Across the Pond
Bauer Honors Students Spend Semester Abroad in United Kingdom
THROUGH A SEMESTER IN WALES, BAUER HONORS STUDENTS MIKE MORGAN (LEFT) AND DAVID WATERS EXPANDED THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF GLOBAL BUSINESS, MADE LIFELONG FRIENDSHIPS AND LEARNED THE VALUE OF TAKING RISKS.
The confidence gained by this experience has been the greatest benefit to both Dave and myself. At the end of the day, we learned how to take responsibility for ourselves, and make whatever we wanted to happen become a reality.
Best friends Mike Morgan and David Waters have a lot in common.
Both are juniors studying business at Bauer College and are members of the Bauer Business Honors Program. They love fantasy football, University of Houston sports and campus life.
But this spring, they found one dissimilarity — Waters had traveled outside the United States (to Scotland as a child), while Morgan hadn’t. When Waters made plans to spend a semester in Wales through UH’s Learning Abroad Reciprocal Educational Exchange Program (REEP), Morgan decided it was time to take a leap across the pond himself.
“If I’m being honest, I didn’t want to lose one of my best friends for six months,” he said.
Morgan added: “I also wanted to see how other cultures viewed business. Taking international business, among other business classes, offered a great opportunity to do that.”
Together, they studied at Swansea University, which offers exchange programs to students from across the world, exposing participants to quality classroom education as well as social and cultural opportunities in the United Kingdom. The program is housed in Swansea, a coastal city that is the second largest in Wales. They spent three weeks taking international business courses, while also getting to explore Europe.
“We took a variety of different business classes and throughout the semester, we travelled extensively and met lots of new people,” Waters said. “I made friends overseas that I will keep the rest of my life.”
In addition to their studies, they also had the opportunity to travel on their own, gaining some important life skills along the way.
“We grew up dramatically on this trip,” Waters said. “We planned, paid for and enjoyed a three-week trip through Europe and a one-week trip through Scotland. We learned how to book flights and accommodations, manage connections between planes, trains and busses, how to cook for ourselves and rely on each other to stay safe, while having an amazing experience.”
Morgan added: “The confidence we gained in ourselves through this experience has been the greatest benefit to both of us. At the end of the day, we learned how to take responsibility for ourselves and make whatever we wanted to happen become a reality. We liked to live by the quote ‘If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.’”
Now back in Houston for a new semester, the students recognize the benefit of applying the skills learned abroad to the rest of their college careers and beyond.
“Bauer did a wonderful job helping us prepare to go abroad through extensive advising and scholarship opportunities,” Waters said. “I think because Bauer is so diverse, it has a natural global focus, which motivates students just like us to look outside the United States for new opportunities.”