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Welcome to a new year at Georgia Tech. Now that you’re back, it’s time to start thinking about studying abroad. Yes, you just got here, but since you’re at Georgia Tech, that means you think ahead and plan, so come to the open house at the Office of International Education this Wednesday from 11 am - 1 pm on the second floor of the Savant Building and start planning to see the world. 

One student who’s seen the world is Bibiana “Bibi” Garcia. She’s starting her fifth year at Georgia Tech with a major in biology. She was born and raised in South America, but moved to Augusta, Ga when she began high school. Having lived in various countries, it was, perhaps, natural for her to want to study abroad. But she keeps doing it because she loves learning and says she learns something new in each place she visits.

“Traveling to a different country on your own is an excellent opportunity to do something outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself so that you can grow as a person,” said Garcia.

Lorie Paulez, director of education abroad in Tech’s Office of International Education said that it’s not only about challenging yourself, but it’s about setting yourself up for a better career.

“We are finding more and more employers looking for graduates that have international experience these days,” said Paulez. “Because having gone abroad and having to learn to function in a culture that’s not your own gives you special skills and shows a certain amount of adaptability, flexibility and problem solving skills.”

Some students just go abroad once during their time at Tech, while others, like Garcia, go on multiple trips. Her first study abroad experience came in 2011 with the three-month Pacific Program where the group went to Wellington, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia and Brisbane, Australia. This past year, she returned to Sydney for a five-month exchange program with the University of New South Wales for a more in-depth experience.

“My philosophy is to look at my life and experience each day,” said Garcia. “I try to learn as much as I can from those around me and take advantage of every opportunity and experience available to me.”

Tech has a number of study abroad experiences available, said Paulez. There are the traditional summer study programs, but there are also exchange programs, like the one Garcia attended in Sydney, where students spend a semester or two abroad. Either of these programs may offer a research component, or service opportunities.

And knowing another language before you go isn’t necessary for all programs.

“We have options for everyone,” said Paulez. “Sometimes we have students who have already been studying a language, or a particular place or culture and they want to enhance that. But we also have students who have never been out of the United States and don’t speak another language.”

Interested in learning more? Then go to the Study Abroad Open House on Wednesday to get all your burning questions answered.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Thomas Becher
  • Created: 08/19/2013
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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