• 01/12/17- MSU Senior: Studying Abroad Provides ‘an opportunity like no other’

    Contact: Sasha Steinberg

    STARKVILLE, Miss.—Studying abroad can open doors to many life-changing experiences. Just ask Mississippi State senior chemical engineering major Brandon Baxter.

    “There is no manner of travel and experiencing the world which is nearly as affordable, fun or beneficial as studying abroad,” said the Hattiesburg native. “It is something that changes you and helps you grow, and you don't even realize it; you’re just having fun at the time.”

    This past year, Baxter enjoyed a six-month study abroad experience in Munich, Germany, where he spent the winter semester at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. Living in a student village with peers from Germany and other European locales was among the highlights of his journey, which included visits to 12 countries.

    “I went alone, so the European students I lived with became my family,” Baxter recalled. “I was able to experience the life of an everyday Munich citizen, from paying rent, obtaining German health insurance, and running errands to experiencing Oktoberfest, relaxing in the Englischer Garten, and visiting the Christmas markets.”

    Baxter said he also increased his knowledge of European history, as well as his understanding of people with different cultures and backgrounds.

    “More than anything, I gained a huge amount of confidence and sort of became an adult,” he said. “Learning to survive and thrive after arriving alone in a foreign country will do that, but it also was so much fun.”

    Meagan Coughlin, director of international communications and protocol for MSU’s International Institute, said the university is continually working to position itself as a leading global institution of higher learning. Encouraging students’ pursuit of study abroad opportunities contributes to that mission, she said.

    “The International Institute serves as a hub of all international activities with the intent to continuously promote global initiatives to our internal and external audiences,” Coughlin said. “We want to promote the life-changing opportunities for our students to study abroad, so they can experience life as they’ve never imagined.”

    Students interested in embarking on their own study abroad experience are encouraged to attend the Office of Study Abroad’s upcoming Spring Study Abroad Fair. Taking place Wednesday [Jan. 25] on the first floor of the Colvard Student Union, the 10 a.m.-1 p.m. event will showcase faculty-led summer programs and student exchange opportunities. During the fair, students will learn how academic programs outside of the U.S. can broaden their global perspectives, while enabling them to earn credits toward an MSU degree.

    For more information, contact Kassandra Lane, International Institute study abroad coordinator, at 662-325-2797 or

    Learn more about MSU’s International Institute at

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