Tyrone Eagle Eye News

Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

PSU senior and Tyrone grad Naomi Walk believes in the educational benefits of study abroad

%22My+trip+really+gave+me+an+outsider+look+at+problems+in+our+world+and+even+our+country+because+for+four+weeks+I+was+outside+looking+in+and+I+was+hearing+the+opinions+and+thoughts+of+individuals+who+were+removed+and+not+even+being+affected+by+the+situations+going+on+back+home+at+the+time%2C%22+said+Naomi+Walk.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

"My trip really gave me an outsider look at problems in our world and even our country because for four weeks I was outside looking in and I was hearing the opinions and thoughts of individuals who were removed and not even being affected by the situations going on back home at the time," said Naomi Walk.

Courtesy of Naomi Walk

"My trip really gave me an outsider look at problems in our world and even our country because for four weeks I was outside looking in and I was hearing the opinions and thoughts of individuals who were removed and not even being affected by the situations going on back home at the time," said Naomi Walk.

Courtesy of Naomi Walk

Courtesy of Naomi Walk

"My trip really gave me an outsider look at problems in our world and even our country because for four weeks I was outside looking in and I was hearing the opinions and thoughts of individuals who were removed and not even being affected by the situations going on back home at the time," said Naomi Walk.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In 1869 the beloved American writer Mark Twain wrote “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Tyrone class of 2015 graduate and Penn State senior Naomi Walk couldn’t agree more and jumped on the opportunity to study in Ireland last spring.  

It was a life-changing experience for the Tyrone native, one that she would recommend to anyone who has the opportunity.

Living in a different country (versus visiting one), provides space to acclimate to the new culture and to truly become a part of it. This provides individuals with the opportunity to broaden their worldview and also to understand their own cultural biases”

— Professor Pia Smal

“Study abroad is an experience that no professor or teacher can teach you in a classroom. You can study all the cultural norms of a society or culture but you will never fully learn it until you are immersed in it. My trip really gave me an outsider look at problems in our world and even our country because for four weeks I was outside looking in and I was hearing the opinions and thoughts of individuals who were removed and not even being affected by the situations going on back home at the time,” said Walk.

The trip also allowed Walk to meet new people and make lasting connections with her fellow American students that she traveled with.  Walk developed a friendship with another student, Mariam, who she had not known before her trip.  Together, the pair was bonded by this life-changing experience as they reaped the benefits of studying abroad.

“Studying abroad was one of the best experiences I ever had. It definitely helped me to step out of my comfort zone and experience new places and meet new people. It helped me to learn so much about myself and if I could do it again I would in a heartbeat. I would recommend it to other students because it’s truly life-changing and a once in a lifetime experience,” said Walk’s new friend, Mariam.

Traveling and studying in another country allowed Walk, who plans to become an occupational therapist, to develop a global perspective.  As an occupational therapist, Walk will be working with a very diverse population on a daily basis, so she needed to see a different perspective in order to apply care tailored to her patients.  

“Students who have the opportunity to study abroad benefit in a number of ways. From an academic perspective, studying abroad gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture, and often a new language. Living in a different country (versus visiting one), provides space to acclimate to the new culture and to truly become a part of it. This provides individuals with the opportunity to broaden their worldview and also to understand their own cultural biases. From a professional perspective, studying abroad can provide future educational or employment/internship opportunities as well as the self-efficacy to apply for jobs abroad. Also, it’s just really fun!” said Penn State professor Pia Smal, who also traveled to Ireland with Walk.

Each day was its own adventure because they never visited the same place twice.  They spent their time visiting a different service agency where Walk was able to interact with the staff and the patients at the facilities.  

Don’t let the cost of a trip stop you from going. I can’t stress this enough. Not only is there so much funding out there to help you cover the trip or at least aid in helping, but no amount of money could also compare to the experience I had in Ireland. ”

— Naomi Walk

“The country itself was absolutely breathtaking and I didn’t meet a single person I didn’t like. Everyone was interested to hear about what my group was studying.  I lucked out and got to experience this all with an amazing group of girls that I still talk to on a daily basis. Definitely made some lifelong friends,” said Walk.

While on her trip, Walk spent three weeks in Dublin in the field visiting service agencies and universities.  Walk learned how other countries treated and incorporated people with disabilities into their communities.

“People with disabilities are treated a lot differently in Ireland than they are here in the states. They are expected to live at their optimal independence and hold jobs in the community like everyone else,” said Walk.

Walk learned a lot about how different cultures provide treatment for disabled people in need of care.

“I encountered a lot of people that didn’t even know what occupational therapy or physical therapy even was. It was a reality check to hear that common services in the US aren’t offered in other parts of the world. It’s definitely something I will need to consider when practicing with a diverse population. When you are sick or injured it can be a scary time of uncertainty, so to someone who has never heard of such services, it would be even scarier,” said Walk.

Studying abroad is a valuable experience that is often reflected in the price although that didn’t discourage Walk.  

“Don’t let the cost of a trip stop you from going. I can’t stress this enough. Not only is there so much funding out there to help you cover the trip or at least aid in helping, but no amount of money could also compare to the experience I had in Ireland. If I had the opportunity to do it again, I would in a heartbeat. And this is coming from someone who has been paying their way through college on their own. Anything is possible,” said Walk.

Group photo of exchange students

Courtesy of Naomi Walk
Naomi Walk and her study abroad class in Ireland. “I lucked out and got to experience this all with an amazing group of girls that I still talk to on a daily basis. Definitely made some lifelong friends,” said Walk.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Emma Hoover, Features Editor

Hi, my name is Emma Hoover, and I am a Senior at TAHS.  This summer I was a Lifeguard at Delgrosso's Amusement Park.  During the school year, I’m a...

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.

Navigate Left
  • Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

    Alumni Spotlight

    Triple Threat: Tyrone Grads Lead Penn State Altoona Lady Lions

  • Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

    Alumni Spotlight

    Alumni Spotlight: TAHS Alumni Find Their Home on PSUA Swim Team

  • Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

    Alumni Spotlight

    Cancer Does Not Define Me

  • Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

    Alumni Spotlight

    Tyrone Alum Returns to the Alaskan Frontier

  • Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

    Alumni Spotlight

    Making the Transition: 2017 Tyrone Alums on Life After High School

  • Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

    Alumni Spotlight

    Alumni Spotlight: Learning What a Classroom Can’t Teach

  • Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

    Alumni Spotlight

    Miami Voyzey: Tyrone Grad Flying High at The U

  • Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

    Alumni Spotlight

    Alumni Spotlight: 2016 Grad Tours Vietnam with Juniata College Choir

  • Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

    Alumni Spotlight

    Alumni Spotlight: Kasey Engle Making Her Mark at Shippensburg

  • Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World

    Alumni Spotlight

    Double Trouble: Former Lady Eagles Christine and Cannistraci Reunite at PSUA

Navigate Right
The voice of the Tyrone Area High School
Study Abroad Offers Tyrone Grad a Window on the World