Klein Global Opportunities (GO), formerly known as Study Away, provides opportunities in the U.S. and internationally for all students through academic and practical experience. We aim to assist students in becoming influential leaders and empowered global citizens. Programs range from ten days to semester long. Klein GO programs are designed to not only enhance a student’s marketability in the workplace, but to also cultivate their global perspective in a growing multicultural environment. Through guidance and expertise, we encourage our community to propose and participate in international and domestic experiential learning.
*Some responses have been slightly edited for clarity and consolidation purposes.
When and where did you study away?
I attended the New York City program during the summers of 2015 and 2016.
Why did you choose to study away?
I first heard of the New York City study away program during my first semester at Temple. As a transfer student, I wanted the opportunity to explore the Big Apple with new faces and new personalities under the instruction of Dr. Gratson, a New York City connoisseur. To be honest, I questioned my decision to attend the NYC Klein College GO program because it took place in my hometown. However, within the first day of the program, I was reminded that NYC is dynamic, diverse and ever-changing. It does not matter how long a person has been an NYC resident, there is always going to be something new to learn.
How has your experience shaped you professionally and personally?
For one, the program kept me in shape because of all the walking we had to do. All jokes aside, I was able to come out of my shell more. Even though I considered myself to be a city girl, subway excursions to unfamiliar places was not my idea of a Saturday. Now, I feel more comfortable getting lost, feeling out of place and tasting food I might not be able to pronounce. Professionally, I was able to think deeper. I learned to question more and be a keen observer. I learned to be an explorer and to be comfortable being uncomfortable… all of the skills needed to be an effective journalist.
What opportunity/opportunities has the NYC program presented you with or led you to?
One of the best things about the NYC program was being able to have a say in the syllabus. Our class was able to make suggestions such as places to visit and people to meet. I took this opportunity to introduce the class to my father who is currently serving as a Captain in the New York City Police Department. It was a rewarding experience because the class was able to have a productive conversation about the miscommunication between cops and their communities and seeing what building blocks need to be put in place to bridge the gap.
During the second summer, I took on an independent study and created a blog about the different ethnic communities in New York City. Every week, I would travel somewhere new and create a blog post based on the experience and the outstanding qualities in each neighborhood. Though I no longer write for this particular blog, I do credit the experience for allowing me to take a leap of faith and create a new platform. Currently, I have an independent television show and blog called, “BXTRA.” The platform features extraordinary people and places in the Bronx.
You are pursuing a Master’s degree at Columbia University. What influence has New York City had on your worldly perspective? What do you hope attaining this journalism degree will allow you to do?
Living in a city with a population of 8 million people made me understand the true definition of diversity. I learned the art of seeing people beyond their race, religion and economic background. People have a story to tell and unique qualities that should be appreciated. Being a New York City resident forced me to always remain curious and find reasons to discover new things in the city and around the world.
While earning my Master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, I hope to use my fondness for writing, thirst for knowledge and hunger for justice to be an advocate for society. I intend to take advantage of the entrée of opportunities to become a better storyteller and a journalist who can help bring in a new age of enlightenment to the expanding field of journalism.
What advice do you have for current and/or prospective Klein GO students?
Take advantage of this amazing opportunity- it is a great way to exercise your inquisitiveness beyond the confinement of a classroom. Studying away presents the opportunity to connect with your professors, classmates and even yourself. Before you board a plane, bus or train, keep in mind that the journey you are about to embark on is going to take you further than the destination on your ticket.