Global Education Student Committee
The Global Education Student Committee (GESC) works with students on campus to make global education better. We are a group of students who have studied abroad and now want to help the Global Education Office by providing them with a student voice.
The student committee’s goals are to promote study away with our fellow Duke students and to keep study away alumni involved and engaged with their global experiences.
Co-Presidents serve as voting student representatives to the Global Education Committee, a faculty standing committee of the Arts and Sciences Council that approves and reviews student petitions and new Study Abroad programs and sets Global Education policy. The co-presidents also plan and run group meetings and work closely with the Ambassadors, the Global Education Office, and students interested in study abroad/away to put on presentations for prospective students and facilitate global education on campus.
Executive Board members participate in at least two Global Education related events per semester and supervise a group of Ambassadors in planning their own event or activity to promote study away.
Ambassadors answer prospective student questions and work with an executive board member to plan and participate in one event per year that promotes study away. View the Study Away Ambassador Directory.
Apply for a position
- The Executive Board application opens in March for the following school year. If you're interested in joining, email Abby Grubbs, GESC advisor.
- We accept Ambassador applications on an ongoing basis. Join us!
Hi everyone! I am a junior from inner-city Philadelphia. Prior to traveling to South Africa, I had never been on a plane out of the country. Outside of my initial nervousness and anticipation, I had the most life-changing, humbling experience. While living in a village (for a short time) and being amongst nature in its truest form (all the time), I relearned myself and truly made personal decisions that made me happy about my future (please feel free to ask me about them). Going to a different country to learn forced me to realize I don’t know as much as I think and having this opportunity in college is like getting two birds with one stone. Traveling to South Africa on my own, meeting people who I am now close to, and trying the most delicious food inspired me to travel more- which I took advantage of through the numerous opportunities here. Like many people who you will meet at Duke, and I am sure they’ll say the same thing- what better way to travel the world than in college! Keep in mind, to truly enjoy your time abroad, be open and give yourself time to process!
GEO Programs: OTS South Africa (summer), Duke in Venice (fall)
Major: Cultural Anthropology
Minor: Global Health
Hi! I’m a senior from Claremont, California. Studying abroad has been one of the highlights of my college experience. Being abroad was truly enriching and taught me how to be a better global citizen. I want to help you make your abroad experience the best it can be. I hope to expand resources for current and prospective abroad students and make information more accessible. I’d be happy to talk to you about my personal experiences in Greece and Madrid or point you toward someone who can speak more about your specific inquiry. If you have any questions about choosing a location, program content, living in a homestay, traveling while abroad, learning another language, or any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
GEO Programs: Duke in Greece, Duke in Madrid
Major: Public Policy
Minors: Global Health and Spanish
Hi! I have had the privilege of completing three different study abroad programs that hold some of my most cherished memories of my Duke career. I don’t mean to be cliché, but I can fully attest that studying abroad was a life-changing experience! Studying abroad was never easy. I faced various challenges along the way – emotionally, physically, mentally – but, rightfully so. They all served as growth opportunities that transformed me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. To be specific, I was able to develop a stronger sense of identity and became much more confident in who I am. Emotionally-triggering experiences inclined me to look inside myself and undergo a series of self-reflections and empowered me to genuinely filter through, rescale, and reconcile my values and priorities. Once I stopped critiquing different livelihoods under a conventional American lens, I developed my tolerance and grew a stronger appreciation for diversity, multiculturalism, and cultural awareness. These are just a few of the innumerable benefits of study abroad that I seek to share with you all. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time to discuss any concerns you may have about study abroad. I am here to make sure you have the eye-opening experiences that’ll last a life time!
GEO Programs: Duke in Aix-en-Provence, Duke in Greece, SIT South Africa: Multiculturalism & Human Rights
Major: Public Policy Studies
Minor: Environmental Science & Policy
Hello! I am a rising junior from Trinidad and Tobago. During the past two years at Duke, I have been exposed to new and exciting experiences which have challenged me and contributed to my personal and academic development. As an international student, upon entering Duke I had insight to another country’s way of life and the intricacies of its culture. After a year of gaining the same insight into life and culture in America, I wanted to extend that to those of other countries. I have since partaken in Duke in Alicante and Duke in Costa Rica. Both are excellent programs which I would highly recommend. Through them I further developed my intercultural competency, and improved my world-view. I am excited to share my study abroad experiences with you, and I hope to encourage you to embark upon a potentially transformative journey. If you have questions, feel free to contact me.
