Southeast Missouri State University

Global Studies Major Travels South of the Border


Aimee Cocran, global studies major and native of Sikeston, Mo., is taking full advantage of opportunities to study abroad. She attended the University of Monterrey for the past two semesters and plans to participate in the student EuroTrip.

While studying in Mexico, Cocran studied political geography, cultural anthropology, global trends and mathematics. She lived in San Pedro, a town on the outskirts of Monterrey. On the weekends she hung out with friends, visited indigenous sites and tried new foods. Her favorite authentic foods are Mexican tacos, made with different meats and cheeses, and chilaquiles, a traditional dish made from corn tortillas, cream, spicy salsa and cheese.

Cocran traveled to Obispado, a look out point where you can see the entire city and where the largest flag in Mexico is hung. She found the mountain ranges, caves and waterfalls amazing.

When asked what she liked best about her experience in Mexico, Cocran replied, “The people! They’re very sweet and interested to know where you’re from and why you are here. They love making conversation and are very hospitable.”

Cocran says her biggest challenge, the language barrier, was overcome with a program called I-buddy. Mexican students act as a guide and introduce foreign students to the university, city and other Mexican students. She is grateful for her teachers who were supportive and genuinely interested in assisting her with her schoolwork.

In her free time, Cocran enjoys movies, music, spending time with friends and family and most of all, traveling. “I love going to new places and meeting new people!” Her favorite travel destination is Playa Del Carmen. “It’s by far the most gorgeous beach I’ve ever seen. The town is clean and safe and the people are friendly.”

Cocran’s major, global studies, was approved in June 2007 and encourages students to expand their awareness by providing them with national and international exposure to their career field. Language courses in the program provide linguistic and cultural experience to students as well as study abroad and international internship opportunities.

Students majoring in global studies complete a B.A. in one of the following options specific to a particular region or language:  Chinese, Francophone, Germanic, Hispanic or Japanese.  The requirements include foreign language and culture courses to enhance reading and speaking skills and cultivate a new and different way of thinking

After graduation, Cocran hopes to travel and then decide if she would like to further her studies. She enjoys the classes at Southeast and says they are interesting and challenging. “I’ve learned many things I can apply to my life inside and outside of the classroom.” She is thankful that Southeast helped her discover career choices, learn to think critically and develop research skills. She improved her communication and intrapersonal skills with her teachers and fellow students. “The teachers really care about students’ success, and it shows in the way they teach and make sure you understand the information.” Cocran’s immersion into a foreign culture will give her a competitive advantage over other students.

Cocran’s best advice for future students is to research and benefit from the resources Southeast offers including professors, graduate assistants, students, Kent Library, on-campus jobs and much more. “Southeast has a lot to offer if you take the time to check it out!”