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Office of International Programs

Sarah Bogenrief, Bangkok, Thailand: Spring 2016

Sarah in ThailandMany biology majors never dream that studying abroad in a different country is even a possibility. But for Sarah Bogenrief, a biology major and sophomore at Minot State University, this unique oportunity became a reality. 

In the spring of 2016, Sarah packed her bags and hopped on a plane to Bangkok, Thailand where she would gain incredible insight of a new culture while earning credits toward her degree.  “At the start of my study abroad experience, I had virtually no expectation of what the following three months would bring into my life," Bogenrief said. Little did she know that her semester abroad would afford her much more than 12 credits toward her degree. "I made lifelong friends from all around the world, experienced an amazing culture and variety of religions and belief systems, developed a daily routine that was unique to  life in Thailand, and made memories in a beautiful country that I will never forget."

Not only that, but her courses took on a new meaning and she was able to dive into her courses from an experential standpoint.  "I took an Environmental Issues class at Mahidol University and it completely changed my perspective on the world and how I am presently living my life, " Boegnrief explained. "Growing up in a developed and sort of sheltered society and country, there are many events and happenings that can be lost in the multitudes of media outlets we are exposed to today. While in Thailand, many environmental issues were brought to my attention that I never would have realized." 

Sarah's semester abroad in Thailand also opened her eyes to new passions and career goals for the future, too. "Before studying in Thailand, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in biology, but lacked any direction as to where in the field I wanted to specialize, " she said. "After experiencing Thailand, I now know that I am interested in working in international environmental policy and planning in order to increase the sustainability of human life in developing areas."

Overall, Bogenrief had an overwhelmingly positive experience abroad that stretched her capabilities and her beliefs. "Studying abroad in Thailand completely changed my life and I couldn’t be happier. I grew as an individual, both spiritually and emotionally, and experienced things I can’t even put into words, " Bogenrief said. 

Interested in studying abroad in Thailand like Sarah? Visit the International Studies Abroad website.