Year 2 International Affairs Scholars Reflection #3

I attended the Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston STEP Expo held in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in the Ohio Union on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 from 4:30-5:30 PM. This served as a campus requirement.

I was able to walk around the expo and review 5 posters. The topics were as follows:

  1. The first poster I reviewed was titled “Australia: Human Impacts on the Natural Environment” and it was in the category of education abroad. Nicole Seilhamer went on a 4 week-long program to North Queensland in Australia. She studied environmental sustainability, ecology, history, and geology. She also did a variety of fun activities in nature. I thought the environmental aspect was interesting and I had previously looked into also doing this study abroad opportunity. I would consider doing a similar project or even this exact opportunity if I looked into other funding opportunities. This project relates to IA because it is a different part of the world and there are different cultures and experiences available.
  2. The second poster I reviewed was called “Exploring Japan through Sports, Culture, and Wellness” and was also in the category of education abroad. Alexis Perney went on a 16 day trip to the University of Tsukuba in Japan. She got to explore the country and then complete labs relating to her major in exercise science. This was interesting because it is not something that I would have considered doing. STEP allows people to travel all around the world have their own individualized experiences. I don’t think I would do a similar kind of project just because it does not relate to my personal interests but it is cool to learn about. This project relates to IA because this took place in a different area of the world with a different language and culture.
  3. The third project I reviewed was titled “Devenir Bilingue: A continuation of the path to French Fluency” and was also in the category of education abroad. Owen Morrish wanted to apply his French knowledge to real-life places and experiences. He spent a month in France and a month in Quebec and took classes in both places. I thought it was interesting how he made his own study abroad experience by combining 2 locations and his prior study of the French language. I would consider doing a similar project, perhaps relating to the German language as I have some experience with it. This relates to IA because it is another new country that provides immense opportunities for cultural immersion and use of another language.
  4. The fourth project I reviewed was named “BMW Consulting Project in Stockholm, Sweden”. Kyle Foley worked as a student consultant for BMW Financial Services and created a product market analysis for their future comprehensive offerings in the Nordic region. He collected research on future industry trends and utilized customer data on current products. I found this interesting because I am also a finance major and I am interested in BMW as a company and consulting as a career path. I would definitely consider doing a similar project if I had the opportunity. This project relates to IA by allowing students to work in a different environment in a new country.
  5. The last project I reviewed was called “Sustainable Agriculture Workshop” and was in the leadership project category. Maris Haugrud was able to take a week-long trip to Amesville, Ohio where a group of students participated in events and workshops focused on all facets of sustainable agriculture including an introduction to cultivation methods, food preservation techniques, woodland plant identification, observation of different farm models, and a comprehensive class on soil management. I found this project interesting because it is not typically what you imagine a STEP project to be. The presentation was very appealing and she was passionate about her time with this project. I would consider doing a similar type of project on a smaller scale as I am not the biggest fan of the outdoors. This project does not seem to directly relate to IA in the sense that it is local but you can learn lots about the world and farming/agriculture from this project.

Overall, the STEP expo was a good experience in learning about the types of projects available and some ideas for different trips.