Center for International Programs - Study Abroad

Student Profile:Ken Munroe ODL

Ken Munroe

Name: Kenneth J. Munroe

Major: Organization Development & Leadership

Abroad Program: ODL Study Tour, Italy
Course: Seminar in Global Organizations

Highlight: meeting with executives and HR professionals at the company site visits

Best Excursion: trip to a villa/winery in Tuscany
Favorite Dish: Tiramisu
Next Destination: Jamaica

What did you learn to love about the culture(s)?
Travelling throughout Italy and visiting the cultural sites, I really appreciated how Italians embrace their culture and history. There is a great sense of pride concerning the contributions Italians have made to art, architecture and fashion.

What was one challenge you faced? How did you deal with this challenge?
One challenge that I faced was being the only male on the trip as well as only one of two African-Americans. I have been in this situation before while abroad and was prepared to encounter unique experiences. However, I did not let my differences hinder me from connecting with the people I met. I dealt with these challenges by learning a few Italian phrases prior to the trip and demonstrating respect for the local customs. I was amazed by how much I was embraced as a result. Besides, the women on the trip appreciated having a guy around to help with their luggage and fending off potential suitors.

How do you see this experience affecting your future?
Participating in this study abroad tour has reignited my passion for global engagement. I have decided to use my capstone project as opportunity to research issues related to studying abroad. I also hope to pursue a career in international education.

What is one piece of advice you would pass on to a student who is about to study abroad?
The one piece of advice that I’d offer is to maintain a journal of your experiences as they happen. I used my tablet to record a daily journal and even included pictures that supported my entries. Every so often, I take a look at my journal to get an idea as to what were my thoughts and feelings during the time of the entry. Self-awareness is a huge part of studying abroad. It’s an opportunity to examine yourself and perceptions without the distractions that you would encounter at home.

How did you fund your study abroad experience?

I used student loans to help offset some of the costs along with personal savings. 

Ken Munroe Italy Photo