Global Miners Spotlight

Every semester, Missouri University of Science and Technology sends numerous students abroad to places all around the world: Finland, Australia, Greece, South Korea, Ecuador; and every semester those students have stories and advice they want to share. We've dedicated this page to those students and to future study abroad participants who might have questions, concerns, or just a curious mind about what it means to be a Global Miner!

Each of the students highlighted below (and many others!) are available to speak with you regarding their host university, country of study, or to give you advice on living and studying internationally.

Student Spotlight: Alivia Dean

Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico
Despite the cancelation of outbound study abroad programs in spring 2021, Alivia Dean, student in Mechanical Engineering, was determined to pursue an experience in international education.  Alivia was the first Missouri S&T student to participate in a virtual study abroad program through the University of Monterrey (UDEM) in Mexico. She was able to enroll in online classes at UDEM while remaining in the United States. Alivia also opted for coursework in Spanish, which will help her earn a minor in Spanish.

“From day 1 of studying abroad at UDEM, I have been fully immersed in a Spanish education!  Half of my courses are instructed in Spanish, but the others also compliment those studies as I learn about Mexican culture and work on many group projects with students from Mexico and around the world.  The aspect of being online this semester has not really affected my education; if anything, I have more ability to focus on my academics from the familiar comfort of my home, as opposed to the added stress of navigating a foreign land and culture while also learning how to conduct myself in their education system.  This experience is a great steppingstone towards traveling in person and I am already learning some local jargon and contextual expressions without the worry of my health and safety during the pandemic.

“UDEM has welcomed us into a very fun group of exchange students along with local UDEM students to guide us throughout this semester.  We meet virtually on the weekends to play games and get to know one another, as we would through their usual adventures in Mexico.  They have done a great job altering their plans to still show us around Monterrey and provide resources to help us both feel welcome and succeed in class.  While the world continues to adjust to a virtual life, social media has even more influence, but it also opens the door to more opportunities to connect.  Just as the college experience is more than simply sitting in class, this experience of studying abroad online has become more than calling in on Zoom; I have expanded my Instagram platform and thoroughly enjoy visiting with my new international friends at all hours of the day.  Honestly, most of my new friends have seen more modern movies and Netflix series than I have, so I am clearly the uncultured one, even in American flicks.  Room to grow and gain perspective!

“While a big part of adding this semester to my S&T curriculum was to gain insight into another culture and meet new friends who could teach me about their daily life and mindset, I also know that there is so much more to explore that will contribute to my growth through immersion, surroundings, decisions while traveling, achieving independence, and engaging in a foreign language.  I am grateful to complete this dream in some fashion and finally study abroad.  I will continue to apply my ever-growing enthusiasm for exploration and curiosity of culture throughout my career and my life.  So far, I have practiced skills in relating to others, comparing global business practices and customary interactions, improving creativity by having a different perspective on the world (including my relatively small community), gaining consciousness of American phrases, … and most of all communication!”

If you’d like to speak to Alivia about her virtual study abroad experience, or have questions for any of our students about a particular university or country, email

Interested in learning more about the University of Monterrey in Mexico? Visit mySTUDYABROAD today!

Group photo

Student Spotlight: Katlyn Maas

Université des Sciences et Techologies de Lille, France
When she decided to study abroad during in the fall of 2019 at Missouri S&T, senior Katlyn Maas, a Business and Information Technology student, already aspired to be a global leader in her field following graduation.

Plans to be an international traveler and ambassador were at the forefront of her mind as Katlyn traveled to Lille, France to attend the Université des Sciences et Techologies de Lille with plans to study business and finance. Though the courses were different than she was used to the in the states, the opportunity to study from the perspective of a European student was one she considers invaluable.

“I got to learn about how other cultures viewed Americans from a business perspective. I definitely feel the experience changed me for the better. Learning about another culture that closely is a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone like me.”

Studying abroad is about more than academics though! Students are encouraged to take advantage of weekends and breaks and explore the vast number of destinations only a short train, bus, or flight away from your host university.

