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 at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters. If you are interested in joining outside those windows, please email Abby Grubbs, GESC advisor.
Hello! I am a senior from inner-city Philadelphia. Prior to my experience in South Africa, I have never traveled internationally yet I knew I wanted to study abroad at Duke. When I studied in South Africa, I had a wonderful time adjusting to a new place relative to the way I grew up. I had a memorable experience that helped shaped who I am (feel free to ask) and my career choice! Also, I spent a semester in Venice, Italy learning Italian and the culture. My time in Venice was the best thing ever: I cooked often, shared an apartment and bonded with other international students and traveled. I practiced budgeting in order to pay for food, traveling and personal expenses. If you would like a similar experience as mine, my goal is to help students browse the numerous study-away options available that can also fulfill major and university requirements. There’s no better way to travel the world than in college! 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
Hello! I’m a senior from Spartanburg, South Carolina, and I’ve had a passion for travel and cultural diversity from a young age. Growing up in a bicultural family, I visited China several times growing up and learned how to speak Chinese from exposure to relatives and friends, but it wasn’t until I came to Duke that I was able to take personal control of my own journey towards language acquisition and cultural immersion. My abroad experiences in China and Copenhagen have been pivotal in my decision to pursue global health as a career and helped me grow exponentially in terms of flexibility and ability to engage constructively across linguistic and cultural barriers. I understand how difficult it can be to decide where and when to study abroad and am more than happy to share more about my own experiences and insight to help you along in this process!
GEO Programs: Duke in China, DIS Copenhagen
Major: Global Health and AMES
Minor: Cultural Anthropology
Hi! I am a senior from Honolulu, Hawaii. Since I have participated in four Global Education experiences during my time at Duke, I want to be a resource for students who are considering going as far as Japan or as close as Washington DC. Additionally, as a first-generation college student, the thought of traveling itself was scary. I made a passport during my freshman year of Duke right before I went to the UK and now have been to 12 countries! Whether or not you want to do an internship, improve your language skills, or just study something random (like Victorian Literature), there is a program for you. If you are like how I was freshman year and overwhelmed by the number of incredible options, please reach out!
GEO Programs: Duke in Alaska, Duke in Oxford, Duke in D.C., International Christian University-Tokyo
Majors: Public Policy, International Comparative Studies
Certificate: Markets and Management Studies
Hi everyone! My name is Ioana (pronounced E-Wanna) and I am junior, originally from Romania. At Duke I completed 2 study abroad programs, both in France. Being an international student at Duke has opened my doors to not only coming to America, but also to having a world of opportunities at my footsteps. I spent my freshman summer studying French for 6 weeks in the south of France, living with a host family and visiting ancient Roman sites every week in addition to spending my afternoon doing homework on the beach. My love for French culture only grew stronger after this experience, so I decided to spend an entire semester in Paris, living in a dorm with international students from all over the world and traveling to around countries just that semester. My study abroad experience is definitely a highlight of my time at Duke and I’d love to answer any questions you may have.
GEO Programs: Duke in Aix-en-Provence, Duke in France
Majors: Economics and Statistical Sciences
Hello! I am a senior from Trinidad and Tobago. As an international student, upon entering Duke, I had an insight into my home country’s way of life and the intricacies of its multicultural society. After a year of learning about life and culture in America, I wanted to experience the same in other countries. Since the Summer after my freshman year, I have partaken in three different study abroad programs. As a result, I have developed intercultural competence, increased my self-awareness, and broadened and refined my career interests. I highly recommend seeking out study away opportunities during your collegiate career because of the personal and academic gains they entail. 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 any questions, feel free to contact me!
GEO Programs: Duke in Alicante, Duke in Costa Rica, SIT/IHP Health & Community
Hi everyone! I am a senior from Cleveland, Ohio. I have always loved traveling and been fascinated by other cultures, customs and languages. Through Duke, I have been able to explore parts of the world I never would have imagined, including a summer in Greece, a semester in Madrid, and a month long research project in Lima, Peru. My time abroad has helped broaden my perspective, challenged my ability to adapt in unknown and sometimes uncomfortable environments, and has given me the opportunity to reflect on my own goals, values and priorities. As GEO ambassador, I would love to talk to you about my personal experiences in Madrid or Greece and help you take advantage of some of the many global opportunities that Duke provides, whether it be for a semester, a class credit during the summer, research, or any other opportunities. If you have any questions about living in a homestay, language-intensive programs, program structure or content, how to incorporate traveling abroad in your Duke experience, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
GEO Programs: Duke in Greece, Duke in Madrid
Major: Evolutionary Anthropology
Minors: Spanish and Sociology
Howdy! My name is John, and I am a junior from Locust, North Carolina (I won’t be hurt if you don’t know it.) I have always had a global focus and a desire to see the world: coming from a small community does that to you. My summer travel to Cuba with Duke completely changed me as a person. As it was my first time outside of the country, I had to learn to navigate life in another country, interact in another language, and even how to navigate an airport. For those of you worried about navigating a new country or a city for the first time, the struggle is real, but completely easy to overcome. That is why I am here: to help other students further their perspectives on the world and ease their transitions to a new type of learning. My study abroad experience gave me friends, family, knowledge, and great new foods to make at home. I can only thank Duke for the wonderful opportunity.
