“I value the education I received at IUP, as well as the opportunities I have been given to get involved and study abroad. I not only learned in classroom settings, but I gained so much from experiencing and learning about different cultures firsthand. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities given to me through IUP and the Eberly College of Business.
“My name is Laura Leach and I am a senior in the Robert E. Cook Honors College as well as a student in the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. I am currently pursuing a degree in Marketing with a minor in Economics. I am from Indiana, Pa., and, being a local student, I think it is important to not only learn in a classroom setting, but also to go out and experience different parts of the world firsthand.
“The summer after my freshman year, I applied for and was selected to take part in a six-week trip to Turkey and Cyprus with the Honors College. I learned about these countries in a course prior to my departure and then also learned through visiting museums, archaeological digs, and through simply interacting with the locals.
“My second study abroad opportunity was very different from my first, but equally educational. I took part in a direct exchange program IUP has with Macau University in China. At this university, I was taught by international professors and took classes with students from all over the world. This opportunity taught me so much about international business and the different learning techniques of people from Asia, Europe, South America, etc.
“Lastly, I was selected to represent the Eberly College of Business as a marketing student in Bangalore, India, at an international business competition. I took tests, analyzed commercials, and gave presentations in the field of marketing. Overall, IUP came in second place in the competition, and my marketing partner and I earned first place.
“Apart from participating in study abroad, I am a student employee at the Engagement and University Events office, where I help to plan and then attend a number of campuswide events. I have worked in this office since my freshman year, and, through this job, I have been able to better my people skills and have learned how to organize events and understand the inner workings that go into pulling off such events as commencement, guest speakers, and banquets.
“One activity that I found particularly meaningful was a mission trip I took to Mexico with Grace United Methodist Church. I became familiar with this opportunity to volunteer through services that were being held at the HUB on IUP’s campus. After meeting with the adults in charge of the trip, I was selected to be a part of their team.
“I benefited immensely from this mission opportunity through helping others. I learned how to do some basic construction tasks while helping to build a house and also worked with children at a local orphanage. While this trip was only one week in length, I was still able to make a difference in people’s lives.”