Alumni Spotlight: Kaitlyn Nolan

Kaitlyn is twenty-something obsessed with study abroad and is constantly plotting her next trip. She can usually be found exploring her home city of Boston for new things to do or practicing with her Gaelic football team. Connect with her through Twitter or on Google+.

Why did you decide to study abroad with API in France?

Kaitlyn: In regards to studying abroad with API, I had the unique experience of having a representative come into my French class as a freshman. The rep presented the API programs in Paris and Grenoble and I fell in love with the Grenoble program. The city had everything I wanted: It was small enough not to feel overwhelming, yet I could still experience "city life". Additionally, I would be forced out of my comfort zone of English and into speaking French.

As for studying with API, the program was comprehensive and had so many great perks that I couldn't imagine wanting to go with another program! I spent numerous hours on their website my junior year as I was applying and felt it was the perfect fit for me.

Kaitlyn in front of her favorite cafe in Place Notre Dame

What do you think made studying in France a unique experience?

Kaitlyn: France is such a beautiful country with an immense amount of history. It was hard to walk around Grenoble and not see a plaque about a historical event that occurred in that spot. The architecture was also unique and how one would picture a French city. There was also the cultural aspect. I lived with a host family and was able to see how the French live their day to day lives. I also fell in love with French food. I had always been a picky eater, but having no choice in the meal, I was forced to try new foods. And finally, the Grenoblois really shaped my experience. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. From shopkeepers to restaurants, everyone wanted to know why I was studying in Grenoble and if I was enjoying my experience. I always felt so comfortable in my adopted city.

How did this experience impact your academic development?

Kaitlyn: Going abroad had an immense impact on my future. Since I've been home, I've been constantly plotting how to go overseas again. It's also prompted a desire to continue perfecting my French as well starting to learn new languages (I'm picking up Irish this fall and dying to learn Spanish). I was required to take a French class this fall to finish my minor, but since I'm so happy being back in a French-speaking environment, I decided to pick up a French elective for the spring semester. Studying abroad has already had an immense impact on my life and I can't wait to see how it will continue to impact me in the future.