A lesson overseas


Jared Jenkins and Di’ara McCole share thoughts about travel abroad. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Many college students take their first trips outside the United States to destinations like Cancun, Mexico, or Nassau, Bahamas. But two S&T students spent a month this summer in China as part of an intensive cultural program.


Additional photos submitted by Jared Jenkins

“Going overseas is an absolute must,” says Jared Jenkins, a senior in economics from Edmond, Okla. “I always knew I’d go to another country but never imagined China would be the first.”

Jenkins and Di’ara McCole, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences this year, joined nearly 30 other students from all over the world for the program, held at Harbin Institute of Technology, which is located in the northeastern part of China. They studied the Chinese language and toured different facilities throughout the city.


McCole, an aspiring physician, was amazed to learn the differences in school systems among the different countries represented.

“It was very clear that we study longer in America, and it is much more costly for us to receive an education,” she says. “I was amazed that in some countries they only have to study for three years to become a doctor.”

Both McCole and Jenkins spoke little Chinese prior to their trip.

“When I left for China, I knew how to say hello and that’s about it,” he says. “I can now count to a thousand in Chinese, negotiate prices and hold a simple conversation.”

McCole says the trip was “an amazing experience,” and being in China made her appreciate her life in America.

“It was a trip that has definitely changed the way that I look at the world and the things I appreciate — just having simple freedoms such as being able to get on the Internet and talk on Facebook, search the web for whatever, have real toilets and safe tap water, and being able to work and make a pretty good salary.”


Jenkins encourages other Missouri S&T students to consider participating in a study abroad program.

“The majority of students that I met while overseas – who were from Britain, Germany, Austria, Spain and even the Netherlands – had taken at least one study abroad program,” he says. “In the U.S., it’s more of a rarity to do a study abroad.”

By Mindy Limback

Learn more about study abroad programs at S&T.