By Alejandra Garcia, Multimedia and Communications Student Assistant

A first-ever Anthropology pop-up museum put on by two Fresno State Anthropology students adorned the halls of the Science I building in hopes to bring awareness of the benefits of studying abroad.

As part of an Anthropology course, Shenee Land and Samantha Pepin produced this idea into a project through an Anthropology internship. Their main focus was to inform students about the advantages of studying abroad and research how study abroad programs could offer a large variety of opportunities, experiences, and knowledge to Fresno State students.

As Study Abroad Club President and Study Abroad Ambassador, Pepin believes it’s important to share these experiences and cultural artifacts with other students.

“While we have a great diversity of cultures within California itself, nothing beats being able to go and experience first-hand how people from other countries live; their beliefs, values, customs, and why these are the way they are,” Pepin said.

The artifacts displayed were brought by other Fresno State students who have participated in a study abroad program, each bringing their own real-life experiences while overseas. A handmade Venetian Mask, a handmade journal, and an athletic Bilbao scarf were just some of the different cultural artifacts that were showcased in the exhibit.

While conducting the research for this project, Land and Pepin discovered the benefits that come with studying abroad.

“The consensus from all the interviews we conducted is studying abroad helped build the students’ confidence and skills that they believe will be beneficial in joining the workforce here in the States,” Pepin said.

The purpose of exhibiting each artifact was to convey the story of a student’s time while studying abroad; which continent they studied, which program they chose and the length of their stay. Studying overseas allows students to attend courses while getting the “local” feel rather than the tourist feel, Pepin says.

The Fresno State study abroad program offers students the opportunity to optimize valuable international experiences while working toward their degree. Of the many study-abroad programs offered at Fresno State, they all share a common goal, to help students “look beyond their own cultures and expand their worldview,” Pepin said.

To learn more about the different study abroad programs offered at Fresno State, click here.

To learn about the study abroad programs in the College of Social Sciences, click here.