Student Experiences

Jade Kern: The School for Field Studies – Tanzania, East Africa


What were the primary factors that influenced your decision to study abroad?

I decided to study abroad because I wanted a more in depth knowledge of what researchers can do with their degrees. I am a pre-vet student and I have struggled with what and where to go after graduation. I hoped that studying abroad would help open my mind to the possibilities. Read more about Jade’s experience…

Audrey Kirschner
Curtin University- Perth, Australia

kirchner perth

What were the primary factors that influenced your decision to study abroad?

I chose to participate in study abroad simply to try something new, to visit a new place, and to see new things. Read more about Audrey’s experience…

Basil Mathews
Heredia – Costa Rica


What were the primary factors that influenced your decision to study abroad?

I was always open to trying new things since childhood and was never too shy to explore unique experiences; this is why study abroad was an amazing opportunity for me. As a student who graduated from VCU with a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Foreign Language: Spanish, I knew how critical my learning of Spanish in a foreign country would be toward my future endeavor of becoming a medical doctor. Read more about Basil’s experience….


Matthew Hurd
Braunschweig – Germany

What were the primary factors that influenced your decision to study abroad?

I never thought Id be the kind of person who would study abroad. In fact, I never thought I would leave Richmond. I was becoming competent in the German language by practicing religiously on Skype with Germans I had met through a language exchange website. These Germans were all STEM students (a pharmacist, a mathematician, a chemist and a computer programmer). By learning about their experiences in Germany, I quickly became inspired by how the country has become a world leader in STEM education. I wanted to experience firsthand how the country operated and why it was so successful, so I decided to make an appointment with the study abroad office (GEO).  The rest is history. Read more about Matt’s experience……


Ali Skooti
University of the South Pacific – Fiji Islands


What was the preliminary process like when deciding to study abroad? What impact did your program of study have on your decision?

Im a senior pre-dental biology major and business minor. I thought about study abroad during my junior year of college and applied for both exchange and direct programs through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). After finishing all the paperwork and finances, I found out that I got accepted to be a direct student (which personally I think is better when it comes to housing). I started my amazing five month adventure on the 300 Island of Fiji. I worked with my biology advisor at VCU as well as the advisors at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji to make sure that all the courses I was taking would transfer back and count towards my pre-dental track. Read more about Ali’s experience….

Joseph Morina
Curtin University- Perth, Australia


What led you to make the decision to study abroad?

I first learned about the study abroad opportunities by attending a study abroad information session.  After working closely with Stephanie Tignor, I was able to contact Dr. Richard Oliver at Curtin University for a possible study abroad research opportunity. He willingly accepted, and soon enough I was buying my plane ticket for Australia. Read more about Joe’s experience….


Help us share other student experiences
If you are a biology major who has studied abroad and would like to share your experience, please e-mail

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