Students ‘chit-chat’ about study abroad trips

Audience members were whisked overseas during Pecha Kucha on May 13 in Ice Auditorium.

The presentation means “chit-chat” in Japanese. It  highlighted four students who participated in study-abroad programs. Senior Dana Hellie showed a slide show titled “A renewed love” to review her yearlong stay in Korea.

Sophomore JB Lange presented “In the land of AUS,” to reminisce on his Jan Term adventure. Junior Stephanie Raso discussed her visit in Austria with “Appreciating the world: my experience abroad.”

Junior Mariah Torres exhibited “From aloha to pura vida,” which recounted her semester in Costa Rica.

Appropriately named, the presentation featured a round of slide shows and allocated time discussion afterward. Yet, comments and questions were encouraged throughout. Each slide played for only 20 seconds and switched to the next slide.

“I thought that Pecha Kucha was a great way to show different study abroad experiences because it gave people just a little taste of what each destination was like, without it turning into a really long boring presentation,” sophomore Megan Beach said in an email. “So it was nice that each presentation was only six minutes.”

Pecha Kucha was designed to encourage students to consider studying abroad themselves.

“There’s no easy way of explaining how my experience abroad changed me, but Pecha Kucha allows us to do this,” Torres said in an email. “It allowed me to share my story from start to finish on how my decision to go abroad was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

It was the first time the International Programs Office hosted Pecha Kucha. The idea sprouted from Michele Tomseth, the assistant director of the International Programs Office. She rounded up past study-abroad students to divulge their fulfilling encounters overseas. Although there was another lecture by Dave Hansen, professor of economics, at the same time of Pecha Kucha, there were “a few members of faculty [who] attend[ed] and a good handful of students in each class,” Torres said in an email. “I’ve also already gotten feedback that this was inspiration for a friend of mine to study abroad as well.”

All of the students agreed studying abroad was a decision with no regrets. It granted each one positive opportunities and knowledge.

“It’s the best learning experience you’ll ever have,” Torres said in an email. “Never again in your life will someone pay for your airfare to study in a foreign country, nor take you to historical landmarks and paint a picture of history that is so rich and so specific.”

Carrie Skuzeski

For the Review

Carrie Skuzeski can be reached at