How Studying Abroad in Germany Changed The Trajectory of Ben Mckelfresh's Career

Ben Mcklefresh Iowa State University

"One thing that people don't necessarily recognize is the relationships that form while you're having that experience" — Ben Mckelfresh

Ben Mckelfresh studied abroad in Germany while in high school and once again in college while an undergrad at DePauw University. In between he did a semester in Copenhagen as well.

It's a classic international tale of Ben bouncing around Europe and eventually ending up where he is now as the Marketing and Program Coordinator at Iowa State's Study Abroad Center.

In this interview Ben does a terrific job of explaining the importance of maintaining the relationships you develop while abroad and also gives us a behind the scenes look at the process from an advisor's point of view.

This interview is perfect if:

A) You're interested in studying abroad in Germany or Copenhagen

B) A career in international education has ever crossed your mind

SHOW NOTES

  • Ben's early study abroad experience [1:45]
  • Exchange program in high school vs. college [4:30]
  • Ben's first trip to Germany while in high school [6:40]
  • What Ben misses most about Germany [10:45]
  • Back to back semester in college: Germany round II and Copenhagen [14:10]
  • Traveling around Europe [17:19]
  • Life after college and working with DIS [18:37]
  • Site visits [20:39]
  • Serving as the 'tour leader' for his parents during their visit [24:00]
  • Why you should take a train (especially at night) [27:06]
  • The Doner Kebab 

6 Facts About Iowa State University [Infographic]


Studying Abroad in New Castle

Studying Abroad in Newcastle with Caroline Sass

Caroline Sass in Newcastle

"I thought I was cultured, but really going out on your own and living 9,000 miles away just opened my eyes" — Caroline Sass

Caroline Sass did a great job with this interview, straight up. She didn't realize it at the time but she probably gave the most succinct description of setting up a study abroad trip than anyone I've ever interviewed.

Thanks, Caroline!

Caroline is a supply chain management major at Iowa State University and takes us down under to share her adventure of living in Newcastle, the country's eight largest city.

Caroline and her friends were not limited to Newcastle, however. We hear stories of road trips throughout the country and flights to Thailand and New Zealand.

One of Caroline's favorite quotes:

"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different"— C.S. Lewis

Caroline with a kangaroo and her baby

GPS Without The Tickets

SHOW NOTES

  • Deciding on Newcastle for five months 🇦🇺 [1:16]
  • Getting through the red tape on the way to University of Newcastle 🔖 [3:55]
  • An apartment style shared living area 🏡 [6:44]
  • Trips to Sydney, Melbourne, Thailand, and New Zealand 🚘 [8:01]
  • Going home to Port Macquarie 👨‍🌾 [10:26]
  • Caroline's advice if you're thinking about studying abroad 🙌 [11:41]
  • Tim Tams and a restaurant from the future 🍫 [12:43]
  • Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan 📚 [15:20]
  • Going down under for round II 🦘[16:50]
  • How living in a different country changed Caroline's view of the world 🧐 [17:22]

Caroline's Adventures Inside & Outside of Australia

Melbourne, Sydney, and Port Macquarie
Thailand and New Zealand

Tim Tams Video 


Studying Abroad in Prague with Hannah Lutz

Hannah Lutz in Prague

"What I hear from everybody is 'you'll never regret going longer'" — Hannah Lutz 

Hannah Lutz is the first student I've interviewed that studied abroad in Prague. She is also the first student that used CIEE, which is a great, non profit, 3rd party program to help you get to where you want to go.

Her classes were all in the same building, and because of this she got to see the same people on a daily basis and thus, got to know everyone she was with extremely well, which she explains in the interview.

Hannah was not limited to Prague. She also got to visit Budapest, Cracow, Ireland, Spain, Italy (twice), and go all over The Czech Republic.

"We'll never get the chance to be in this place with these people in this moment again" — Hannah's travel companion

 

 

SHOW NOTES

  • Why Prague? [1:25]
  • Having an entire international building to yourself [2:40]
  • Classes and internship in Prague [3:31]
  • Exploring the rest of Europe [5:03]
  • Getting acclimated to the culture in Prague [6:38]
  • A close call with directions [8:20]
  • Czech food [10:52]
  • Prague Today and Skyscanner, and Flixbus [12:18]
  • Hannah's advice to someone on thinking about studying abroad [13:44]
  • Advice from one of Hannah's friends on the trip [15:39]

A Glimpse of Prague [Infographic]


Getting Paid To Study Abroad in Auckland With Jonathan Mennecke

"As long as they're on the ball and getting things done before deadlines they'll be able to study abroad and be successful at it, too." Jonathan Mennecke 

Jonathan Mennecke is currently studying abroad at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. He goes to Iowa State University and was a pre-med student at the time of the interview.

