March 30, 2011
Reflecting the strategic importance of global education, St.
John’s continues to expand its efforts to share information
with students about the
study abroad experience. Recently, the University made its
Global Explorers’ Blog interactive, enabling readers to
post questions and receive answers from study abroad
“Our goal is to give students as much information as possible to
make it easier for them to select a destination country,” said
Shannon Okuonghae, Coordinator of Student Services. The Blog is
available on the St. John’s
has been attracting increasing student interest since the
Office of Global Studies launched it in September 2010.
“Readers appreciate being able to get a concrete preview of what it
is like to live and study overseas,” said Shannon. The number
of students who want to be bloggers has actually doubled.
Participants have a strong desire to document their life-altering
experiences,” said Shannon. “They also receive a $250 Kaplan Global
Explorer Scholarship at the end of the semester.”
The scholarship is made possible by a joint venture between St.
John’s and KAPLAN Test Prep and Admissions. “Our relationship stems
from a mutual dedication to providing a well-rounded 21st Century
education which integrates global travel and service,” said Judy
Chen, Director of Business Affairs and Planning.
“The Blog raises the level of campus awareness of the benefits of
living and studying abroad,” she noted. “In fact, since we
encourage our student Explorers to feel free to express themselves
openly and honestly, the blogs can make truly compelling
spring, five students are posting from four different countries.
They are Sean Caltabiano’13P, currently in Paris as part of the
Discover (DTW) program; Daria Covey‘13CPS, also enrolled in DTW,
who is now in Salamanca, Spain; Misbah Hyder ‘13C, in Rome;
Aaron Buotte ‘13CPS, writing from Paris and David Stewart ‘13C, in
The following excerpts from Sean Caltabiano’s writings spotlight
DTW Pharmacy program and exemplifies the breadth and
individuality of the blogs.
In describing an impressive castle he visits in Heidelberg,
Germany, Sean writes: “The castle sat high in the hills, just
watching over the city below. The inside of the deteriorating
castle was a wine cellar with a barrel that at one time in the
1700’s could hold over 200,000 liters…In another part…was the
Deutsches Apothekenmuseum which told the full history of Pharmacy…I
learned how drugs were made, stored and sold in earlier years…Being
pharmacy major studying in Europe, I thought this was a great
experience. Tschuss! (In German, this means goodbye, well, at
least, until next time.)”
“Part of getting a cultural experience,” Sean explains, “has to do
with exploring cities, eating food and meeting people of different
backgrounds. These people shed light on facets of their culture,
that if we were not willing to open up and communicate, we wouldn’t
have a chance to experience.”
Committed to preparing future global leaders, St. John’s offers a
wide array of study abroad choices including single country
winter intersession programs; the multi-country DTW
exchange programs and the Rome
Freshman Passport Program.