a foreign country! Studying abroad gives students the opportunity to break out of their comfort zones, expand their worldview, and gain a deeper understanding of other cultures. JMU offered over 70 unique study abroad programs in summer 2017. Some trips were in domestic locations, such as Los Angeles and New York City, while others were across the globe in places like Sweden, Russia, and China. Below you will find a few of our favorite photos from some incredible destinations. 

International Affairs major Kyle Van Fleet spent some time in South Korea this summer, studying abroad in an English-learning camp for North Korean refugee children. He enjoyed the interaction with local children, and valued the service-based nature of his trip. Kyle said the most important thing he learned from studying abroad was that “Traveling to another country is one thing, but getting to know the locals and spend an extended period of time living in a place is completely different.” He wants others who visit foreign countries to know, “You cannot truly dive into a country’s culture and have the full experience of visiting a country if you stick with your friends and stick to touristy spots.” Check out Kyle’s photographs from his time in South Korea!


Corinne Schmidt traveled to Urbino, Italy for her Media Arts & Design major this past May. After her trip finished, she had the opportunity to stay in Europe and travel to other parts of Italy and Greece with her family. Corinne appreciated that the final project for her studies included a combination of pictures and videos that told a story about the local people and culture. She said, “The program forced students to explore Urbino, and meet people that did not necessarily speak English. Engaging in their culture made it a lot more special.” See some of Corinne’s photos below.


Maria Williams, who graduated just after her study abroad trip with the College of Business this past August, traveled to Colombia and Panama. She got to tour Under Armour and Dell, among other places, in order to learn about international logistics and supply chain management. Maria would tell other Dukes thinking about studying abroad, “Studying abroad gives you the opportunity for a trip that you would never be able to gain elsewhere… We had tours that weren’t for ordinary tourists, so even if you were to travel there on your own, there wouldn’t be the same opportunities that are given when studying abroad.” Included next are some of Maria’s photos from her trip.


Junior Biology major Memi Pearsall had the opportunity to travel to Kerala, India to study tropical mammalogy this past summer. She said her trip was unique because she had “the opportunity to study veterinary medicine [and see] how medicine is different in different parts of the world.” Memi felt she gained a whole new perspective of biology, and enjoyed working with animals not native to the United States, such as elephants. Take a look at some of Memi’s photos from her trip!


Think studying abroad may be for you? Check out the JMU Study Abroad page to see applications open now!

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