An Inside Look at Studying Abroad with JWU

Author Julia Shiels '24 is a Graphic Design major and works as a student assistant at JWU, contributing to JWU News.

At JWU, students have the opportunity to take their studies all over the globe through our study abroad programs.  JWU Global offers 60 programs in 34 different countries for a diverse selection of trips to choose from. To get an inside look at some of these programs, we asked a few students who have studied abroad to share their favorite moments and photos from their trip.

Italy, Spain and Croatia

Elise Minas ’26, Baking & Pastry Arts

I studied Baking & Pastry Arts at  Florence University of the Arts in Italy. Over 16 weeks, I took courses in wine, food and culture studies as well as a pastry lab. My favorite part of the trip was being able to immerse myself in the Florentine way of life and meet absolutely incredible people from across the world. 

The program also allows students to take weekend trips to other locations. In addition to visiting Milan, I also went to Barcelona, Spain, which was one of the most amazing places. We visited Park Guell , where an artist created a magnificent playground-like art display that was interactive and stunning.   

On another weekend trip, my friends and I visited Croatia and walked through the Krka National Park to see the beautiful waterfall. Surrounding the waterfall were vendors selling food, souvenirs, and homemade, artisan gifts.  

Student studying abroad in Milan Park Guell in Spain

Student abroad in Milan and waterfall Duomo di Milano in Milan

View of waterfallKrka National Park waterfall in Croatia

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Athena Pantelas ’22, Tourism & Hospitality Management  

This was the Hospitality Familiarization (FAM) trip to the Galapagos.  My favorite part of the trip was seeing the rare and beautiful species that only exist in the Galápagos Islands, and also the great group of other students who accompanied me!

In particular, snorkeling with white tip reef sharks through a lava tunnel on my birthday was a massive highlight. It's something I never would have been able to do otherwise. It was truly a group of like minded, adventurous and kind students. I left with lifelong friends, and to have this experience in common is something so special.   

Seal pictured on beach Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Münster, Germany

Catherine Keehner ’24, Equine Business Management  

The program I took part in was the Westphalian Riding School: German Bronze Medal Course. We stayed on property at the school in Germany and made some excursions during our time there. We trained on and off the horses, helped with chores, traveled to nearby equine facilities and shows, and did our tests close to the end of the program.  My favorite part of this study abroad program was getting to ride a fantastic horse and learn as much as possible from our trainer in a really cool environment.   

We went to a horse show hosted by Ludger Beerbaum (and got to meet him!). One side of the arena was surrounded by international flags, representing history and those competing in these shows. 

We also got to visit the  Münster Zoo , which was absolutely gorgeous . The zoo itself has so many cool animals and is also designed really well .

The photo of the Westphalian Riding and Driving School is only a fraction of the facility. The entire grounds is huge, has gorgeous architecture and is brilliantly designed. 

Flags by the riding arena Horse show hosted by Ludger Beerbaum

View of Munster zoo Münster Zoo

View of riding school in Germany Westphalian Riding and Driving School

Portugal, Germany and France

Logan Norris ’24, Food and Beverage Industry Management  

I have participated in the Volcanic Island Wines program in the Azores and Madeira and the 500 Corks program in Germany and France. My favorite was 500 Corks, however there wasn’t a specific moment that I can say was my favorite. The entire trip was amazing, and I’d say what I enjoyed most was just experiencing it with the other students. I met some of my best friends in Germany that I still speak to everyday despite coming from different campuses.

View of Madeira Madeira, Portugal

Madeira Landscape Madeira, Portugal

View of a Vineyard A vineyard in Koblenz, Germany

Portugal, Greece and Germany

Elthon Fernandez ’24, Culinary Arts  

During the 2023 school year, I had the opportunity to go on three study abroad trips. In the spring, I attended the Volcanic Island Wines trip in The Azores. Over the summer, I attended both the Cuisine and Culture of the Mediterranean trip in Greece and the 500 Corks trip in Germany.  One of my favorite parts of my time abroad was experiencing all the different cultures. The trips widened my perspectives and exposed me to different traditions. The trips also helped me to continue to grow and learn about myself and other parts of the world.   

View of a vineyard in Greece Vineyard in Germany

View of a riverside city Moselle River, Portugal

View of a city Ponta Delgada, Portugal

View of a fishing boat Fishing boat in Greece


Annika Camrol ’24, Tourism & Hospitality  

I went to Peru for our 2023 FAM Trip as part of my tourism & hospitality program. In Peru we visited Lima, Cusco,  Ollantayambo and  Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town).   My favorite part of the trip was being able to tour and hike Machu Picchu. Although we took the shortcut and took a bus ride up the mountains, it was still an amazing experience. Visiting one of the seven wonders of the world was definitely breathtaking and it was amazing to appreciate the historic site.   

Mountain view A  landscape of glaciers in Peru 

Student sitting on mountains Machu Picchu

Study abroad mountains Rainbow Mountains in Peru 

City visited while abroad Cusco, Peru

Student horseback riding abroad Horseback riding to the Rainbow Mountains in Peru

Florence, Italy

Elias Curtwright ’24, Hospitality Management  

I went to Florence University of the Arts where I studied Hospitality Management.  My favorite part of the trip was experiencing the new culture and how easy it was to travel all around Europe.  

During my time in Italy, I walked up to the Piazzale Michelangelo where I was able to capture almost all of the city of Florence during a gloomy winter.   

Florence landscape Florence, Italy

Singapore and Japan

Karina Rodriguez Casas ’23, Culinary Arts  A.S. and Food and Beverage Entrepreneurship B.S.  

I studied with  the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) with their custom study abroad program where I chose to study abroad in Singapore and Japan for six weeks each. All my actual studies were simply extracurricular classes as I didn't study just one thing. My favorite thing about my trip overall was seeing the amazing nature and architecture in each country. They were far better than the pictures and were unlike anything I'd ever seen. So many things I saw felt like they were straight out of a storybook!

In Singapore, we visited the Museum of Ice Cream. This visit was one of the bonding activities that solidified my friendship with someone I met abroad! 

In Japan, we visited the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima close to Hiroshima city. It's a famous floating shrine, since during the early parts of the day the tide rises and covers the shrine to make it look like it is floating. However, I got there after the tide receded and was able to get up close! We also visited Kyoto, Japan and saw the Philosophers Path, a gorgeous area full of Sakura trees for miles. The kimono I wore here was rented, but I did eventually end up buying my own before I left.

Student jumping into sprinkles pit at the Museum of Ice Cream Museum of Ice Cream in Singapore 

Sunset behind the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima, Japan

Student in Kimono in Kyoto Japan Philosophers Path in Kyoto, Japan


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