More Than Ever, Pacific is a Portal to the World

In her inauguration remarks in March, President Jenny Coyle noted her dream of expanding cross-cultural experiences for Pacific University students. Her dream, she said, is that every student would have the opportunity for an — affordable — immersive experience.

Global opportunities have long been a part of the Pacific University experience, and they are on the rise. 

The number of Pacific students studying abroad has rebounded this year after pandemic protocols forced a shutdown. This spring, students will go to Italy, Nepal, London, and Hawai'i, said Shpresa Halimi, the director of International Programs. Meanwhile, Pacific is hosting students from Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Japan, among other places.

The new Global Scholars program integrates global perspectives into the study of any major and provides a free or low-cost travel course for participating students. This January, the group went to Tahiti.

In March, Pacific launched the President’s Global Education Fund, supporting opportunities for students to “experience other lands and cultures, practice language skills, and gain a wider perspective as global citizens” — just like these students and alumni.

Jordan Kronen

Jordan Kronen ’14, Trinidad and Tobago

"Studying abroad in Trinidad and Tobago was so much more than just conducting ethnographic fieldwork into the island-nation’s politics — it was forging life-long friendships, tasting delicious foods, and creating unforgettable memories. It also acted as the catalyst that would unlock my unquenchable wanderlust taking me to over 50 countries, living abroad in four. The skills and confidence I acquired in Trinidad paved the way for me to study abroad yet again in China as a Schwarzman Scholar, Malaysia on a Fulbright, and now in the U.K. pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at Oxford. I have Pacific's Study Abroad program to thank for this incredible ride."


Olivia Barrows ’19, France

"I remember being so nervous to meet my host family, especially since my language skills were a work in progress. But chocolate helps everything! As does being vulnerable and taking the first step to get to know someone. People can be so kind and wonderfully surprising — I'm thankful to my host family for showing me that every day."

Aryn Calvo

Aryn Calvo ’20, Japan

"One of my absolute favorite moments abroad was realizing my perspective of 'old' was skewed. In Japan, I was surrounded by trees that had been carefully nurtured and tended to for centuries. There were buildings whose architecture was inspired by aesthetics from 700 years ago. The best was walking down roads that have guided an uncountable number of feet dating back to the Samurai and then several hundred years before them. It was delightful epiphanies like these that ignited a great curiosity about the people, their culture and language, and the history of Japan. Studying abroad really gave me the stepping stones to be able to pursue this curiosity and eventually move to Japan. I never get tired of discovering new things about this 'old' place."


Sarah Rabbani ‘18, U.K.

"Looking back on my time in York, it was the happiest, most formative experience I could remember from being at Pacific. The relationships I gained and the sense of self and identity that came out of my time in York were pivotal for who I am today. The opportunity to study abroad is one I would take over and over if I had the chance. I got to be completely independent and search for my own adventures on my own time and in my own way. I learned how to be with myself and others in a way that was new to me and I highly encourage anyone to seek similar opportunities if they arise."

Moorea group

Naomi Sweeney ‘26, Tahiti

"I think one of the biggest things that stuck out to me here was the unconditional kindness and welcoming of everyone we met. Before we came, we learned that Pacific Islanders treat each other like brothers/family even if they’ve never met. I didn't fully believe it until we traveled here and were greeted with such kindness, even as non-Pacific Islander mainlanders. This is such a stark difference to the culture in the U.S. Having such a positive experience here has 100 percent made me want to travel more, explore more places, and cultures, and meet more wonderfully kind people."

Monday, April 17, 2023