The study abroad team at Notre Dame International is launching a new podcast meant to highlight the diversity of experiences abroad among students, returnees, and alumni. The weekly podcast, BeyoND Study Abroad, launches on Friday, Oct. 9.
“The podcast will allow our listeners to feel connected to other students who have the same questions, excitement, apprehensions and all the feelings that come with study abroad,” says Brigitta Richmond, study abroad assistant director. “I am passionate about studying abroad, but generally students want to hear from other students.”
The podcast is produced and hosted by Sofia Perez, a senior biochemistry major who studied abroad in London in fall 2019. While abroad, she participated in an internship at the St. Thomas More Catholic School and traveled to a variety of countries around Europe. Prior to her experience in London, Perez’s international experience was limited and she had never been outside of North America. By overcoming all of her apprehensions and nerves, she ended up gaining a new perspective and advocating to her peers about the importance of an experience abroad. As host of the newly launched podcast, she hopes to weave in pieces of her story while also interviewing a variety of students, alumni, and staff about their time abroad.
“Studying abroad gives students a more worldly view and a chance to live outside of the Notre Dame bubble for a semester,” says Perez. “My incredible experience has encouraged me to do all I can to inspire other students to study abroad, and what better way to do that than through this podcast? I am excited to be a part of this podcast launch and hopefully can convey my excitement for study abroad and share my experiences to hopefully inspire others to embark on this wonderful study abroad journey as well.”
Earlier this year, the study abroad team met to discuss ways to engage with students during the COVID-19 pandemic. While programs abroad are currently canceled, the team is already planning for semester and academic programs abroad for 2021 and beyond. They wanted to re-invent the process to make sure information was easily accessible to all students.
“With this podcast, the study abroad team wanted to create an innovative and new way of connecting with students at all stages of the study abroad process,” says Lisa Shroyer, senior assistant director, exchange and American semester abroad programs. It is a chance for students to learn more about studying abroad and hear a multitude of stories from our returnees and alumni despite currently being unable to travel and experience the world themselves.”
The first episode features Michael Pippenger, vice president and associate provost for internationalization. The weekly series will be posted every Friday starting Oct. 9. BeyoND Study Abroad can be found on iTunes and Spotify. Episodes will also be featured on the study abroad website.