I decided to study abroad spring of my sophomore year of college. I had always wanted to, and it was something I considered when looking at colleges. My sophomore year was incredibly challenging. I had a heavy class schedule and was involved all over campus. I began to lose myself in all of it. I needed a break. So I decided to study abroad to get away, explore a new place, and most importantly, find myself again. I knew I wanted to go to Italy, since that's where my family originates from. I met with the study abroad office on campus, picked my program and made it happen. I fully believe it was the best decision I've ever made, to study abroad. I met so many new friends, traveled to some beautiful places and was able to do some soul searching. I had never been to Europe before so I definitely took advantage of that, traveling to six new countries. I was ahead of required course at my home university so I took class in Italy that allowed me to indulge in the culture of my new home. Being away from home and my friends at school allowed me to focus on myself and focus on what I needed. It allowed me to appreciate the connections I did have at home, and give attention to the areas that may have needed growth. I allowed myself to be selfish that semester. I did not only what I needed to do, but what I wanted to do. I had been so caught up in the pressures of work and school at home that I had forgotten how to enjoy myself. I can remember my trip to Cinque Terre. When I stepped off the train into the sunlight, could smell the ocean, I was so overwhelmed with so much happiness, I actually teared up a little. I couldn't remember the last time I was that happy. Studying abroad really allowed me to come full circle and fall in love with school and life again.
How can this program be improved?
Everything was perfect. I just wanted to travel more and more. If they could build more excursions into the included trips it would only make it better. I never wanted to stop traveling.
Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would