“I was able to travel to twelve different countries while I was abroad, trying new experiences and witnessing how different cultures interact with each other… If you want to travel, bus tickets start at $1 and go up to $20 while flights would start at $25, depending on where you were going.”


Katlyn’s destination in Lille, France is just one of over 100 universities in nearly 47 countries Missouri S&T partners with to send students abroad. Students can study within their academic major, study a foreign language, or work on other requirements towards their degree in order to stay on track to graduate. You can join student organizations that will allow you to conduct research, travel, make friends, and immerse yourself in a whole new way of life!

 “To say that my experience was wonderful would be an understatement. I met so many interesting people here, expanding my knowledge of other cultures and making new friends across the world... I would highly recommend a study abroad semester to anyone; it taught me independence, patience, and resilience in ways that staying in Rolla would have never taught me."

If you’d like to speak to Katlyn about her semester abroad, or have questions for any of our students about a particular university or country, email

Interested in learning more about Université des Sciences et Techologies de Lille in France? Visit mySTUDYABROAD today!

Student Spotlight: Ian Malone

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania
Ian Malone, a junior in Civil Engineering, studied abroad in Romania with Alexandrru Ioan Cuz University and though it wasn’t his first choice, it was certainly the best choice!

“Study Abroad gives you perspective. It opens the world and helps you to realize that there is more out there than our little community of an engineering school. It teaches you about stepping out of your comfort zone and adapting to new situations.”

Alexandrru Ioan Cuz University is located just a 5 hour car ride from the countries capital city of Bucharest and 2 hours from the country of Moldova. You will have the opportunity to experience historical and natural landmarks like the Black Sea and Transylvania! Romania is one of Europe’s most Eastern countries, allowing students easy access to travel destinations all across Europe and Western Asia.

“All trains in Romania are free for students (and) flights to other countries are super cheap with Ryanair… I visited the Romanian cities of Cluj, Bucharest, Brasov, and Constanta. They were all very beautiful and affordable. Also because of being in Europe, I was able to travel to 13 other countries.”

Ian with friends romania

Knowing how a semester or a summer abroad can impact you, academically and financially, is an important consideration. Before departure, all students are asked to create a budget to ensure they are prepared for all possible expenses (with a little extra for those last minute trips or nights out).

Ian was also able to take courses related to his academic major and apply them to his degree plan at S&T. Though the teaching style was different, his experience allowed him to learn skills that will be necessary to adapt to a global engineering workforce!

“You can expect to spend about ¼ of the price of things compared to here in Missouri but try to over prepare for expenses in case something unexpected happens. Romania has 2 hour lectures and labs. Most classes base 90% of the grade off the midterm and final test. I would suggest going to class and studying like normal, but also don’t be afraid to travel or experience something new. It is all good as long as you stay on top of things.”

Ian, selfie, mountain

Experiencing new cultures and opening your eyes to the world around you is exactly what study abroad is about!

International Affairs Study Abroad staff is dedicated to assisting students explore the more than 100 partner universities in over 40 countries to ensure every student finds the best fit for them.

“It is great to get out of your comfort zone so that you can learn and grow as a person. Romania offers many great challenges and I highly recommend for people to go and overcome them."

If you’d like to speak to Ian about his semester abroad, or have questions for any of our students about a particular university or country, email

Interested in learning more about Alexandrru Ioan Cuz University in Romania? Visit mySTUDYABROAD today!

Student Spotlight: Ariana Kim

Valencia Polytechnic University, Spain
When Ariana Kim came to her first information session to learn more about studying abroad, she knew exactly what she wanted from her experience: “travel as much as possible to become more open-minded, and… to become more independent and meet new people from around the world.” Based on her video interview below and the numerous photos and stories she’s shared with us and her peers, it is obvious Ariana got the most out of her semester abroad! ‌‌‌

Ariana is a senior in Mechanical Engineering and she chose to study abroad with sitting in franceValencia Polytechnic University in Spain, one of many of our partner universities with a strong focus on STEM subjects. Ariana took courses like 3D printing, one she described as ‘more fun than work’, and statistics, in which she gives credit for passing with ease to her time at S&T! Before any student goes abroad they work with the study abroad office and their academic department to get all of the courses taken abroad to apply to their degree plan, allowing every student the opportunity to graduate on time!  

