Program Coordinator and Advisor
Salamat Datang (welcome)!
As a student-athlete during my undergraduate career, I thought that studying abroad wasn’t an option for me. However, I was lucky to have attended a great university with ample opportunities and flexible study abroad options, similar to UC Davis. Thanks to summer and short-term programs, I was able to study the university systems in Ghana, work at an orphanage in Haiti, teach summer school in Taiwan and study the relationship between the environment and art history in France. So, believe me when I say everyone can study abroad!
After I graduated with my Bachelor’s, I hopped on a plane and landed in the middle of a palm tree plantation in Malaysia, a country vaguely familiar to me thanks to the internet. I spent my first year in Malaysia as a Fulbright Grantee teaching English at a secondary school in rural Malaysia. Although my nametag said “cikgu” (teacher), I was really the student. I fell in love with Malaysia’s quirks and culture through singing karaoke with my students, eating new foods with my hands, participating in the Ramadan fasting, bargaining at the market, creating my own batik (traditional cloth painting), sweating profusely in a baju kurung (traditional Malay dress) at school, engaging in conversations that went beyond language, and many other cultural exchanges. Although, it was a challenging year, I grew in ways I never could have predicted and ended up staying in Malaysia for two more years to work with EducationUSA, a government organization focuses on cultural exchange through assisting international students study in the US.
Traveling has changed my perspective, introduced me to insanely cool people and cultures, and has allowed me to develop into a global citizen. Come to the Study Abroad office to learn how you can begin your adventure!