Dezzarayi Powell, an international business major at UNC Pembroke, was shopping for an international study program on a budget.
With time running out on her college career in Pembroke, the senior found just the ticket in the Magellan Exchange and Anyang University in South Korea.
“I really lucked out,” Powell said. “At first, I thought about a short summer program. Then, I talked with my advisor Dr. (Christopher) Ziemnowicz who told me about the Magellan Exchange.”
The Magellan Exchange is a non-profit consortium of 35 universities worldwide that offer international experiences for students and faculty. When the consortium met in Pembroke in 2010, they welcomed new member, Anyang University, a school about the size of UNCP that is eager to bring international students to its campus.
Powell went to the right source for advice because Dr. Ziemnowicz is UNCP’s campus liaison for Magellan. “We are very fortunate to be a Magellan member because of its international network and its ability to make the cost of an international education affordable for all students, including Dezzarayi,” Dr. Ziemnowicz said.
“The opportunity to study and be fully immersed in another nation and its culture was a life changing experience for her and a career builder for an outstanding student,” Dr. Ziemnowicz continued. “All students should take advantage of gaining first-hand global experience and be prepared for our competitive business environments, whether you are an international business major or not.”
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There was plenty of time for sightseeing and many things for Dezzarayi to see.
To study at a Magellan institution, students pay tuition to their home university. Students continue their financial aid and scholarship package and remain registered at UNCP. Course credits taken overseas simply transfer into their academic program at Pembroke.
Moreover, scholarships are available for UNCP students to study abroad. Anyang University provided Powell with $900 for airfare, free room, and a stipend of 150,000 won a week, or about $132.
Powell’s face lights up when she talks about the experience. “I really wanted to study abroad, but it’s expensive,” she said. “I lucked out. Magellan and Anyang made it possible.”
Powell said Anyang is well equipped for foreign students. She lived in the international house, and classes were in English or with translators.
“The classes were really good and fit with my graduation requirements,” Powell said. “With international study, it’s not what you learn in the classroom. I tell other people they’ll be surprised.”
The international residence housed 27 international students, from Mexico, Taiwan and several European countries. Powell was the only American, which was never a problem. She learned volumes.
“I learned to like pizza with corn on it, and I fell in love with the bread,” she laughed. “Everyone had a Korean ‘buddy’ who picked you up at the airport. We engaged in regular ‘chats,’ which helped them with their English, and I enjoyed a lot. We talked about everything.”
Some things were very different, but some familiar. Out the window, Powell said were mountains and flowers. “I went to a Korean church on Sunday, and sang in the choir a couple of Sundays,” she said. “This really surprised me. On my birthday, the people of the church took me out for ice cream – bean paste ice cream! It was good.”
The Koreans were friendly hosts, Powell said. Everybody’s birthday was celebrated.
“I really enjoyed it a lot!” Powell said. “They invited me to stay another semester. I’m still in contact with some of my buddies.
“I learned a lot too,” she continued. “Working in diverse groups, I learned other perspectives.”
International study is never far from her mind these days. She has joined the new International Business Club, and she has applied to UNCP’s Global Living-Learning Community for next fall. Here, UNCP students live with international students in apartment settings.
Powell expects to graduate in December. “I am thinking of grad school,” she smiles, “in Germany.”
To learn more about studying abroad with the Magellan Exchange, please contact Dr. Ziemnowicz at (910) 521-6286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about study abroad opportunities at UNCP, please contact the Office of International Programs at (910) 775-4095 or email email@example.com.