Alumni Spotlight: Caroline Radaj


Why did you decide to study abroad with UW-Madison in Paris, France?

I decided to study abroad through my University in Paris, France for a multitude of reasons. For one, our study abroad offices and programs at our University is exceptional. We offer programs on all continents except for Antarctica (because why would you want to go somewhere colder than Wisconsin?!) I wanted to go in the summer because I couldn't be away from UW for a whole semester. There was too much that I would be missing out, regardless of if I was studying abroad and having great experiences of my own. I have been to Paris and the south of France in high school but did a lot of tourist things and I wanted this opportunity to be a chance for me to explore on my own time and have Paris become my own place. I contemplated going to another country to get a whole other experience, but I'm so drawn to Paris and knowing how to speak French helped me, as well.

What made your study abroad experience unique and special?

There are so many reasons, experiences and people that made my time abroad unique and special but the main one I would credit it to are the people within Paris. The shopkeepers, the bakery owners, all of them want to show off their city and as long as you are willing to learn, they're willing to talk and show you.

How has this experience impacted your future?

It's always hard to explain to people how my experience was and what I learned from it and what I did because it's so life changing. Personally, I have a sense of even more an itch to go on an adventure. I usually never let something pass me by and going abroad has made me make sure I never, ever do that. Professionally, I have the experience to talk about whether it be in an interview or with a client. Furthermore, while I was abroad I really got to work on my French and bringing that into a work place will definitely benefit me. Academically, the class load wasn't challenging while I was abroad but I learned more about how to learn what I see in a classroom and expand it to the real world.