My name is Joseph O’Rourke, a Bachelor of Business (Sport Management and Marketing) student and I spent 3 weeks studying Social Media for Business and Digital Marketing at Michigan State University in the USA. There are few words that can describe what a study abroad experience means to a student. It is subjective and unique to the individual, and that is why one can only truly flourish in their own experience, in the moment. No amount of reflection can truly encapsulate and communicate the experiences, friendships, joy and love I felt during my time at Michigan State University. The MSU American Semester Program is extremely well structured, makes settling in quick and easy, provides a unique and informal insight to American culture, caters to all people, and a day doesn’t go by without there being an activity scheduled. The program Managers, Stewards and Ambassadors made every effort to show us their way of life in the best possible light, laugh with us, help us with any issues we had and not only give us an experience to remember, but a once in a lifetime opportunity.
During my time at MSU, to name a few activities; we took a weekends trips to Niagara Falls and Chicago, played countless sports, toured a college football (Spartan Stadium) and basketball (Breslin) stadium and went ice skating in a hockey arena (Munn Ice Arena). Second to our field trips and fun, Dr. Coursaris and Dr. Wietske, the professors in our Social Media for Business and Digital Marketing course were professional, overwhelmingly passionate, highly intellectual and engaging. Our assessment involved one individual and one group presentation as well as a final exam.
Another key highlight of my study at MSU, was our business trip to the Renaissance Centre in Detroit. We were given a tour of the General Motors world headquarters, heard from a Leo Burnett representative as well as heard from GM’s social media division. Understanding the content in relation to a real-world, global, industry-leading brand certainly put into perspective the importance of theory in an ever-changing industry, but also the importance of dedicated staff to strong integrated marketing communications and a digital presence.
Overall, my experience has greatly broadened my perspective on the world, taught me valuable skills for my career, seen me develop professionally and personally, create lifelong friendships and appreciate life at an American university. This was an experience I will never forget, the people I met, the things I did and the places I went showed me one small part of the world, only fuelling my eagerness to see more. I’d like to extend an enormous thank you to the American Semester Program team, I think I speak on behalf of all the international students when I say that without your compassion and enthusiasm for your job, our trip would have turned out extremely different.
Thank you, MSU ASP, East Lansing, Michigan will forever hold a place in my heart and I hope I can visit again one day. My wish is that other students grasp these opportunities when they see them and have equally as extraordinary experiences.
Interested in learning more about our programs and exchanges? Take a look at our website, americansemester.msu.edu, where you can find a variety of resources.