Make The Connection

December 13, 2023

Ohio Wesleyan students Kevin Fratz '25 (from left), Kevin Zhou '25, and Cooper Meek '25 spend a semester studying in Spain. All three are members of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, and display its flag while in Park Güell in Barcelona. (Photos courtesy of Kevin Zhou '25)

'Economics + Culture'

Ohio Wesleyan Fraternity Brothers Spend Semester Studying in Spain

By Cole Hatcher

Name: Cooper Meek '25
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Major: Economics

Name: Kevin Zhou '25
Hometown: San Francisco, California
Major: Finance
Minor: Economics

OWU Connection Experience: Meek, Zhou, and Kevin Fratz '25 spend fall semester in Europe through the CIEE College Study Abroad's Barcelona, Spain, Economics + Culture program

Why This Experience?

Meek: "I chose this program because Barcelona is a cultural melting pot with rich history and beautiful coastal sites in an ideal location to travel throughout Europe. The program itself aligned well with the courses required to complete my major while allowing me to take interesting interdisciplinary classes that contribute to my degree."

Zhou: "I chose this abroad experience because the program offers courses within my major. I also find the Spanish/Catalonian culture fascinating, and the weather is amazing."

Favorite Moments

Cooper Meek '25, Kevin Fratz '25, and Kevin Zhou '25 visit Amsterdam during a weekend trip while studying abroad.

Meek: "My favorite moment of my study abroad experience has to be traveling to Munich, Germany, with a couple of my fraternity brothers, Kevin Fratz and Kevin Zhou, and taking in the sites and interacting with people from all around the world. It truly felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Zhou: "My favorite moment of my abroad experience has been being in Barcelona during a local holiday named La Mercè, and watching the parade go down one of the main streets."

Lessons Learned

Meek: "I've really developed an appreciation for different ways of life and all of the beautiful experiences the world has to offer. Interacting with people from all over the world has really gifted me a fresh perspective into what I may do after I graduate."

Zhou: "Experiencing the diverse cultures and ways of life in various countries has been a profound source of cultural shock for me. Through these experiences, I have gained a deeper understanding of the Spanish and broader European economies, observing how they differ from the U.S. economy. This exposure has shaped my career aspirations, leading me to the decision of pursuing a job in Europe after graduation."

This exposure has shaped my career aspirations, leading me to the decision of pursuing a job in Europe after graduation.

Kevin Zhou '25

Campus Involvements

Meek: "At OWU, I'm the president of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, a Corns Business and Entrepreneurial Scholars Program member, and an Economics Management Fellows member. I typically am the play-by-play announcer for women's volleyball and men's wrestling when I'm on campus, and I was the community relations officer for the interfraternity council in my last semester on campus."

Zhou: "I am a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity on campus, and also part of the Finance and Accounting Fellowship."

Why Ohio Wesleyan?

Meek: "I have a long list of relatives who attended OWU, including my father, Steven Meek '82; my grandfather, Donald Meek '57; and my late great uncle, Phil Meek '59. Their appeals as a great study abroad school with an excellent economics program really stood out to me."

Zhou: "I went to high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I liked the small environment at OWU, and I also swam at OWU for a year."

Plans After Graduation

Meek: "There are opportunities everywhere, and I think there's a good chance I will try to work out of the U.S. at some point."

Zhou: "I hope to work in the financial services sector, either in finance or accounting."