Did YOU study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Hannah: I studied abroad for a semester in Dublin, Ireland with IFSA-Butler and that experience has been the coolest thing I’ve done in my life so far. There were several things that impacted my decision to go abroad, but I think the biggest factor was my desire to simply live in another country and experience another culture.
I came from a relatively small hometown and went to a relatively small US university and I wanted a taste of what else was out there. As an English major, I did a lot of reading about the world around me and this was my chance to explore it. When else was I going to have the opportunity to live overseas for an extended period?
I couldn’t say no to an experience that allowed me to live in a beautiful country, meet fascinating people and step out of my comfort zone, all while earning academic credit!
What was your favorite traveling experience?
Hannah: When I was studying abroad, a friend and I were planning a trip to Paris and Rome. We decided to travel separately so she could start her trip early to meet a friend in London. I’d studied Spanish and Italian, but didn’t speak a word of French, so I meticulously planned my trip. With detailed directions that I compiled before leaving Dublin, I successfully made my way from the airport to the metro to the hotel.
My friend wasn’t arriving for a few more hours and it was late evening, so after checking into the room, I went out for a walk, making my way to the Seine. In those moments, wandering around a city where I didn’t know a single person or speak the language, I somehow felt perfectly content. That was the first time I realized how studying abroad had changed me, and I’ll never forget that feeling of confidence and independence that came from simply being comfortable in a wholly unfamiliar place.