Advance planning pays off!


Emma Gira ’16 of Biomedical Engineering visits the Hobbiton village movie set in New Zealand, which was used to film The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Emma Gira ’16 of Biomedical Engineering put a lot of foresight into planning her study abroad experience.

“During my sophomore year I decided I wanted to study abroad during my junior spring semester,” she explained. “So throughout my sophomore year I researched different study abroad programs. Once I decided between a few programs I wanted to apply to, I looked at the different classes they offered and what credits they would transfer for. At this point I began meeting with advisers for study abroad and for my major to help coordinate and double check all my research.”

It all paid off.

During her semester at Christchurch, New Zealand during Spring 2015, Emma took four courses at the University of Canterbury, two of which satisfied basic science electives she needed for her BME degree, and another, finance, which counted toward her minor in business.

And, as the photos she brought back attest, Emma got to visit one of the most scenic countries in the world.

“The best experience I had was a two night hiking trip I did with other American students,” Emma said. “The trip was grueling and exhausting, but the views were unbelievable and made the hike totally worth it.”

She also came back with some valuable perspectives.

 “I gained an increased sense of independence and appreciation for what I have here in the states, and for what another culture/society has to offer. I found that I took advantage of every day that I had there and took more initiative to do things that I wanted to, such as reaching out to locals or other students to join clubs or go on weekend trips.”

port hills

The Port Hills, which lie between the city of Christchurch and its port at Lyttelton, are an eroded remnant of the Lytteltonvolcano, which erupted millions of years ago.