If you've listened to any other episodes you know by now that something going wrong on your trip is a right of passage, and it happens to everyone. Jonathan is no exception and tells us about a time where "everything that could've gone wrong, did" on a trip to Queenstown.

Aside from that, the his time in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand sounds amazing.

Scholarships are big theme that I like to focus on in the interviews and Jonathan was fortunate enough to get most of his trip paid for, and he shares exactly how he did it in the interview.

Jonathan was also kind enough to send me some pictures he took while in New Zealand.

 

GPS Without The Tickets

SHOW NOTES

  • Why Jonathan chose New Zealand [2:09]
  • Finding funding in different areas and even getting housing paid for [4:05]
  •  Jonathan's living situation in Auckland [5:13]
  • Attending classes in Auckland [5:29]
  • Learning about the history and culture of New Zealand [7:04]
  • Spending a week in Queenstown [9:34]
  • Coffee, dark chocolate, and other New Zealand foods and methods [13:27]
  • New Zealand website recommendation [16:33]
  • Jonathan's advice to students thinking about studying abroad [17:03]
Pictures courtesy of Jonathan Mennnecke
Jonathan Mennecke
Pictures courtesy of Jonathan Mennnecke
Jonathan Mennecke
Pictures courtesy of Jonathan Mennnecke
Jonathan Mennecke

What You Might Not Know About New Zealand [Infographic]


Why Liam Krodel Chose to Study Abroad in New Zealand

Liam Krodel in New Zealand

"My goal was to get as far away as possible and that's essentially why I picked New Zealand" Liam Krodel 🦘

One of the biggest questions students who are thinking about studying abroad have is "where should I go?" Most people go their whole life without getting to visit everywhere places on their bucket list, how are you supposed to do it in a summer, semester, or even year?

One way could be to this listen to this interview. Liam Krodel does a great job of explaining his decision to study abroad in New Zealand. Simply put; he loves the outdoors. In to cooking you should go to France. Design? How about Germany? Surfing...you get the idea.

Liam does a great job of depicting his time there. He was happy with his living arrangement because got to meet and make new friends from all over the U.S. It's also worth noting that Liam already has a job lined up for when he graduates and one can assume that his experience helped secure it (just listen to the interview).

GPS Without The Tickets

SHOW NOTES

  • Why New Zealand is a no brainer if you life hiking 🥾 [1:37]
  • "A mixed bag of emotions" prior to departure 😔[3:30] 😄
  • Liam's living arrangement in New Zealand 🏘 [4:22]
  • How Liam's view of the world changed 🧐 [6:48]
  • Clubs, camping trips, and close calls ⛺️ [7:35]
  • Taking advantage of everything New Zealand had to offer 🚵‍♂️ [9:44]
  • Liam's advice to someone who is thinking about studying abroad 🦘 [10:52]
  • A helpful Queenstown app 📱 [12:29]
  • EXACTLY why you need to study abroad 🎒 [13:39]

Did You Know You Can Surf & Ski in One Day in New Zealand?

Surfing and skiing in New Zealand


 


Studying Abroad in Europe with Tiera Salitros

Tiera Salitros is studying abroad in Rome

"When you're in groups of people traveling you're constantly worrying about those people" — Tiera Salitros 

Tiera Salitros is a design major who is studying abroad in Rome right now through a special program at Iowa State. It's special because she is technically still going to school at Iowa State this semester even though she is living in Italy.

I recommend listening to this interview if you think studying abroad can be a springboard to do even more travel for a semester. Tiera does a great job of explaining different ways to save during the week in order to explore on the weekends.

We also talk about how studying abroad can serve as a trial run for living in a big city and the benefits of going on a solo trip.

Other than that, all the usuals are in this interview...living arrangements, classes and class structure, and as always an epic travel story.

 

GPS Without The Tickets

SHOW NOTES

  • Finding her way into study abroad [1:50]
  • All Iowa State: Tiera talks about her unique study abroad experience [2:50]
  • Her attitude prior to leaving for Rome [5:58]
  • How living in Rome has changed Tiera's view of the world [7:19]
  • Living arrangements and living in Rome (or any big city) [8:12]
  • Exploring the rest of Europe [11:28]
  • Tiera's advice for someone who is thinking about studying abroad [12:26]
  • Tiera's study abroad tip to allow you to travel more [13:11]
  • Tiera's exciting solo trip [15:01]
  • The benefits of being alone while traveling [18:45]
  • Becoming a resilient traveler [20:08]
  • Flixbus and Train Italia [22:15]
  • Let My People Go Surfing [23:10]

If you want to learn more about Tiera just click on her linked name at the beginning of the article to checkout her blog.

8 Biggest Benefits of Studying Abroad [Infographic]