As Ariana was preparing to go abroad, she was nervous about the cultural differences she would face, but with good planning and utilizing mySTUDYABROAD, she found a university with a strong international community that helped alleviate her nerves!

“I think Valencia was perfect for an exchange student like me, who is a little timid, and living abroad seems a little intimidating, but you still want to step out of your comfort zone a little and live life somewhere else in the world. There are a TON of international students from all over Europe and North America at Valencia Polytechnic, and the advisor for the American students was amazing to ask questions to, even if it wasn't about school Louvreat all… there is a student-lead Erasmus club-of-sorts that has an office in the Alumni building on campus, and they can help with everything. Overall, it was really easy for me to get used to campus, make new friends, and get help for anything I needed help with.”‌

Studying abroad is an opportunity available to every student at Missouri S&T, with more than 90 partner universities offering courses in every academic major across 40+ countries! If we don’t offer a program in a country you want to visit, that’s okay! Ariana, like most of our students, used her time abroad to visit other countries and regions while making ample time to explore their host culture with new friends from all over the world! The best news? By budgeting beforehand, she spent no more than she would have staying in Rolla!‌

“At first, I thought I would have to finance studying abroad by myself, but because all of my financial aid available to me, I ended up not having to pay any more for school than I wAriana swinginould have if I had stayed in Rolla. Also, the semester before going abroad, I worked 1 full time job and an extra part time job, just because I didn't know how much travelling would cost me. I ended up making exactly as much as I needed, without any help from my parents. As long as you plan ahead and are motivated enough to work for the money that you're going to need, it is 100% do-able!”

If you’d like to speak to Ariana about her semester abroad, or have questions for any of our students about a particular university or country, email

Interested in learning more about Valencia Polytechnic University in Spain? Visit mySTUDYABROAD today!


Student Spotlight: Megan Fairfield

University of Hull, United Kingdom
Though studying abroad in the United Kingdom may seem simple, don’t let the English speaking universities fool you; it is a completely different country with loads of cultural differences to explore! Megan Fairfield, a Biological Sciences student who studied abroad her senior year at the University of Hull during the spring 2017 semester, was excited to dive in and learn all about just how different the UK really was.

‌“I wanted to study abroad to get out of my comfort zone and see things from new perspectives. I was challenged in new ways and was able to grow a lot as a person from my experience abroad.”photo by Megan Fairfield

‌‌The University of Hull is ranked a top university and offers coursework in engineering, sciences, and humanities. Students will work with their academic advisor at Missouri S&T to ensure the classes they take abroad apply to their degree program, ensuring a seamless study plan while navigating an international education system and preparing for a global workforce.

“Studying abroad allowed me to expand my career path options, I am now applying to graduate schools internationally because the experience only increased my desire to see the world.”

Studying abroad is about more than a great education; we want our students to take advantage of the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture, make new friends from around the world, and discover what it takes to live in a new country on their own. Megan knew she wanted to have the full experience so when choosing Hull, she looked at the cost to make sure it would allow her to do as much as possible.‌Megan with phone booth

“The university provided bus passes for the region and we were able to travel cheaply on discount airlines, trains, and busses and stayed in hostels with up to 18 other people. Overall living expenses (in Hull) were cheaper and I was able to use this money saved along with all the money I saved from working the past year or two to do a lot of traveling, visiting 10 countries total! “‌‌

When asked what she would say to an S&T student contemplating study abroad, she offered some straight-forward advice.

“Do it! Now is the perfect time. Traveling is one thing, but truly immersing yourself into another culture is entirely different. It will be challenging but the rewards are amazing. It is the best choice I ever made and I feel I am a better person because of all the new outlooks I gained through it.”

If you’d like to speak to Megan about her semester abroad, or have questions for any of our students about a particular university or country, email

Interested in learning more about University of Hull in the United Kingdom? Visit mySTUDYABROAD today!