I spent the summer of 2015 abroad in Florence, Italy studying Italian, batik, serigraphy, and jewelry design at SACI. This experience has shaped my entire life, from my social abilities to my experiences within my art major. I was presented with opportunities I would have otherwise never had ranging from taking classes not offered at my home institution to traveling across Europe. I went to Italy by myself and came home with so many new friends, experiences and skills. I was able to immerse myself in Italian culture by taking language classes from a native speaker, living among Italians, learning about the rich culture through museums and locals, and becoming regular at grocery stores and coffee shops. I was there long enough to be able to explore the local hangouts and develop friendships I can never replicate. I enjoyed being challenged in a different environment away from my home institution because I believe that every professor has something different to offer his or her students. All of the courses I took are special to the school I attended in Italy so it was a wide array of brand new experiences and materials to work with. Outside of taking classes, I was able to travel on the weekends. I visited all around Italy, Spain, France and Switzerland. Studying abroad broadened my horizons so much and made me even more excited and eager to learn not only in Italy, but also since I have been home. It made me brave enough to step out of my comfort zone and hence helped me push ahead in my future career with a new view of the world around me.
I only had two requirements for my study abroad school: that they spoke English and that they had a Sociology program. The University of Exeter had just that. Additionally, since EHC & Exeter have an exchange program, a lot of the logistics were pretty simple. I lived in a co-ed flat with five other international students (1 German, 1 Aussie, 1 Kiwi (New Zealand), 1 Korean/American, 1 Singaporean). We each had our own room and bathroom and shared a kitchen. My favorite part about my study abroad was all the friends I made from all over the world. We were able to travel all over Europe and make the most incredible memories. These are the friends that I will have for the rest of my life. One of the biggest difficulties I had was transitioning from the Emory classroom to the Exeter classroom. I went from my largest class being 30 students to my smallest class being 50 students. Most of my classes only had one or two assignments over the whole semester. It was a different learning style that took some time to get used to. If you're going to England, bring rain boots, a raincoat, and an umbrella. The County of Devon is one of the rainiest parts of England. It literally rained every single day for my first three months in England. That being said, nothing compares to a sunny day in England.
I chose to study abroad at the Université de Picardie Jules Verne to expand my French speaking abilities. I chose my program because I wanted the chance to study in a truly French university with French students, courses spoken completely in French, and the chance to experience other cultures beyond that of my own. The most memorable aspect of my study abroad program was the opportunity to meet the people I did. I came in contact and maintained close friendships with several Brazilians, so I was able to pick up Portuguese while studying in France at the same time. The most challenging aspect was the language barrier. The region I lived did not have the typical Parisian French that my ears were so trained to hear, so during the first week it took much adjustment for me to be able to understand the French. I would advise you to take full advantage of all the city has to offer. Travel a lot while you are there, not just to other areas in France, but to other parts of Europe as well. Plan ahead of time and you can find super cheap travel accommodations -this really goes for anyone studying in Europe.
It’s hard to sum up my semester in Sevilla. In two words: challenging and life-changing. As a Spanish major, studying abroad seemed like the next step in my educational career. Little did I know that I would find my career calling, discover new qualities about myself, and re-evaluate my role as a global citizen throughout those short, four months. During my semester, my program was designed to emphasize ESL/EFL teaching; I had an education practicum in the local schools where I taught English twice a week at the infantil, or Pre-K, level. I had time to travel throughout Andalucía and to Madrid, as well as three cities in Morocco. If you are even remotely interested in studying abroad, do it. Take the chance; take the risk. Spain is truly where I found myself, who I was always destined to be, and I returned to Emory with a renewed sense of self, ready to finish my last 3 semesters.
Sarah Goldwasser studied abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway Fall 2011 through a partnership between E&H and IFSA Butler. While in Ireland, Sarah immersed herself in the culture, joining the University's kayak club and visiting the hometowns of some of her Irish friends. With her Archaeology courses, she also explored Ireland's ancient past on a number of field trips to historic sites and museums. These experiences developed Sarah's appreciation for the relationship between American perceptions of Ireland and the actuality of the country's folklore and culture. Sarah returned to Ireland Winter 2012 to reconnect with the friends she made, and she hopes to pursue further academic study at NUIG.
Studying abroad in Ireland was an experience that cannot be replaced. I have to say it was one of the if not the best choice I have made in my life. I loved living in another country for five months. It was an experience like no other. Waking up every morning, fixing breakfast, and then walking to my class to see the different colored houses and the astonishing green grass was amazing. I found myself walking to class still being amazed that I was in another country even at the end of my trip. Meeting new people, gaining new friendships that will last a lifetime, and eating different foods were just some of the perks to studying abroad. I saw so much history while I was there. Most importantly I learned that while Ireland was a totally different country, the country had a lot in common with the United States. Studying abroad changed my life and helped me grow as a person. I will never forget the great times I had in Ireland and I hope I can return one day. I would recommend studying abroad to anyone that even has the slightest interest.
I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Aix-en-Provence, which is in the south of France near the larger city of Marseilles. I participated in a summer program that lasted six weeks long while I took two courses for three credit hours each. The town of Aix-en-Provence is the perfect size for a study abroad experience because transportation is not really an issue. It's small enough that you can walk anywhere, and it doesn't take long to learn your way around. I lived in an apartment with my host mother and another female American student my age. Every weekend we had extremely inexpensive opportunities to travel in the surrounding area to see beautiful places and experience the laid-back culture of southern France. It's hard to explain how memorable a trip like this is, and so I strongly urge you to go experience it for yourself! Go study abroad!
In 2011, I spent 6 months living in France. I travelled around the Mediterranean region for the summer before beginning classes at the Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, France. During my time in Aix, I lived with a French family, took language and art classes, and explored the local culture. The highlight from my study abroad experience was organizing weekly day-tours to local historic and cultural sights. The opportunity to lead a group of American students through a foreign country was an unforgettable experience.
My study abroad experience in Scotland was vital to my education. Not only were the academic settings of this foreign country important to my educational development as a college student but the cultural experiences were as well, perhaps even more essential considering the global scheme of our modern world and its impact on us as citizens. Although I consider a semester abroad to meet the requirement of a significant cross-cultural encounter worthy of undertaking, it is also the shortest amount of time one can fully experience the potential a foreign country has to offer…Ideally speaking, a year should be the goal, especially since there is so much missed during those months you aren’t living there. Regardless, if you are looking to for a place of great historical significance, a culture that is exceptionally welcoming, and a taste of vast territory then Scotland is the place to go!