RIT Global Scholars - Student Stories

My Study Abroad in Rochester, NY, USA by Sanja Covic, RIT Alumna

I have always wished to enroll into a college that would offer me an education beyond conventional learning, alongside with exposure to international environment.

For me, one of the most rewarding opportunities offered here at the RIT was undoubtedly the Global Scholars Program! It is a program designed for students from RIT Global campuses, which facilitates global exchange for up to two semesters at either the RIT Rochester or Dubai Campus. I must admit this was one of the main determinants in my decision to enroll into RIT Croatia, but I also knew I would need to reach a certain degree of maturity during my studies, before embarking upon a new jouney of living on a different continent. My Senior year proved to be the perfect timing to join RIT Rochester campus, because not only did I took regular courses, but I also got to conduct my Capstone Research Project and had the chance to choose a topic that I really enjoyed. I got to familiarize myself with the U.S. hospitality practices, as I was discovering how hotels were helping their communities during hurricanes. It was something completely new to me, and I was so happy to be able to make lots of interesting discoveries throughout the research.

Once I arrived at the Campus, I was mainly surprised by the size! It is almost like a city for itself (within the city of Rochester). There is a vast international student body at the campus, from over 100 countries! Hospitality department is small in comparison to other majors, but there are lots of activities and clubs students may choose to join. I volunteered during Valentine’s day Dinner, which was entirely a student-led event, and it was extremely rewarding to showcase our hospitality to the guests!

In order to get to know more students from the Campus, I joined the Delta Sigma Pi, which is perceived as the foremost professional business fraternity. This has been also an exciting challenge, as there is a structured procedure a student needs to undergo to be able to join. The fraternity organizes many events which involve commitment to the values of brotherhood, professionalism, community service and scholarship. I decided to join the Community Service Committee as I was passionate about doing something for a greater cause, so I was excited to see where that would take me.

The life at the RIT never ceases to amaze! Everything is fast-paced, there are many clubs, divisions and everything for all kinds of interests and personalities. Hockey is such a big thing here, and it is definitely enjoyable watching the matches and supporting the Tigers. Here you really get that feeling that you are a part of a big family! The Global Office had many fun activities for international students. I also used the opportunity to travel during my Spring Break and visit California. Rochester is a great starting point for travel opportunities, and is in the proximity of some big and famous cities, such as Toronto and New York City.

When the pandemic struck, I felt very scared at first. It has surely been an emotional rollercoaster for all of us and I was really sad that my beutiful experience would end up like this. However, I stayed in touch with the RIT Community via visual platforms and even though we could see each other only virtually, at no point did I feel alone. I continued to receive all the support needed to finish my semester strong and graduate.

I would wholeheratedly recommend this program to anyone who is passionate about other cultures, is open-minded and willing to give up on certain things, in order to get something new, because the experience is incredibly rewarding. Education does not revolve solely around learning for your exams, or doing your assignments. Education gained throughout experiental learning and challenging yourself to be open to what the future holds is the most priceless thing the RIT has to offer!

Sanja Čović was Hospitality and Tourism Management student at RIT Croatia, and she did RIT Global Scholars program in Rochester campus in the spring semester 2020.

My Life in Rochester by Karmen Ćuk

I don’t even know where to start from. It was a year ago that I was sitting on a plane to Rochester with five other IT guys from RIT Croatia. What an adventure it was (laughter).

Campus – truly "American”, so many students, squirrels jumping around, students riding skates, bikes, people wearing flips flops w/ socks (lol)…

Classes in Rochester are really laid back, very different from Croatian campus. You really enjoy listening to experiences of foreign professors. Their knowledge and expertise is really mind blowing.

Rochester as a city is maybe not THE place to be, but it is very well located so that you can visit many surrounding cities and places. Together with global scholars you go to Niagara Falls which are stunning. Me and my guy gang went on a 5-day trip to Toronto for which re even rented a minivan (definitely an experience, not sure if I should recommend it XD). We also visited NYC which is 4 hours away by bus. That was definitely the best trip of my life. All in all, I really enjoyed my time in Rochester, it is very vibrant place to be, you really get the notion of American college life and to be honest, I really miss it. I am more than happy to look back at the time I spent there.

Karmen Ćuk was an International Business students at RIT Croatia, and she did RIT Global Scholars program in Rochester campus in the fall semester in 2017.


525000 Moments so Dear by Andrea Kecić

August to August, Fall to Spring to Summer, "525,000 moments so dear 525,600 minutes…” How do you indeed measure a year?

My life isn’t a musical, but if the song tells me to measure it in love, well, I’m not sure there is a number, or even a word to describe the year I have had studying abroad in Rochester. In such a short period of time, I have travelled across upstate New York and East Coast, I joined a varsity sport, tried so many new thing and met so many amazing people that made Rochester feel like a home away from home: my roommates, my teammates and coaches, my professors and colleagues - all the people that I am proud to call - my friends.

For all of you thinking about going abroad I have just one advice: stop thinking and just go. Get out of your comfort zone, surround yourself with something new and unknown and trust me, at the end of it all you will have another place on this planet you can call home, another family besides the one you already have and so many amazing memories that when they ask you "How was it?” you won’t even know where to begin.

Andrea Kecić was Hospitality and Tourism Management student at RIT Croatia, and she did RIT Global Scholars program in Rochester campus in the 2017/2018 full academic year.

RIT Global Scholars Experience by Maja Utrobičić

RIT has the amazing offer to study on three continents and get one degree, which drove my decision enroll RIT and I would regret to leave this opportunity behind. Above all I wanted to explore the country and culture of the Middle East. I took exciting courses like Arabic language, East-West Encounters and Islamic Culture just to name a few. Besides my studies, I made many interesting connections and visited a lot of places. The campus offers many extracurricular activities like sports clubs and excursions, what makes it easier to integrate. Above all I enjoyed the fusion of a fast-growing modern country with endless opportunities and the Islamic tradition.  As a tip I can advise to inform yourself about the culture and dos and don’ts in Dubai in advance, however everyone will be understanding and helpful in the beginning especially, so there is no need to be scared as long as one is respectful and open-minded at all times. It can be quite easy to spend a lot of money in Dubai due to the abundance of offers like shopping malls, restaurants etc. It is good to set a weekly target of an amount of money to spend to keep it under control. For me it helped a lot to prepare my own food and learn how the public transport connects the best way, speaking of busses and metros. Also, I could connect the program with my Co-op in Dubai, which was part of this lifetime experience and I learned a lot of exciting things different from everything I was used to so far. In the end I think it is important in our branch to be open-minded and get out of the comfort zone. This is why the Global Scholar Program for me was an excellent way to grow and set myself apart for my future career.

Maja Utrobičić was Hospitality and Tourism Management student at RIT Croatia, and she did RIT Global Scholars program in Dubai campus in the spring 2018.


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