GEO Programs: Duke in Alicante, Duke in Costa Rica
Hi, I am a senior from Cary, North Carolina. Studying abroad was undoubtedly the best experience of my life: I made lifelong friendships with people from all over the world, gained new perspectives, and learned countless life lessons. I have also traveled with Duke in many other ways, including a spring break trip to California to install solar panels on a Native American reservation; a 6-week summer trip to Madagascar to build a rainwater catchment system; a spring break trip to perform environmental health research in China; and a summer internship in Sweden researching sustainable energy. Altogether, these experiences helped to shape the person I am today. As a GEO ambassador, I want to inspire and encourage EVERYONE to pursue global education opportunities! I love to talk about my experiences, so please send me an email!
GEO Programs: Duke in Rome, UNSW in Australia
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Certificate: Global Development Engineering
Minor: Energy Engineering
Hi! I am a senior from Cheyenne, Wyoming. When I arrived at Duke I worried that with my majors and schedule, studying abroad would be impossible. I am so glad I found a way to fit not one, but two different programs into my time here! Each of these experiences were unquestionably among my favorite and most transformative experiences at Duke. After participating in programs in London and Dublin, I have become a huge advocate for global education, especially for engineering and other STEM majors. I am excited to share my experiences — from attending the Tour de France to managing a STEM course load abroad — and to help others orchestrate their own adventures.
GEO Programs: Duke in London Finance, University College Dublin
Majors: Mechanical Engineering and Economics
Ryan A DuTot
Starting in high school I knew that I wanted to experience some type of study abroad education during my years at Duke. Going into my second semester of sophomore year, I decided that I wanted to stay on Duke’s campus for the remainder of my time as a Blue Devil. Still craving that diversity of learning and culture, I found that the Duke in Geneva summer program was perfect for me. Through the challenging coursework and field trips, I was able to see firsthand the inner workings of international business and politics. Best of all, I came back to campus with an extremely tight knit group of intelligent, curious and caring friends. Looking forward, I plan to use my knowledge gained abroad to be a more globally aware US Naval officer and a more well-rounded member of our increasingly diverse community.
GEO Program: Duke in Geneva
Certificate: Markets and Management Studies
Minor: Computer Science
Hi everyone! I’m a senior who was born in Korea and grew up in central New Jersey. I decided to go to China after starting to learn Chinese my freshman year. Spending my first college summer in a place I’d never been to (a whole new world, at that) was an incredible and unforgettable experience. Going into the summer after sophomore year, I had no idea what to do – I found it extremely difficult trying to decide how to make the most of it with so many options available as a Duke student. I ultimately realized my interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment and media industry held utmost priority, which led me to participate in both Duke in LA and NY (DiLANY, as we who’ve done both like to call it). The biggest difference between my peers and me is that my experiences with Global Ed have been majority domestic. I could not have asked for a better past two years; I was able to intern at some incredible companies, meet new people and alums both in- and out-of industry, and live in the two largest hubs of arts and entertainment. Being a member of the Committee and someone who has experienced Global Ed on the domestic and international fronts, I would love to serve as a person to go to for questions regarding either or both! Let’s chat!
GEO Programs: Duke in China, Duke in NY Summer Internships in the City, Duke in LA
Major: Visual and Media Studies
Certificates: Arts of the Moving Image, Markets and Management Studies
Briana "Bri" Kleiner
Hey there! I am a senior from Groton, Connecticut. I am very excited to be a returning member of the Global Education Student Executive Board! At a very young age, I fell in love with traveling and began dreaming of traveling to far away places like Australia as early as the 5th grade. In the summer following my first year at Duke, my dream came true when I participated in Duke in Australia. It was absolutely life changing. It was my first truly immersive experience in a new country. Afterwards, I became more involved in advocating for global education and studying abroad, because the world, to me, is inspirational. It ignites your inner passions, and feeds your hunger to learn more about the environment that surrounds you.
