Emma Sandhop

Why did you study abroad with the AIFS European Art & Architecture Program?

Emma: Well, once I stumbled upon AIFS European Art & Architecture, every program that I found after that didn't really seem to compare. It had exactly what I wanted: a summer experience abroad that visited multiple countries, namely France. And the fact that the subject of this program was art and architecture sealed the deal for me. I honestly could not have picked a trip that was better-suited for what I was looking for.

Emma and a friend enjoying life in Europe

What made your study abroad experience unique and special?

Emma: It sounds cheesy, but it's really the people you meet that make the experience that "trip of a lifetime" everyone always seems to want. There I was, thrown onto a continent thousands of miles from home, but I had fifty others going through the exact same situation as me. The friends that I've made are some of the best I've ever had - it's way beyond what I could've ever imagined that studying abroad would have given to me.

From street crepes in Paris to wine bars in Venice to swimming in Lake Lucerne, the entire experience was completely unforgettable. I think that is what studying abroad is truly about: not only learning about exciting and different cultures, but bonding with the individuals that you're learning with. I wouldn't trade anything for the memories and friendships I've made with those people. Plus, our professor Steve was absolutely "smashing."

Emma with some friends paddle-boating in Switzerland

How has this experience impacted your future?

Emma: I feel as though both professionally and academically, this study abroad experience has helped boost my resume and further my education in a unique way. However, I guess the main impact of this trip didn't really have to do with practical benefits for me. I was more so affected in a personal sense, with the AIFS program helping me understand the world around me in a different light. In America, we tend to think we're the center of everything that is important, but that's just not true. There is an entire world out there waiting to be explored! The program has really brought out the adventurer in me. There is definitely a great amount of traveling in my future.