The University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, Spring 2010
My greatest learning experience while abroad was my internship at UnderWater World. If was an excellent way to gain professional experience in my field of study. It also immersed me in Australian culture and gave me a unique opportunity to interact with the locals.
Studying abroad in Australia has been an absolutely incredible experience! I learned more about myself in this one semester that I did throughout my years in college. I have returned with a new sense of independence and more confidence in myself. I was able to travel all throughout Australia and even went to New Zealand after the school term ended. I did things here (skydiving, bungee jumping, sailing, surfing, and sucba diving on the Great Barrier Reef) that I would never have done back home! In the process I made some great friends and met amazing people from all over the world. This is one adventure that I will truly never forget, and has forever changed my life.
If given the opportunity to study abroad: GO!
Lille, France; Spring 2010
My greatest learning experience was gaining the ability to communicate effectively with so many different cultures. Studying abroad also gave me an entirely new appreciation of my home country.
I spent five months in Lille,e a city in the North of French, on the French-Belgian border. Lille is the perfect city to study abroad in because it is very close to so many fantastic European destinations-- Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Luxembourg just to name a few. Lille is also a terrific place to visit on its own. It is big enough where it has all the trappings of a major metropolis yet it is still small enough where you feel like you know the city well after living there for a short time. The "Lillois" (those who come from Lille) are some of the friendliest people in France. Their warmth and hospitality is well known throughout Northern Europe. Living in Lille means becoming completely absorbed into the fabric of French culture, which includes great food, beautiful cityscapes, shopping at bustling markets, and leisurely walks in the city's parks. Studying abroad taught me so much, and it was really the culmination of my college experience.
London, England; Fall 2010
Studying abroad has been the best decision I have made during my college career. It was a great experience and gave me the added self-confidence to meet new people and try new things. As a result of studying abroad, I learned to be more independent and assertive. This created an opportunity for me to make the experience my own and embrace every moment. I know that although I have returned home, I will continue to benefit from Studying Abroad.
I am glad I chose to go to London because although it is an English speaking country, it really is such a diverse city with so may people from so many different backgrounds and talents; not to mention its thriving and unique Theatre and Art scene. I think it is important and rewarding to be exposed to a big city because it's not something I was used to and it forced me to expand my perspective on the world and helped me grow as an individual. London also had the ability to have a small town feel with its quaint cobblestone streets and neighborhood pubs which added to its charm. Overall my time spent in London sparked my interest in traveling and I can't wait for my next adventure.
Galway, Ireland; Spring 2010
The most important lesson I learned while studying abroad in Ireland was learning about myself and building confidence in myself and my abilities. Being in a different country from everything and everyone you know is difficult, but it was the most important thing I've done since coming to college. I learned how able I am to be independent and yet build relationships stronger than I ever have before. Most importantly I learned to relax and enjoy living life; it sounds so corny, but the pace in the US is so stressful that it makes having fun and relaxing very difficult. I learned to slow down and take everything in, and I think that is something I will always be grateful to Ireland for showing me.
I had always wanted to go to Ireland, and when I saw that I could study abroad and live there for 4 1/2 months, I was ecstatic. Studying abroad was the most amazing experience of my life, I will never forget it. Not only did I have more fun than I could ever imagine having, I learned so much. I learned about a new culture, and how to acclimate myself to it, slowing dow and being able to have a good time. The people in Ireland are the nicest and friendliest people you will ever meet, and yet have a great sense of humor. it was impossible not to get to know them because of how interested they were in learning everything they could and striking up a conversation with you. I was able to see the world, travel as much as I could, all while earning my college degree. It was the most incredible time I have ever had, and not a day goes by that I don't think about Ireland and miss being there.