The summer after my junior year, I had the opportunity to participate in Duke in Chile. Through the immersive Spanish-speaking environment in Chile, I was able to interact with the entrepreneurial community and make treasured memories with my host family. I cannot thank GEO enough for the opportunities that it has provided me, the knowledge that I have obtained, the memories I have made, and the experiences that I plan to apply in both my academic and professional careers.
I look forward to assisting future GEO program students to be inspired by the world. Please contact me if you have any questions about Duke in Australia, Duke in Chile, selecting a program location, living in a home stay, learning another language, or any other inquiries about what studying abroad is like. I am also a trained GEO Peer Advisor and I would be happy to help in any way that I can!
GEO Programs: Duke in Australia, Duke in Chile
Major: Environmental Science and Policy
Minors: Biology and Political Science
Hello! I am a junior from Sacramento, California. I studied abroad in Paris, France last summer, which was my first time traveling abroad by myself. My experiences there have not only led me to declare my French Studies minor, but have widened my perspective and understanding of different cultures and people. I am studying abroad this fall in Seoul, South Korea to add to my abroad experiences. I would be happy to talk to you about anything, from my experiences in two very different places all the way to starting the petition process, balancing academics and travel, and continuing your education once you get back!
GEO Programs: Duke in Paris, Seoul National University in Korea (petition)
Minor: French Studies
Hey! I am a senior from Miami, Florida. After spending a summer and a semester abroad last year, I want to spend my final year at Duke emphasizing how incredible and unique both of these opportunities were. I was hesitant initially about whether studying abroad was for me: I was nervous about fulfilling credits and, coming from a Greek family who travels home often, I was not sure I would gain much from traveling. I could not have been more wrong as each country has its own quirks, culture, and customs that one can only learn by being immersed in it. Studying abroad molds you into a more versatile and resourceful person with a mind that can think in a global context – all skills that will most definitely prove useful in the future! I would love to talk more about the programs I participated in or just chat about abroad in general. If you’re worried about host families, food allergies, or getting lost on your way to Siena because you took the wrong train and ended up in Florence – don’t be afraid to reach out!
GEO Programs: Duke in Spain, The Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy
Majors: Psychology and Visual Media Studies
Maria Paula Moreno
Hello! My name is Paula. I am a junior from Jupiter, Florida; although I was born in Bogota, Colombia. After spending four weeks in Alaska during the summer of 2017, I am more interested in studying in unusual locations. The class in Alaska helped me broaden my academic horizons, as I would not normally enjoy taking a biology class. It made me realize the importance of taking classes outside of my major. Also, the program made me realize that Duke has amazing programs domestically as well. I plan to study abroad again in Berlin spring semester of 2019. I hope to be a useful resource who helps answer any questions about the study abroad experience. Please feel free to contact me!
GEO Programs: Duke in Alaska
Certificate: Markets and Management Studies
Hi! I’m a senior from Toronto, Canada. After working independently in France and Italy my first two summers at Duke, and then studying abroad in Denmark the fall of my junior year, I have developed an enthusiasm for study abroad and wanted to become an ambassador to transfer this enthusiasm to other students! What I found to be the most impactful aspect of studying and working abroad was the ability to develop new perspectives on issues I had been studying at Duke through my ICS major. It was an incredible opportunity for me to challenge my views on the world and experience life in other cultures, and solidified my decision to work abroad/in a global environment post-grad. If you need advice about adjusting to new environments, language barriers/language studies, or just want to talk about ways to incorporate travel into your Duke experience, I would love to talk!
GEO Programs: DIS Copenhagen
Major: International Comparative Studies
Minors: Psychology and Chemistry
Hi everyone! I’m a junior from Charlottesville, Virginia. My family is Chinese, and I’ve been to China quite a few times in the past, but Duke in China was the first time that I had gone on my own to study. Being bilingual or having international experiences are extremely useful for the future, and as someone who is looking to work abroad in Asia in the future, being in China for two-and-a-half months helped me affirm that. I hope that during my time on the exec board, I’m able to help guide any of you who are wondering on how to incorporate your study-abroad experiences with your academics or future plans. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have and offer my support!
GEO Programs: Duke in China
Majors: Economics and Mathematics
Minor: Visual Arts
All of the Global Education Student Committee members are available for questions – feel free to reach out using the email address listed in their bios. You can also check out more resources for contacting alumni of study away programs on the Ask a Student page under Advising.