Study Abroad Bloggers: Profiles

Several Truman State Students will be studying abroad next semester and reporting back to the Truman Media Network about their experiences. Read their bios now and check back during January for their first posts from abroad.


maryName: Mary Tomlinson

Grade: Sophomore

Place: Angers, France

University: Université catholique de l’Ouest (Catholic University of the West)

Study Abroad Length: Feb. 1 – June 9


Reason for choosing France:

I chose France because I’m a French minor, so I figured it would be the best way for me to get a fully immersive language experience and knock out my French minor really easily.


I’ve been to France once before and I was only there for a few weeks, but it was really eye-opening just seeing a glimpse of a different culture, so I’m really excited to do that at an even deeper level now. And really experience worldliness and see different ways of life and immerse myself in that.


Most looking forward to:

I’m most excited, one, for being fully immersed in a language. I’m excited I’ll be able to really fully learn it. And also I’m excited about the traveling opportunities.


Most nervous about:

I’m also equally nervous about the language aspect as well, just because even though I can speak conversational French, it’s definitely not the same level as a fluent speaker, so I think it will definitely be a challenge getting over that language barrier.




JonahName: Jonah McKeown

Grade: Junior

Place: Helsinki, Finland

University: Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)

Study Abroad Length: Jan. 2 – May 30


Reason for choosing Finland:

Well, it was kind of interesting, the process that led me to Finland. Finland was actually my fourth choice on my application. I applied for about ten places. So, that makes it sound like I don’t want to go to Finland, which is not true. I’m very excited to go.


So they kind of chose Finland for me, I guess, even though technically I applied for it. So, I’m excited to go, because it’s somewhere I’ve never been before.


Most looking forward to:

I guess experiencing culture that I’ve never experienced before, because I’ve never been to Scandinavia, or anywhere like that. And I’m excited for the snow, because I love snow. And the chance to be closer to my family in England and get to visit them on the holidays. And just traveling around Europe.


Most nervous about:

Well obviously I’m going to a country where English is not the first language, which always kind of makes one a little anxious. But I’ve been assured that everyone there speaks English, so I should be fine. And all my classes will be in English, because I don’t speak Finnish. And, I’ve never been abroad for more than a month. Probably I’ll have that moment where it’ll hit me like, “Oh, I’m a really long way from home.”




KateName: Kate Casserly

Grade: Junior

Place: Linz, Austria

University: Johannes Kepler Universität Linz (Johannes Kepler University of Linz)

Study Abroad Length: Feb. 8 – June 30


Reason for choosing Austria:

I chose Austria because it’s a beautiful place to be, and from doing my research, I found that it’s one of the best places to study abroad in because they’re very welcoming to students. And it’s also very central in Europe, so it’s going to make traveling to different places a lot easier.


Most looking forward to:

I’m most excited about the experience to get out of Truman and just see all kinds of amazing things and all the sights I’ve dreamed about my whole life. ­Over Easter break I’m planning on traveling to Venice. I’ve always dreamed of going to Venice and I found out it’s only four hours away from Linz. It’ll be a really great trip. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do.


I’m really excited to see Salzburg and the Alps. And then I’m going to have a “Sound of Music” moment, like running through the hills. Also, I’m excited to see Vienna and get some sausages.


I think I’m most excited about the adventure, to be out of my comfort zone.


Most nervous about:

I’m most anxious about learning German and interacting with the community of Linz. But I know that I’ll be able to handle it in stride.