GEO Programs: Duke in Cuba
Majors: Public Policy and International Comparative Studies
I am a senior from New Hampshire and my experiences in Sydney allowed me to meet a host of people from all areas, not just Australia. I lived with seven other people, and only one of them was also from North America. We often ate meals together and rotated through a cooking schedule, so we were able to share the cuisines we were used to with one another. I forged connections with people from so many different countries and picked up skills for living independently during my study abroad programs.
GEO Programs: Duke in Berlin; University of Sydney
Minors: Sociology and Creative Writing
Hi everybody! I’m a senior from a small town right outside of Memphis, TN. I’m a low-income, first generation college student so I didn’t get the opportunity to travel outside the U.S. before Duke. The first time I ever travelled abroad was to Morocco the summer after my freshman year and it was a very scary, stressful and absolutely amazing, fantastic experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Throughout my abroad programs, I’ve learned so much about myself and how I relate to the world. Studying abroad truly transformed not only the way I think about other countries and people but the way that I think about Americans and myself as well. I can speak quite a bit on studying abroad as a first-gen student, leaving the U.S. for long periods of time (my semester abroad began almost immediately after I finished a Duke Engage program), and self-care while abroad. Also, I’ve lived with seven (yes-seven!) homestay families, who have all been amazing, throughout my various abroad programs, so I can definitely help you work through any homestay nervousness or uncertainty. Feel free to contact me with any questions or to just chat about abroad and different programs!
GEO Programs: Duke in the Arab World; SIT/IHP Human Rights
Major: Political Science
Minors: Cultural Anthropology and AMES
Hey y’all! I am a junior from Mills River, North Carolina. I’ve grown up all over Latin America and my wandering childhood instilled in me a love for exploration that I am so excited to continue at Duke. Spending my first college summer in a bustling city in the middle of an unfamiliar country was intimidating at first, but ultimately turned into a few of the most enriching weeks of my life. The immersive language program exposed me to a new culture, entrepreneurial communities, a wonderful host family, and countless valuable experiences – many of which helped me grow as an individual. The tolerance of and appreciation for diversity, different cultures, and general newness that came from these experiences are themes that will continue to last with me. From creating lifelong connections with people from around the world to learning about new perspectives and ways of life, study abroad is sure to add so much more to your Duke experience in exceptional ways. I’m excited to share information about global education, chat about the accessibility of the programs Duke offers, and hopefully encourage more students to embark on these experiences! If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to reach out!
GEO Programs: Duke in Chile; NYU Prague
Major: Political Science
Minors: Education and Psychology
Hey! My name is Veronica and I am a junior from Las Vegas, NV. I studied abroad for the first-time last summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil (which was also my first time out of the country!) and I haven’t wanted to stop traveling ever since. Immersing myself in different cultures, learning different languages, and speaking to different people has given me a new lens to look at the world through. As a first-generation, low-income student, I know the struggle that comes with being unsure about finances that come with day to day expenses, let alone going out of the country and not having anyone at home to ask how to go about things. I want to be able to help guide anyone who is even thinking about the possibility of studying abroad, no matter certain obstacles they may face. If you have any questions, or just want someone to talk to, feel free to message me!
Certificate: Policy, Journalism & Media Studies
Julianne Jiyoung Sohn
Hello! I am a senior from Cypress, California. Studying abroad has been such a huge part of my Duke experience, and there is so much I learned that I still continue to reflect on to this day. My abroad experiences have shaped my future career plans and goals, and it has taught me how to make decisions both externally and internally about myself. I hope as a member of the committee I can be here to listen and talk about any concerns or questions you may have because your concerns are valid and we want to help you find the program that fits you best! I truly believe that studying abroad is one of those once in a lifetime experiences, and if you want to talk about anything ranging from host families, classes, to being a minority in a new country, please reach out!
GEO Programs: Duke in Costa Rica; Duke in Madrid
Minors: Chemistry, Spanish
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.