Featured GO Alumni
For our students, global learning doesn't stop after they graduate. Learn more about Susquehanna alumni who are still involved with international experiences!
Danielle Ditty '14
Placed in Morocco with the Peace Corps (January 2015)
Danielle Ditty, a 2014 graduate of Susquehanna, spent six months of 2013 studying abroad in Cairns, Australia. It was an experience that changed her life. While in Australia, Danielle learned to appreciate a different, more relaxed and open culture than the one she was familiar with, which inspired her to postpone her plans of going to grad school in favor of trying out something she’d never considered before: the Peace Corps.
In January 2015, Danielle will travel to Morocco, where she will live for two years working as a Youth Asset Builder in the Peace Corps’ Youth in Development Program. She will be teaching English to Moroccan youths, a position she qualified for based on her past experiences as a summer camp counselor and a Peer Advisor in the GO Office at Susquehanna.
Danielle says she is excited about her placement in education in Morocco because she feels like she can make a difference there. It is common for Moroccan women to drop out of school to get married, so Danielle hopes she can encourage more women to stay in school and be a positive role model for them. Danielle is excited to grow and change as a person as a result of this experience, and expects that the skills she learned while studying abroad in college, like keeping an open mind and reaching out to locals, will help her while in Morocco.
Her best piece of advice to students who have yet to study abroad is to realize that it is not a burden to go abroad. She says that it can change your life plans as it changed hers, and that it is an opportunity to meet great people. To those considering further international experiences, like the Peace Corps or something like it, Danielle urges them to take initiative and to not let fear stand in the way of such an opportunity.
Though unsure of what specifically she’d like to do after the Peace Corps, Danielle is considering pursuing more international opportunities like applying for the Fulbright scholarship. She is excited to find more ways to live learn and work internationally.
Katherine Ford '13
Studying European Studies at Cardiff University, Wales
While at Susquehanna, Katherine Ford participated in GO programs in Aix-en-Provence, France, and in Prague. Before she studied abroad, Katherine was planning on working in the theatre industry. Her time in Aix and Prague, however, inspired her to change her career path. “Going abroad demonstrated to me how important cross-cultural experiences are to personal growth and development,” she says. “Because of this experience, I decided to change my career path to one in international education.”
Katherine is now pursuing her M.A. in European studies with a focus on culture and ideology at Cardiff University in Wales. Once her degree is completed, she hopes to be a study abroad advisor at a university in either the U.S. or the U.K.
According to Katherine, the skills students learn while studying abroad are valuable in any professional field. “Aside from the benefits of potentially learning a second language, by studying abroad you are learning how to work with other people effectively, problem solve, be adaptable in different situations, be proactive, be responsible for yourself and your actions, and develop a world view which you probably would not have if you don’t study abroad.”
She advises students to use these to their advantage while job hunting. She also encourages students to go outside their comfort zone when they study abroad, both in terms of which country they choose and how long they GO. Her biggest piece of advice to students: immerse yourself right away and develop a routine abroad.
Sarah Andrews, '12
Senior Communications Coordinator (Conference Program) at NAFSA
As a student at Susquehanna, Sarah Andrews was a business major and participated in the Sigmund Weis School of Business London program. When she returned to campus, she worked as an assistant in the GO Office, and through this job fell in love with the study abroad field. After graduation, she planned to look for employment in a university study abroad office, until she discovered an opening at the NAFSA: Association of International Educators. This organization provides support, guidance, and opportunities to professionals in the field of international education.
Sarah’s first job with NAFSA involved developing training material for the field, and in January she became the senior communications coordinator for their Conference Program. She has lived and worked in Washington, D.C., since August 2012, but recently took a trip to visit a friend (and fellow alum) in the Peace Corps in Swaziland. During her three weeks there, she volunteered at a primary school and helped make a sign language textbook.
Sarah’s advice to students is to market international experiences and global competencies clearly on their resumes. She says that the world is becoming a lot more globalized, and that every almost every job has some sort of international aspect. In order to showcase the skills and knowledge that students have learned while abroad, Sarah suggests making a specific international section on a resume. In this section, students should outline not only where they went, but also what they did and what they learned during their time abroad.
If you are an alum who is still involved in some way with international experiences, we'd love to hear about it! Click here to take a short survey about what you are doing.