All posts by Madeline Ishmael

SPC student poetically shares her experience in Salamanca, Spain

SPC student, Lexi Larkin, poetically shares her experience in Spain with St. Petersburg College after receiving a study abroad scholarship:

“My head is flooded with the memories that will inspire me throughout my life. Nothing compares to the fear and allure of traveling.”

The castle’s stone walls were cold to the touch but, her heart was warmed by the exquisite view she was beholding. She breathed in the wild, soaring wind that rustled the tree tops and cooled her face. She couldn’t help but to marvel at the feeling of looking down upon the country from such a glorious and powerful height. Her smile was unstoppable and as was her determination. Then she entered the throne room and thought of the Queens of the past. The compelling women who held power and used it wisely and justly for their people. To be confident, honorable, persuasive, and dangerously intelligent is all she could hope to thrive for.

A short while later she found herself up a mountain looking at the castle from afar. She laid back and listened to the song of the mountain. The wind spiraled around her and the honey bees hummed in her ear. The wild flowers tickled her as she soaked up the sun. Whatever worries she had vanished and in that moment nothing could interfere with her bliss. Whatever it takes to feel the way I did right there in that moment, I will commit my life to.

If you couldn’t already guess that dramatic narrative was about me and my personal experiences in Spain. It was truly invigorating to witness such wondrous sights. My head is flooded with the memories that will inspire me throughout my life. Nothing compares to the fear and allure of traveling. Both compel action from its victim and if you plan to indulge in the captivating experience of studying Spanish in Spain then prepare yourself for a delightful advancement in your life. I guarantee you will not regret it.

“The lust for comfort murders the passions of the soul.” -Kahlil Gibran

Lexi Larkin, SPC Student, Spain 2018 

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4735 |

Photo: Castillo Aracena Iglesia, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

SPC Student Shares Her Experience While Exploring Veterinary Care in Australia!


“Australia is a beautiful country and we only got to see a small chunk of it. We went in their winter season, so their climate was just perfect. Most days we would be waking up at a brisk 15C (59F) and then it would warm up to a nice 28C (83F) by the afternoon. We could (and did) walk for miles and barely break a sweat. In Florida, I can barely step outside without having a mini heat stroke. The terrain is beautiful as well with beautiful backdrops lined with gorgeous mountains and rain forests. The culture seems very laid back compared to what I am used to back at home. The food I tried was delicious in most places and we quickly learned that Asian food and ice cream are very popular there!

Getting to Australia and back home were the roughest parts but not horrible either. With layovers and such, our way there was 27 hours and our way back was 29 hours of time travel. Australia’s timezone is 14 hours ahead of ours so going there, we lost an entire day and coming back we lived Saturday twice. The Qantas airline was the best flying experience I have had with delicious Australian made snacks and meals, a free concession stand, blanket, pillow, headphones and lots of entertainment options. I have never watched so many movies back to back (but I had 16 hours to do so).

We were a group of ten plus our instructor so for our time with Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, we were split into Team A and Team B. Therefore, only five of us could volunteer at the center in Fitzroy Island at a time. Each team was able to go to Fitzroy Island and the rehab center on Tingera St three times. Fitzroy Island is a bigger and nicer set up with more volunteers and public daily tours. Tingera St. is a smaller set up with a few select volunteers that care for the ones in isolation and new rescued sea turtles until they are able to be examined by a veterinarian and/or transferred to Fitzroy Island. Most of our activities (at both locations) revolved around skimming tanks, syphoning tanks, cutting up feed (squid, prawns and fish) and cleaning filter bags.

Aside from Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, we had a great time exploring Cairns and its surroundings. We took a day trip out to the Great Barrier Reef through Sunlovers Cruises and got to see wild sea turtles, whales and so many beautifully colored fish. Another day, we went out to the Atherton Tablelands with Barefoot Tours and our favorite tour guide “Uncle Brucey” who gave us an entertaining trip full of history, singing, laughs, hikes and waterfalls. Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre were able to get us a discount with Koala Gardens and Birdworld in Kuranda as well as a free tour of the Cairns Aquarium. Just walking through Cairns, we were able to experience flocks of lorikeets, marked lapwings and at the island we would hike along paths with sulphur crested cockatoos, skinks and goannas.

In summary, Australia was an amazing bucket list experience! I was able to travel across the country with fellow technicians and see different species and cultures. We were able to help with not only the turtles, but the dedicated volunteers get projects and tasks accomplished to help the turtles in a more efficient way.”- Cecilia Nieves, SPC Student, Australia Vet Summer 2018 

Thank you for sharing Cecilia!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4731 |

SPC Student Was Able to Fulfill Her Dream Through her Study Abroad Scholarship!


“It has always been a dream of mine to go on a trip to Australia and when the opportunity presented itself through SPC, I knew I just had to go. I was extremely grateful for the 2 scholarships I was awarded, and it helped tremendously and was honestly the only reason I was able to go on the trip. I was able to save up the rest of the money and then I allowed the planning begin!

From what I was told, I knew we had to be flexible so in doing my research I just looked up restaurants and experiences that looked interesting and let everything else fall into place. While planning the trip I realized that 3 other girls in my classes were going as well so we started planning together. We all decided to spend some extra time in Brisbane and Sydney to see some other parts of Australia. After spending two days in Brisbane we flew to Cairns and couldn’t wait to experience hostel style living! Once the first week was said and done we got to experience both locations, Fitzroy island and Tingiria street, visit the Botanical Gardens, explore the local streets and restaurants, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and visit Kuranda, which was a jungle in the mountains. While we were in Kuranda we got to visit the local Koala sanctuary, where I held my first Koala named Rosco!

During the second week, we spent another two days each at Fitzroy and Tingiria, visited the Tablelands near Kuranda, and went to the Cairns Aquarium. We then left Cairns for another 3 days in Sydney then headed home! It was an eye-opening experience and truly made me appreciate the Sea turtle rehab facilities we have here in the states. Thank you again for the opportunity and can’t wait to see what else SPC has to offer!”- Brittany Workman, SPC Student, Australia Vet Summer 2018 

Thank you for sharing Brittany!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4731 |

“I am extremely thankful for the opportunity I had to Study Abroad through SPC!”

study abroad

SPC Study Abroad Student, Jeanette Burdette, Shares her Exciting Experience in Australia Vet Tech Program over the summer 2018:

“After the hustle and bustle of plane flights, airports and shuttles; we finally made it to our hostel on Sunday morning.  Although I didn’t arrive with my luggage in hand like I had hoped for, it was a generally short commute after hours (actually days) of traveling.  This was the first of many moments where I was reminded that “flexibility” was an important trait to possess on this trip.  Later in the day, after we were able to settle in to our rooms, we were briefed on what to expect on our trip and what experiences we were going to encounter.  We were placed into two groups of five and the next morning we began on our adventure!  Team B, which included myself and four others, caught a taxi to 30-34 Tingira Street.  This location was referred to as the Centre at Portsmith which is comparable to an “intensive care unit” in a hospital.  There we met with the head volunteer for the Centre, Traci.  You could instantly tell that Traci was dedicated to the Centre and the turtles that occupied it.  Traci introduced us to the four resident turtles in her care which included Shazza, Jacquelline Sparrow (AKA Jackie), Midge, and Angel.  study abroadWe heard each turtle’s story on how they got to the Centre.  We then learned first-hand the normal routine at the Centre which included cleaning the tank filter bags, de-boning squid, weighing and preparing food, and cleaning the tanks.    We finished around noon which gave us time to find a nice place to have lunch and then stop by a local grocery store to gather groceries for the week.  Overall, it was a great first day!

The next day, we visited the Fitzroy Island Centre where the turtles are transported when they no longer require intensive treatment, are eating, diving and sitting on the bottom of the tank.  We walked just a couple blocks down to the pier and boarded the ferry, which was about a 45 minute commute to the island.  After arriving, we walked just past the resort to the centre.  There, one of the volunteers (Barb) showed us around the centre and introduced us to the resident turtles.  Thankfully, with all of our training the day before, we were able to jump right in and work.  We all split up, each doing something different.  There were a lot of volunteers so we finished a little before noon and we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon on the island.  Although we had the option to leave on the 12:15 ferry, we took full advantage of the amenities on the island.  The island was beautiful and demanded to be explored!  We took a hike through the “Secret Garden” rainforest admiring the cathedral trees along the way.  We also trailed through to Nudey beach which contained miles of broken down corals.  There we enjoyed some sun and cooled down with a dip in the ocean.   Another day for the books I’d say!

study abroad study abroad

When we weren’t busy helping at one of the Cairns Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre’s, we were fortunate enough to be able to explore Australia a little more.  Our first trip was to the Great Barrier Reef and wow, was that an amazing experience!  The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth, as well as the largest reef system and can even be seen from outer space!  The amount of sea life was abundant including fish, sea turtles, coral, andstudy abroad study abroad

much more.  Our second outing included a bus ride to a local village called Kuranda.  There we trekked through some more rainforest trails but most importantly visited Kuranda Koala Gardens.  We were introduced to many of Australia’s native species including the freshwater crocodile, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, wallabies and many reptile and bird species.  We also participated in a tour of the Atherton Tablelands which included multiple waterfalls, the famous Cathedral Fig Tree and Lake Eacham (a volcano crater filled lake).  Overall, I am extremely thankful for the opportunity I had to Study Abroad through St. Petersburg College.  I will forever cherish the memories that were made along the way and I look forward to using my experiences to help me grow in my career as a veterinary technician.”- Jeanette Burdette, SPC Student, Australia Vet Summer 2018 

Thank you for sharing Jeanette!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4731 |

SPC Student Learns About Turtles and Koalas Studying Abroad in Australia!


SPC student, Beatriz Santander, shares her experience in Australia with St. Petersburg College after receiving a study abroad scholarship:

“On the first day of the trip, I was so nervous to meet everyone! Once I got to Australia and settled that nervousness dissipated. While taking the ferry to Fitzroy Island our guide, Jenny, was talking to us about one of the Turtles. Jenny was educating us on the anesthetic aspects of what they used or the surgical procedure on that specific turtle. I learned that their circulatory system is different from mammals. They have a 3-chambered heart, which is a lot different from reptiles. I do not know much about exotic animals, let Australiaalone sea turtles, so I was amazed at the difference in anesthetic protocols as well. For the rest of the program, we alternated going to Fitzroy Island or going to their rehab Center in the city. We prepped, measured or counted the amount that each turtle had to be fed and then fed him or her. Cleaning and siphoning their tanks was fun to do! There were many volunteers, time seemed to go by quickly, and everybody had a job to do most of the time. Some of the other activities included going to Kuranda village, where we got the opportunity to go into Koala gardens. There I learned that koalas have light fragile bones. The days to follow where amazing! Fun in Moore Reef, and visited some iconic waterfalls as Millaa Millaa falls! The atmosphere was amazing and everyone Australia enjoyed the local restaurants and stores. We didn’t get a chance to visit Marlin Coast Veterinary Hospital. I was really looking forward to visiting their hospital and witnessing how it is they do things in a different country. Overall, it was a great experience and I met new friends along the way!”-Beatriz Santander, SPC Student, Australia Vet Summer 2018

Thank you for sharing Beatriz!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4731 |

Experience Diverse Cultures At SPC – Join CIP September Opportunities & Events!


You don’t have to get on a plane to experience diverse cultures. They are all around us! September is packed full of fun and exciting international engagement opportunities and events!

Event Date Time Campus/Location
Elemental: Ancient Chinese tradition of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water Tues-Sun thru Sept 2019 Click here for Hours TS


Museum of Art

ESL Read Aloud & Converse Every Mon & Fri M 6:00-7:30 pm

F 9:00-10:30 am

TS Beta 411
English Conversation Partners Every Mon 10:30-11:30 am SPG Library

community room

English Conversation Partners Every Wed 4:00-5:00 pm CLR LA 190
Language Exchange Cafe Every Mon, Tues & Wed M & T: 6:00-7:30 pm

W: 10:00-11:30 am

CLR Library

project room

International Club Monthly Last Wed 1:00-2:00 pm SE LI 113
Latinos United Every Th 12:30 – 1:30 pm SPG LA 211
Spanish Club Monthly 4th Th 12:30 – 1:30 pm SE PW 704
O Som Do Jazz + Francois de Lima Sep 6, 2018 7:30 pm The Palladium
La Lucha Album Release Sep 14, 2018 8:00 pm The Palladium
Multicultural Club Sep 20, 2018 12:30-1:30 pm CLR ES 123
Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration Sep 23, 2018 5:00 – 6:30pm USF Tampa

(CIP to provide transport)

CIP Lunch & Learn: Global Engagement Sep 27, 2018 12:30-1:30 pm SPG SA 114
Hispanic Heritage Celebration Sep 27, 2018 12:00-2:00 pm CLR Quad
Hispanic Heritage Sep 27, 2018 12:00-2:00 pm SE UP Lobby
Hispanic-Latino Festival Event Sep 27, 2018 12:00-1:00 pm DT

2nd floor student lounge

Don’t wait and join us in the upcoming international opportunities at SPC!

2018-19 SPC Study Abroad Programs NOW OPEN for Application! 

  • Jamaica: Dental Hygiene (Full – waiting list)-October 2018
  • Australia: Veterinary Tech (Full – waiting list)-December  2018
  • Canada High School: International Relations & Service Learning-January 2019
  • Ireland: Sociology of Social Problems-May 2019
  • India: Religion and Humanities-May 2019
  • Israel: Interdisciplinary: Statistics & Biology-May 2019
  • Japan: World Literature-May 2019
  • Spain: Spanish Language Immersion -June 2019
  • Portugal: Comparative Legal Systems -June 2019
  • Costa Rica: International Business (in development)-July 2019
  • France: French Language Immersion (in development)-July 2019

Study Abroad Scholarships: NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS!


Deadline: Thursday, November 1, 2018

We Want to Hear from You!

If you have already planned an event with global content and want us to help get the word out, click here

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4731 |

And don’t forget to follow us on social media! We do our best to keep you updated so  you don’t miss our events!

“Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations” – J. William Fulbright

SPC Study Abroad Student Learns about Turtle Rehabilitation in Australia!

Turtle Rehabilitation

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to study turtle rehabilitation in a country as beautiful as Australia. The experiences that I gained from this trip are things I could never have experienced anywhere else in the world. I sincerely hope that I am able to go back some day.

Turtle Rehabilitation During our time in Cairns we spent the majority of the days working with Cairns Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. This organization rehabilitates the turtles in two locations. We were able to visit both. Their location on the mainland serves as a hospital for the turtles that are very sick. Once their conditions improve they are transported to their second location on Fitzroy Island. There is a 45 minute boat ride to get from the mainland to Fitzroy Island. I thoroughly enjoyed spending my time feeding the turtles and cleaning their tanks. It was very rewarding to see each of their personalities shine through. They love shell scratches!

A healthy diet, clean tanks, and a safe environment to heal definitely do benefit the turtle’s overall health. I admire this organization and its members for facilitating each of these things. On the days we were not working with the turtles, we went on several different excursions. My personal favorite was the snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. We also visited the Atherton Tablelands, Daintree Rainforest, and Kuranda Koala Gardens. I was amazed by Australia’s super unique wildlife. I fell in love with every marsupial that I encountered which included: koalas, wombats, kangaroos, and wallabies. In addition to being in Australia during humpback whale migration, we were also there during baby bat season! On our second to last day in Cairns we found several trees that were filled with baby flying foxes. They were absolutely adorable. Turtle Rehabilitation Turtle Rehabilitation

This trip served as a great reminder to me as to why I chose to attend the Veterinary Technology Program at SPC. I feel very motivated to return home and begin the next semester of classes. It is my goal to learn as much as I can about as many animals as I can. Hopefully one day I will be able to care for animals living in rehabilitation facilities such as Cairns Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.”-Kristen Reints, SPC Student, Australia Vet Summer 2018

Thank you for sharing Kristen!

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4731 |

SPC Student Studies in Greece After Receivng Study Abroad Scholarship



SPC student, Darciella Jimenez, shares her experience in Greece with St. Petersburg College after receiving a study abroad scholarship: “Studying Abroad in Greece was and will always be an experience I will never forget. Months before, I was very nervous yet excited because this was my first time leaving the United States. All I could think about was how things are going to be so different than what I was used to. Finally, the day came; I grabbed my luggage and drove to the airport and there was no turning back! I was about to learn about a major cultural difference.

Traveling abroad and taking advantage of using historic sites as my class room was beyond amazing. The Tour guides did a fantastic job explaining in details and the importance of the monuments we saw. I was able to see in person; places I have only seen in photos and only heard about on the internet. Out of all the photos I took none of them even come close to the true Beauty of Greece. We were able to meet Giannis Galouzis the Mayor of Kalmynos Greece.


The best part for me was making new friends with the other students in the abroad program. We shared many laughs together and became very close on this trip. Together we motivated each other to keep hiking up the steep hills; we helped each other understand the assignments due during the trip. We all would take adventures and walk around getting a more intimate experience with the city and islands we visited. We all ate meals together and made friends with the people of Greece. I am very grateful that I was given this fantastic opportunity to visit another country and have my eyes opened to appreciate the cultural differences. If any student has the same opportunity as I did to experience studying abroad I highly recommend doing so you will not regret it.”-Darciella Jimenez, SPC Student, Greece 2018 


Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4731 |

SPC Student Travels to Greece with Study Abroad Scholarship


SPC student, Tiffany Gil, shares her experience in Greece with St. Petersburg College after receiving a study abroad scholarship:

“Beautiful landscapes, great food, wonderful people, rich culture, and ancient ruins all surrounded by breath taking blue-green ocean waters. This is what you get to experience if you ever visit Greece and thanks to the study abroad program at SPC, I, along with 20 other students and faculty, had a chance to experience all the beauty that Greece has to offer. Choosing to participate in the study abroad program has been one of the best experiences thus far in my college career. It gave me a chance to experience up close and personal the ancient Greek culture and art that I have admired throughout my life. Artifacts that I once looked upon in text books, national geographic magazines and other art literature came alive to me as I stood in front of these larger than life historical monuments such as the Acropolis of Athens and the Parthenon, Mount Athos, Ancient Delphi, the Mycenae and so many more. There was so much to see, food to taste, people to meet, (along with some shopping and night life fun). Locals on the Island of Kalymnos where excited to have American guest, they showed us the best that Kalymnos has to offer, and we made some great friends and learned about the connecting heritage that Kalymnos and Tarpon Springs, Florida share. Best of all; the language barrier did not stop us from getting to know one another. I learned many Greek words (it’s a hard language to learn) in order to communicate with locals and to show hospitality. There is so much to learn and experience when you take an adventure to another country, looking at a picture is always nice, but experiencing a new country in person is amazing. Having the ability to experience this journey and share it with everyone is one that I hope will inspire you to take your own adventure and learn about a new culture. I defiantly see myself going on another trip to learn more stunning and wonderful facts about another country.” –Tiffany Gil, SPC Student, Greece 2018 

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you! | 727-341-4731 |

“The Wonderful Scholarship from Donors Made My Dreams Come True in Greece” 


“The study abroad program gave me a new life in Greece. I left the US with fear of the unknown and came back a strong confident world traveler. This program offers you the opportunity to grow personally, expand your awareness of the world and the ability to make lifelong memories and friends. I never in my life thought that I would travel across the ocean, meet wonderful people and revel in breathtaking views of a foreign land. SPC’s Study Abroad Program and the wonderful donors made my dream come true.greece

I admired Greece from the time I was young. I read as much I could about the beginning of democracy, education, art, and stories of the Gods. I dreamed of the plays that were held at the Theatre of Dionysus, studied The Lion’s Gate at Mycenae, and fell in love with the Parthenon and all buildings on top of the Acropolis. From the moment we stepped off the plane in Athens, our adventure never stopped. Our Professors and the Study Abroad team made sure that we traveled to all the historic places and learned about the history, culture, and people. The itinerary started with us on the Island of Kalymnos and then greeceended in Athens. The first day I woke up on Kalymnos, I learned how to order the best coffee I have ever tasted in my life.  I met the kindest, proud people of the island, swam in the Aegean Sea and was able to appreciate the history of the sponge divers and how they came to Tarpon Springs. It was exciting to explore with our tour guide and then branch out on our own. We had no fear, there was only an excitement to experience as much as possible.

We left the island and returned to Athens and I can honestly say that my breath was takengreece away realizing where I was. It almost didn’t seem real when we travelled to Mycenae and I walked under the Lion’s Gate, a piece from history that I studied in class in a book. I sat in the very same seats as the Ancient Greeks at The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and was amazed at the acoustics. My professors tried to explain but words and pictures can not even come close to being there. I touched the walls and bricks of every place we went. I walked up steps, traveled the path that thousands have and had the honor of walking where the Gods walked.

As I sit here writing this, I have chills from the memories of my experiences and I know Study Abroad made this possible. I have not stopped talking about my trip, the people, using the Greek words I picked up and looking at my photos. Greece changed me, and I will go back.”- Rachel Ross, SPC Student, Greece 2018