Looking to Study Abroad? Here’s a Great START.

The College of Human Sciences STudy Abroad Resource Team members are ambassadors who can help you on your study abroad adventure.

Jemimah Ilunga

Major: Apparel, merchandising, and design
Minor: Entrepreneurial Studies
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, via Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Studied abroad in Taiwan

Jemimah participated in the Fu Jen Catholic University Exchange program as part of the first group of Iowa State students to study there. She decided to study abroad to see new things, explore new cultures, and make new friends. A significant benefit of studying abroad was being able to take Mandarin lessons, and because of this Jemimah decided to start studying languages seriously. She said it opened a new door of opportunity for her, and she now has a passion for studying languages. She recommends studying abroad to other students because people should see as many parts of the world while they can, and she invites you to open your mind, broaden your knowledge, and respectfully learn about others. Jemimah hopes that her next adventure will be in South Korea, and she also hopes to visit Taiwan again.

Shayla Smith

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design
Minor: General Business
Hometown: Lee’s Summit, Missouri (outside of Kansas City)

Studied abroad in England

Shayla participated in the London College of Fashion semester program because she loves traveling, and she wanted to go abroad again after a similar experience in high school. During her study abroad semester, Shayla grew as a student and as a person. She was able to create more projects for her portfolio, which will give her additional talking points during upcoming job interviews. Shayla became more independent and learned to navigate by herself in an unfamiliar area. She now knows people from all over the world that she never would have met if it weren’t for studying abroad. Shayla definitely recommends study abroad to other students because you will make countless connections and learn so much about yourself in the process. She hopes her next adventure will be in Switzerland.

Learn More About the CHS START Program

Program and Responsibilities

STARTers meet on a monthly basis with the CHS Director of International Programs. These regular meetings are conducted in a seminar format with discussion questions that will be shared with you ahead of time. Your input is important and can help to shape the future of CHS International Programs. This is an excellent leadership opportunity to list on your resume, and it is a way in which you can continue your study abroad experience on campus. Each STARTer serves for one academic year.

STARTers also have responsibilities throughout the academic year for a total time commitment of approximately 9-12 hours. You will volunteer at one activity such as a study abroad fair, study abroad information night, pre-departure orientation presentation, or classroom presentation.  In addition, you’ll participate in a group video where you discuss your study abroad experience. All STARTers have their photos and bios featured on this page and submit International Connections reflections.


After the completion of all required program activities, you will receive a $250 award applied to your U-bill. 


Faculty members who led CHS study abroad programs during the previous academic year will be asked to nominate one student for the next academic year’s CHS START program. Nominated students will have demonstrated the following traits and skills during their study abroad experience:

  • leadership
  • global citizenship
  • cultural sensitivity
  • excellent academic performance

If you are interested in participating, ensure that your study abroad program leader knows you want to be a STARTer! Contact Erin French, CHS Director of International Programs, if you have questions about this program.

Need More Information?

CHS International Programs

131 MacKay Hall
2302 Osborn Drive
Ames, IA 50011-1124