Fascination for traveling and cultures

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” That sums up the sentiment Krista Mizenko has about her study-abroad experience. She’s currently on the second leg of her journey, spending the spring semester at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

University of GlasgowIn the fall semester, Mizenko, a junior from Medina, Ohio, studied at University of Glasgow in Scotland.

“I think my fascination for traveling and cultures all began when I was in seventh grade,” she said. After visiting family friends in Sweden, Germany and France, she became interested in studying abroad. Her opportunities in high school also sparked her interest. “After this trip [to Europe], I was lucky enough to be able to go on my high school’s German class trip,” she said, “It reinforced my love for being abroad, surrounded by new places and people.”

There was never any question that Mizenko would travel abroad when she got to college. “There is so much this world has to offer, I want to experience as much as I possibly can and to become a part of its uniqueness,” she said. Her sentiments on traveling, she said, began with a St. Augustine quote early in her life: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

I was an avid reading growing up and still am,” Mizenko stated, “and I guess you could say I would like to explore as many chapters as I can.”

The chemistry and international studies major took classes such as functional anatomy, Scottish Enlightenment and Bagpipes in Scotland. At the University of Heidelberg, she’s studying German grammar and literature. In Glasgow, she had many opportunities to try new things, like foods such as haggis and black pudding. She also got to meet people from all over the world and was a participant in several festivals.

The differences between Heidelberg and the colleges were she has and is studying are not major, she said. “I think the only thing that made the experience a bit different was the larger international student population as well as the fact that the campus is in the middle of the biggest city in Scotland,” she said, adding that there are also along variations in class size, system and work load.

Castle RuinsAlthough she is sure about her love for studying abroad, Mizenko hasn’t completely settled on a career. “I am trying to find something that will combine my science and international interests,” she said. Possibilities include organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, the World Health Organization or the United Nations.

Mizenko said her study-abroad experience also has improved communication skills and confidence interacting with different cultures. “The lessons I am learning by studying abroad I will carry with me for my life, but I don’t feel it will end after this year,” she said, “The discoveries I am making and tools I become equipped with this year will help me in my pursuit of learning, any career, and most importantly, in life.”

She encourages all ’Berg students to study abroad. “Most importantly, make sure to go with an open heart and mind.”

Posted on: 
Jan 28, 2011