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Jessica DeCandia and Lalita Satyal
Jessica DeCandia found her career passion with the help of faculty mentors like Lalita Satyal of Miami's department of German, Russian, and East Asian languages.

Jessica DeCandia

Interested in Studying Abroad

Every year, more than 1,500 Miami students study abroad. In fact, Miami is ranked #1 nationwide among public doctoral institutions for undergraduate participation in study abroad.

Studying abroad allows students to experience once-in-a-lifetime immersion into a different culture.

Many students choose to enroll in Miami’s own John E. Dolibois Center in Luxembourg, but the options are nearly endless. Studying abroad not only gives students a new experience, it can also bring these benefits:

  • Improved communication skills
  • Increased awareness of global issues
  • Heightened cultural awareness
  • Enhanced problem solving and observation

For some students, choosing a major is a no-brainer; they’ve known which career they want to pursue since they’ve been able to talk. But for others, the process requires a bit more reflection. After all, making such a big decision isn’t always easy. For Jessica DeCandia, a 2013 Miami graduate, the path to a degree was winding and adventurous – and every bit worth it.

First Steps

DeCandia began at Miami unsure of her major and future career. It took some advice from her father for her to begin exploring her true interests and change her major to something she was passionate about.

“I got to a point where I was like, ‘I don’t really know why I am doing this anymore.’ And he said, ‘Jessica, you just have to find what you like. I can’t tell you what that is, but you have to go find it.’”

She found it in anthropology. As part of her Miami Plan, DeCandia took an introductory course with Mark Peterson, chair and professor of anthropology. His passion for the subject drew her to the field. She could see how this study of humanity would help her meaningfully connect with others.

"I have always found that when I approached someone, I never questioned how much they make or what can I get out of them. It was always more like let's understand how this person came to their ideas," she said.

An Indian Experience

DeCandia's junior year study abroad experience led her to India, where she learned the Tibetan language and interacted with Tibetan women for a research paper. After returning home, she sought out a person to share her experiences – and that person was Lalita Satyal, her Hindi instructor at Miami, who grew up in India. "I had these human experiences and wanted to talk to someone about it, and I was able to do that with her."

Initially unsure of her ability to learn Hindi, DeCandia enrolled in a class and Satyal helped ease her fears. Satyal said she saw DeCandia's dedication and eagerness to learn.

"Jessica and I have such a connection because she loves Hindi … she will make sure every day she is learning even more. She is willing to work hard and make the time."

DeCandia used her experiences abroad to help found AAPKI SEVA, a service organization at Miami. The group raised money to sponsor a needs assessment in southern India, which led to improved sanitation for several villages there.

The Miami Tradition Continues

Through all her experiences, DeCandia said, Miami has left its mark on her in some important ways.

"I could point to my awards or activities, but I think [one of] the biggest accomplishments I have had at Miami is … I know what integrity is because I have stuck to what I wanted to do." 

And indeed, integrity is just one reason DeCandia is now awaiting her assignment in the Peace Corps following her graduation. She is looking forward to gaining new experiences and learning alongside people of other cultures.

"I believe that there is no better way to help a group of people other than to live side by side with them, experiencing and seeing firsthand what it's like to be them."

Her years at Miami have been vital in figuring out some key questions, said DeCandia. "I think the biggest accomplishment I have had here is actually understanding who I am. After my four years here I really know what I want to do."

Written by Jessica Barga, (Miami '15), student intern, University Communications and Marketing

Published July 2013

Interested in Studying Abroad

Every year, more than 1,500 Miami students study abroad. In fact, Miami is ranked #1 nationwide among public doctoral institutions for undergraduate participation in study abroad.

Studying abroad allows students to experience once-in-a-lifetime immersion into a different culture.

Many students choose to enroll in Miami’s own John E. Dolibois Center in Luxembourg, but the options are nearly endless. Studying abroad not only gives students a new experience, it can also bring these benefits:

  • Improved communication skills
  • Increased awareness of global issues
  • Heightened cultural awareness
  • Enhanced problem solving and observation
Locations
Luxembourg
West Chester
Middletown
Hamilton
Oxford
  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg

    John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg

    One of Miami's oldest continuous study abroad programs, the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to enroll in Miami classes taught by European-based and Ohio-based Miami faculty. Students enjoy a unique combination of first-class academics, engagement in the local community, and various faculty-guided and independent travel opportunities.

    Contact and emergency information for the Luxembourg Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    Château de Differdange
    1, Impasse du Château
    L-4524 Differdange
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    luxembourg@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/luxembourg

    217-222 MacMillan Hall
    531 E. Spring Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA

    Directions

    Main Operator: 011-352-582222-1
    Oxford-based Coordinator: 513-529-5050
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • West Chester
    West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    Contact and emergency information for the Voice of America Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/voalc

    Printable Floor Plan
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Middletown
    Middletown

    Middletown Regional Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Contact and emergency information for the Middletown Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

     4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Hamilton
    Hamilton

    Hamilton Regional Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    Contact and emergency information for the Hamilton Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Oxford
    Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    Contact and emergency information for the Oxford Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency