When Adrienne Richart studied abroad in Querétaro, Mexico for a full year as an undergraduate student at Humboldt State, it was an unforgettable experience.
“It was the best decision I ever made,” she said. “It was my first international experience. I was amazed at how much I could learn, take in, and grow as a person in one year.”
Now an assistant program director for SDSU’s College of Extended Studies, her next international adventure will be through the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to Germany on Oct. 20-Nov. 3. As part of this experience, she’s hoping to start a scholarship program in Germany for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) students from SDSU.
“We don’t have any faculty-led, short-term programs in Germany,” said Richart, who worked for SDSU’s International Student Center (ISC) before joining the study abroad staff with Extended Studies.
“I want to see what disciplines work best for our students,” she added. “We have many agreements with Germany. Students have lots of semester and full-year options, but not for summer.”
From Richart’s own adventure as a study abroad student, she knows the benefits that can be derived from learning in a foreign country. In fact, her 12 months in Mexico as a Spanish major at Humboldt State opened many opportunities.
She obtained a Master’s degree in international education from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont, before joining the Peace Corps in Bangladesh. While at SDSU, she has led a group of students to China as well as attended seminars on behalf of the ISC in Argentina and Uruguay.
Richart said she looks forward to meeting and networking with people from different institutions who work in similar positions while in Germany. Her excursion begins in Berlin, includes two days in Strasbourg, France, and concludes in Frankfurt.
Since its inception more than 60 years ago, approximately 300,000 Fulbrighters have participated in the program. They have been awarded 43 Nobel Prizes, according to Fulbright publicity. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State oversees the operations of this program throughout the world.
“I was clearly very happy and excited when I heard I had been selected,” Richart said. “I look forward to building contacts throughout the U.S.”
She’s also anticipating the results her trip could produce for SDSU.
“Having traveled a bit, I’ve definitely learned to be open to anything,” she said. “I’m excited to see what happens and go along with it.”
And don’t be surprised if there is a group of SDSU students going along with Richart on her next trip abroad.