This story is featured in the Fall 2016 edition of Showcase: The Experiential Learning Issue. View the complete publication.
When Maisie Glofcheski clicked on the Study Abroad Program page of the Trent University website, she didn’t imagine herself boarding a plane to study over 12,000 km away from home. But what began as an evening of browsing the internet, quickly turned into a summer abroad at Hong Kong Baptist University in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong for this fifth-year Psychology student.
Approaching the conclusion of her undergraduate degree, Ms. Glofcheski made the decision to internationalize her education, and take the opportunity to study new topics and explore what life could be like after Trent.
“Studying in another country that is so different from my own really added another dimension to my undergraduate experience at Trent,” explains Ms. Glofcheski, who is originally from a small town outside of Ottawa. “I studied Chinese religion and folklore as well as attended informal Cantonese language classes. Outside of my classes, I stayed on campus with a large group of exchange students from all over the world. I learned so much about the unique culture in Hong Kong, and got to spend time with some amazing people. By the end of my trip, the city really started to feel like home.”
New country, new perspective
Transitioning from Trent University to Hong Kong was not without its challenges, but Ms. Glofcheski praises the support she received from the Study Abroad team at Trent. She left Canada feeling prepared and ready to take on the adventure.
At her destination, Ms. Glofcheski discovered the experience of being a new student in a new country was an invaluable one: “I learned what it is like to be an international student in an unfamiliar culture, and the difficulties that present themselves in terms of language barrier and cultural difference. That being said, I also realized that being in such an environment really motivates a person to learn about the culture and the common language spoken as quickly as possible.”
Next stop: the world
Even though she has just returned home, Ms. Glofcheski will not be letting her suitcase collect dust. Looking to the future, Ms. Glofcheski plans on exploring more options to travel and pursue her next degree abroad.
“I am currently applying for my Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. I have looked into many great schools across Canada, and I will also be applying to a few schools in Korea because I recently learned about a scholarship through the Canadian Government that will fund my degree.”
Completing her time at Trent will be bittersweet, but Ms. Glofcheski says that her experience abroad has had a lasting impact.
“Having already studied abroad in an Asian country has made me comfortable enough to pursue the option of studying outside of Canada for a longer period of time. I really doubt that I would have considered it if I had not had the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong.”
Maisie Glofcheski discusses her experience studying abroad in Hong Kong in a short video.