Student Profiles - Brianna Kozior
Hometown: Doylestown, Pa.
Study abroad times: University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), Queensland, Australia in summer/fall 2010 (July to December 2010) and International Undergraduate Studies Program (IUSP), Marburg, Germany in Spring 2011 (February-July 2011)
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I’ve always had a desire to go to new places and study abroad. It just seemed like the perfect opportunity. Pennsylvania is a tiny speck on our huge planet; how could you not want to explore what’s out there for all to see?
Why did you choose Australia? Germany?
Australia was a stretch. I wanted to study abroad for the whole year, but not in the same place. I decided on going to Australia first because I would be there for the fall semester, which is their spring, and I wanted to experience an Australian summer.
I knew I wanted to go to Germany because I had already been there after high school. My best friend at the time and I went to Hannover, Germany, for three weeks to visit our exchange student from the previous year. So, Germany was a safe choice because I knew that if I went back I would fall back in love with the culture.
How did you know what to pack for both places? For example, Australia has opposite seasons than the U.S.
I definitely packed way too much for Germany and way too little for Australia. I had no idea what I would need for Australia because I wasn’t used to the culture and I knew what I needed for Germany but expected colder weather and packed too heavy. For anyone traveling in the future, I would say pack the basics, and then make sure you have one-of things just in case. You don’t want to have to ship anything from home if you can help it (it’s around $7 to send a postcard from the U.S. to Brisbane, Australia).
What course did you take in Australia? Germany?
In Australia, I took a little bit of everything to get some gen-eds out of the way, such as “Creative Writing,” “Environment/Technology and Sustainability,” “History of Australian Popular Culture” and “Environment and Health.”
In Germany, I took “From page to stage: Shakespeare in Stratford” and “Performing Gender in America,” which was really cool to see everyones perspective on America while in Germany. We were also required to take a German language course depending on our level of ability (to speak the language) and a German culture class that my program took together as a lecture.
What were the classes like?
I loved the classes. In both Australia and Germany, classes are taught differently. You have two parts to your classes: A tutorial and a lecture. In Australia, the lecture is given once or twice a week and everyone taking that particular class attends. Then, you’re split up in to smaller classes and twice a week you have your “tut” (pronounced toot) with a professor’s assistant. The purpose of this is to re-cap what was learned in class and make sure you understand the material, through discussions and exercises.
In Germany, it was basically the same, but our tutorials were only with other people in my program, who were taking the class. So it could be you and an instructor one on one, or a group of students and the instructor. It was also a little more informal.
When you were not in class, what did you do for fun?
In Australia, we would go to the beach, travel, or go out into town with friends. I took a hip-hop class while I was there with two friends who were natives, so that was a cool experience meeting people outside of my university. I also worked as a professional model while I was there, which was a crazy experience. This allowed me to travel a lot more as well; I had runway shows in Sydney twice and a few in Brisbane.
In Marburg, my friends and I traveled almost every weekend, but on weekdays, we usually all cooked dinner together (depending on who lived in what dorm) got together for a big dinner party or went out to eat. We pretty much did everything together.
What was the coolest experience you had in Australia? Germany?
My three best friends and I lived on a boat for four days and sailed the Great Barrier Reef. It was the experience of a lifetime.
In Germany, my closest friend Hillary and I backpacked Europe after school was over. She left two weeks before I did to fly home, so I continued the last leg of my journey alone. I was able to reunite with my German exchange student from high school, Val, and her family. By the time school began (at Millersville) this fall, I had been to 14 countries in the past two years. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.
What organizations have you been involved with at Millersville University?
It's hard to be involved when you travel so much, but the one organization I’ve stuck with is the All Campus Musical Organization, ACMO. I am able to do what I love sing, act and dance with all of my best friends and it couldn't be a more perfect organization for me.
Why do you feel it is important to get involved?
Getting involved on campus is the best way to meet people, because you're surrounded by others who have the same interests as you. What you do outside of class makes college great and getting involved with your community, campus and with your peers is the best way to spend your time because you will always get something great back from it.
Why do you think it is important for MU students to study abroad?
I think it is so important to expand your learning into different cultures and Millersville's global education offers so many options to choose from. The people you meet and experiences you have while abroad will be the greatest in your lifetime.
How has Millersville helped you succeed?
Millersville has helped me realize that this is not where I want to be. Maybe that’s not what everyone is expecting to hear, but it's true. I have had so many wonderful, accomplished professors helped emphasize that Millersville is not the last stop; there is so much more world out there and my education here is just the beginning. When I graduate, I’ll be opening a door leading to the rest of my life and thanks to Millersville, and especially global education, I will have some great experiences to look back on and look forward to.