Student Profiles: Chemistry Majors Abroad

Emily Johnson

Class Year: 2007
Hometown: Portland, OR

Emily Johnson was a double major in Chemistry and German Studies who spent a year abroad in Berlin.

Students feel that being in the sciences doesn’t require getting to know the world. But science is ultimately about the social good. A lot of times it’s misused and mistreated and that’s why it’s important to go out and see for yourself as to how your work has or will have an effect on the entire world.

When: My junior year (2005 - 2006).

Why did you choose to study abroad: You keep hearing about how going abroad is self empowering, but it doesn’t happen overnight with a single visit; you need to live and immerse yourself in a new culture first. As I was opening my very own bank account in Berlin, I realized that this, and not leaving home to come to college, is what marked my transition to adulthood. Living abroad in an entirely new place lets you trust yourself, and you learn to value your instincts like never before.

What language did you speak: German, with my language skills showing tremendous improvement thanks to my year in Germany.

What did you study: Since I’m a double major in Chemistry and German, my classes were a mix of both, with even the science courses like “Introduction to Organic Chemistry” and “Introduction to Technical Macro Molecular Chemistry” taught in German.

What next: I’m exploring job opportunities in environmental chemistry for after graduation in a few months, and maybe even a return to Germany!

Amy Cagulada: Chemistry & Economics

Amy Cagulada

Class Year: 07
Hometown: Litchfield, CT

Amy Cagulada was a senior Chemistry major and Economics minor who spent a semester abroad with the Denmark International Study Program in the capital city, Copenhagen.

"I hadn't even been outside of New England before I went to Denmark for study abroad! This might sound dramatic, but life did really change once I saw myself in another cultural, geographic, national environment. I love what I was doing at Mount Holyoke, but it was so rewarding to see that I could use the same skills set in a new environment and still manage my life effectively." (Cagulada)

Where did you study abroad:
Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of the Denmark International Study Program.

When: Spring semester of my junior year (Spring 2006).

Why did you choose to study abroad: To experience living and studying abroad, neither of which I had ever done before. It was a decision that I’m very glad to have taken.

What did you speak: Although the courses were taught in English, my fellow course mates and I did manage to learn a bit of Danish from the locals!

What did you study: My courses covered issues such as the political, social, economic and moral issues involved in different health care models, and the clinical working methods of Danish physicians.

What next: Working on a senior thesis in Chemistry, among other things! Being away from actual full-time research made me realize that it was a true calling. I appreciated MHC even more once I was in Denmark, despite the fact that I missed my lab work, and I don’t think I’ve been this eager to come back and start working again!