Student Stories: Veterinary science graduate tours Southeast Asia

Jonathan Frankman made the most of his recent trip to Southeast Asia. While studying abroad in Singapore, he earned credit for taking classes in immunology, genetics and pathology. He also found time to visit seven other countries over the span of just seven weeks.

A spring 2014 graduate in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Frankman always knew that he wanted to study abroad. The University's study abroad office, known as "Global Penn State," gave him a list of more than 100 schools from which to choose and a list of courses that transfer credit to Penn State.

"This list allowed me to narrow down my search to a handful of schools between the U.K., Australia and Singapore," he said.

Frankman travelled to Singapore with two engineering students. "Since Singapore is an island country with virtually no natural resources, it must import all food from neighboring countries," he said. "My pathology class focused on the importance of controlling and monitoring food that enters Singapore to prevent disease."

"I have countless stories and a lifetime to look back and smile at them. Studying abroad was the best decision I ever made, and it was hands down the best time of my life up until this point."

-- Jonathan Frankman, 2014 graduate in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences

Frankman's genetics class shed light on how that field is improving the economies of countries throughout the region with plant breeding and splicing programs that have multiplied the production of oils and other products.

He had high praise for the professors he got to know in Singapore. "Academically, the highlight was having teachers of such prestige and caliber who have made or saved countries and cities millions of dollars."

Frankman also learned "how to travel" as he explored countries such as the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam.

"I learned to check currency exchange rates between countries before going to a money changer, and I learned to search for hostels and hostel reviews before ever entering a new city," he said.

"I also learned to arrive at a decent hour at each new location so that I could find taxis and didn't have to walk through a sleeping town for hours trying to find a place to stay."

Frankman continued his studies at a medical school in Florida this summer and hopes to become a surgeon. He continues to view his trip as one of the most fulfilling experiences of his life.

"I have countless stories and a lifetime to look back and smile at them. Studying abroad was the best decision I ever made, and it was hands down the best time of my life up until this point."

Learn about the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences major.

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Last Updated December 08, 2014