Coastal Georgia Students Get Ready to Learn Abroad

May 22, 2023
By: Tiffany King

Eighteen students from the College of Coastal Georgia will soon take their academic learning abroad and experience new cultures through USG Goes Global. USG Goes Global is the University System of Georgia’s study abroad program that aims to enhance students’ cultural awareness, improve their global perspective, and provide hands-on knowledge in specific programs of study. This year, USG Goes Global will feature six study abroad programs: London, Paris, Madrid, Edinburg, Waterford, Jamaica and Porto. Coastal Georgia students will bring the Mariner spirit across the Atlantic to Porto, Scotland, and Ireland.

Students will be enrolled in two three-credit courses through the program. On May 13, students from all over the state converged at Middle Georgia State University in Macon for a mandatory student orientation session.

Twelve students will be studying in Porto, Portugal with two faculty members of the College—Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Carla Bluhm and Professor of Management and Leadership Development Dr. Jim Fullerton. Bluhm is the Porto Program Director for USG Goes Global and is responsible for developing students’ in-country experiences. She will be teaching two courses there in addition to her director duties. Fullerton will also teach two courses, one on business and the other on leadership. For the Porto program, classes began in Macon after orientation and will continue online until they meet in Porto on June 18, with a 14-night stay to follow.

Some of this summer’s study abroad students shared their expectations and excitement for their upcoming trip. Junior John Barron will be the only student from the College studying in Ireland. Barron is majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in biomedical sciences. He shared that he cannot wait to be in Ireland and soak up the entire experience.

“I was interested in the study abroad program specifically because Ireland was one of the options,” Barron said. “Ireland has a ton of natural beauty and a ton of history.”

Sophomore Allisun Browning plans to arrive in Porto a few days early before classes start there. Browning is majoring in psychology. She decided that now would be her chance to experience study abroad as she had the funds to go. Browning felt that it might be her only opportunity to travel abroad.

“I am most looking forward to all of the new experiences and studying how their culture is different from American culture—especially that of the South,” she said.

Luke Henderson, a junior majoring in marketing, will be one of five students representing the College in Scotland.

“I decided to study abroad because I thought it would be fun to see another country,” Henderson said. “I picked Scotland because I want to see where golf started, and I am hoping to play golf on the old course in St. Andrews.”

Like Browning, Henderson is also looking forward to experiencing another culture.

Sophomore Grayson Powell will be travelling outside the country for the first time at the age of 39. The psychology major shared that he is looking forward to “the ability to just shake off the conformity blanket provided by the United States.”

 “I’m interested to see and experience the effects of a healthy lifestyle in Portugal. I think some of their methods of living could be brought back to the States in a way to influence mental health issues,” he said.

Avery Yoak is a senior majoring in marketing. He’s always wanted to travel abroad, and saw the study abroad program as a great opportunity to not only learn, but also test how well he will do abroad. One reason he selected Porto is because the length of the trip was a good median compared to other options.

“I’d hate to be stuck somewhere and be miserable, so I’m using this as a gauge to see how long I can spend abroad and do alright,” Yoak said. “Also, Porto is a beautiful place that has a culture that I’ve never seen and a language that I am unfamiliar with.”

Yoak also loves to try new food.

“I’m curious what I’ll be able to get myself into food-wise over there,” Yoak said. “I’m also a big history guy, so I’m excited to learn some new things that they don’t teach us in our education system.”

Students mostly expressed concerns about flying on an airplane, the possibility of delayed flights, and navigating the airport. For Browning, this will be her first time inside an airport. However, the students’ excitement far outweighs any worries.

“One thing I’m not nervous or scared about,” Yoak said, “is having free time in Porto to go explore.”

Coastal Georgia students studying abroad this summer are:


Alala Cantrell

Jessie Clay

Thomas Henderson

Olivia Kennedy

Nicholas Coccia


John Barron


Jessalyn Bennett

Isabella Bray

Allisun Browning

Fowler Carson

Michael D’Agostino

Landon Davis

Brenda Garcia-Garcia

Grayson Powell

Gili Sadero

Isis Sullivan

Keeli Surrency

Avery Yoak