Study abroad coordinator hopes to change lives
By Nancy Mangi
For Study Abroad Coordinator Robyn Deemer, studying abroad is a life changing opportunity that she hopes to share with as many students as possible.
“I want a student who is hesitant about studying abroad to decide to go…come back and tell me it changed their life forever,” Deemer said.
Within just three weeks of being in Pembroke, Deemer has developed many ideas and plans for the students of the study abroad program here at UNCP.
Deemer’s main goal is to allow students at UNCP the opportunity to study abroad and explore life outside of their background.
It’s an experience, she said, that changed her life 13 years ago and one she wants to open the doors for others to experience.
Deemer had the opportunity 13 years ago to study abroad in Switzerland for seven weeks and gained a new passion of exploring the world around her and everything in it.
“It makes you appreciate the world and its many cultures, and you also gain a new appreciation for your home country,” Deemer said.
It’s an experience that Deemer calls exciting, scary and fun.
“You have the opportunity to make friends for life…for me it’s like the tip of the ice berg,” Deemer said.
Next spring there are two UNCP students gong to Mexico, one going to Korea, five going to Germany and, hopefully, 10 going to Spain, according to Deemer.
Deemer is working with other faculty members to ensure that students are aware of the opportunity and that they have the proper guidance.
According to Deemer the cost is the biggest hurdle for students.
Students aren’t aware that this is affordable for everyone.
Student can use loans, federal aids, grants and scholarships, according to Deemer.
“There are all kinds of ways to pay for it, and I will make sure every student that is interested finds a way,” Deemer said.
According to Deemer, if a student is participating in the foreign exchange program all they are responsible for is air fare, books, fees and spending money.
So exactly how does she plan on making this information available to students?
“I plan on developing relationships with faculty members so they can encourage students. I also plan on building a relationship with Greek life. I have an open door policy; students are allowed to come to me at anytime,” Deemer said.
Deemer urges students to start opening up and realizing the opportunities before them.
“Studying abroad is profound and memorable. I have no doubt it will change a student’s life forever. It changed mine and it’s only fair I allow others the same opportunity,” Deemer said.
To see things that aren’t in books anymore, Deemer said, is mind blowing.