Bryant Abroad: Five Girls, Five Cities, Five Adventures!

Bryant Abroad: Five Girls, Five Cities, Five Adventures!

Jenna Bonasoni 2020

Having the opportunity to study abroad in college is something many people dream of. What could be better than traveling the world, experiencing new cultures and meeting some incredible friends along the way? While it can be scary to leave home and move to a completely foreign place, studying in a new country is an eye-opening experience that teaches you a lot about yourself. One of the greatest things about Bryant is that it gives their students seemingly endless places to spend a semester abroad. Since everyone has a one-of-a-kind study abroad experience, Her Campus wanted to highlight five girls’ unique stories about their time spent abroad in five different cities!

 

Meghan McKillop: Cork, Ireland

HC: Why did you choose to study abroad?

MM: I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to experience something new and exciting. I wanted to explore different parts of the world and meet new people from different countries and cultures.

HC: What is your favorite memory from study abroad?

MM: One of my favorite memories from my study abroad experience was visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany. While visiting other cities across Europe was amazing, Rothenburg had the charm and beauty of a small, secluded German town that had been preserved since the Medieval ages. It reminded us of something out of a fairytale, especially since we visited in December when there were Christmas markets and live music throughout the whole town.

HC: What do you think was unique about studying abroad in Cork?

MM: I loved living in Cork because it had the authentic Irish feel that I wanted to experience when coming to Ireland. Since Cork is three hours away from Dublin, Ireland’s largest city, much of Ireland’s culture is more prominent in Cork, which made for a more unique experience. I also had the opportunity to attend an Irish university where Americans are the minority, which allowed me to gain so much more from my study abroad experience.

 

Katie Nicholson: Gold Coast, Australia

HC: What is your favorite memory from study abroad?

KN: My favorite memory from studying abroad was when I went camping in Litchfield National Park. During this weekend our local guide took us to a look out to watch the sunset where he told us to take off our shoes and walk around since throughout the day the rocks had been warmed by the sun. Everyone was very quiet admiring the scene around us and it was an experience that left me feeling grounded and more aware of the world around us. This is also where the picture is from!

HC: What advice would you give other Bryant students who are considering studying abroad?

KN: The advice I would give to anyone thinking of studying abroad is to commit to whatever you want to do.  I have always wanted to go to Australia and have dreamed of scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, so I did it! Even though I knew I wouldn't have the same opportunities to travel that my friends in Europe had, studying abroad is the experience of a lifetime that I will never regret, so if you are unsure about whether or not to do it, go for it!

HC: What has been the biggest takeaway from this experience for you?

KN: My biggest takeaway from studying abroad is how much I grew and matured as an individual by putting myself into situations outside my comfort zone. I knew going across the world to a country I’ve never been to practically alone would make me anxious, but I didn't realize the magnitude of the impact it would have on me as a person.  I have always been shy and this experience has taught me to be more outgoing - something that will help me every day for the rest of my life.

 

Molly Murphy: Florence, Italy

HC: Why did you choose to study abroad?

MM: I chose to study abroad because it gave me the opportunity to develop as a person and student. During the four months I spent in Italy, I learned a lot about the Italian culture while simultaneously discovering aspects about myself I wasn’t previously aware of.

HC: What do you think was unique about studying abroad in Florence?

MM: In comparison to other locations where Bryant students can study abroad, Florence is not as modernized. It was amazing to be able to walk around the city and see breathtaking Renaissance art that was composed hundreds of years ago.

HC: What has been the biggest takeaway from this experience for you?

MM: Although it is cliché, my biggest takeaway from this experience is that it is essential to learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Living 4000 miles away from my friends and family for four months certainly was not easy, but it was definitely rewarding. I built strong friendships and traveled to amazing locations, both of which would not have occurred if I hadn’t stepped outside my comfort zone.

 

Nicole Bates: Cape Town, South Africa

HC: What was your favorite memory from studying abroad?

NB: My favorite memory of studying abroad was when I went abseiling off the side of Table Mountain. Essentially, this is propelling down the side of a mountain. Table Mountain is also a part of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Also, table mountain’s elevation is 3,558 ft!

HC: What do you think was unique about studying abroad in South Africa?

NB: Studying abroad in South Africa was a big decision because I was the only one from Bryant that went and I was essentially all alone. More importantly, South Africa is very different from the normal places people tend to study abroad. I was able to learn so much from their political state and Nelson Mandela and my views on life have changing in an enormous way. Additionally, the culture is so different from the U.S. People in South Africa have to fight for their rights as Apartheid, or the political system of segregation and discrimination based on race, just ended in 1994. The students are very involved in politics and there were different riots and social movements that went on while I was studying at UCT.

HC: What advice would you give to other Bryant students who are considering studying abroad?

NB: If you are considering it, go. I had no plan to study abroad and I cannot imagine missing out on that opportunity. Also, don’t just go where your friends are going. Test your limits, get out of your comfort zone, and take advantage of this amazing opportunity. And, please consider somewhere like South Africa. So many people do not know about its rich culture, incredible beauty and amazing people.

 

Angelina Leandres: Sevilla, Spain

HC: Why did you choose to study abroad?

AL: The main reason I chose to study abroad was to work on my Spanish concentration. Although an accounting major, I was still able to study abroad in Seville, Spain to spend a semester focusing on improving my Spanish and immersing myself in the culture. This allowed me to appreciate the language even more. I also wanted the chance to travel throughout Europe since I had never been.

HC: What advice would you give to other Bryant students who are considering studying abroad?

AL: If you are considering studying abroad, definitely take advantage of the opportunity! Everyone has some doubts when debating it, but it was the most incredible experience and I believe I speak for everyone when I say that. Traveling to different countries is a huge learning experience in itself and you get the chance to visit breathtaking places and meet people from diverse cultures. I also participated in SIE, and that is a great program to expose you to a small studying abroad experience if you are trying to decide.

HC: What has been the biggest takeaway from this experience for you?

AL: My biggest takeaway was learning how to live in the moment and be open minded. When studying abroad, you are exposed to new everything: places, people, food, and culture. I realized you get the most out of each experience when you focus individually on each adventure and take it all in. This makes you appreciate everything even more. Since things are so different, I also learned the importance of being open minded and flexible, especially when traveling. Overall, you are subconsciously learning and growing while abroad and it is an invaluable experience.

 

Studying abroad is a fantastic experience, but it of course has its ups and downs. Her Campus Bryant encourages you to take a leap of faith and look into studying abroad if it’s something you’ve ever considered doing - as these girls said, it’s well worth it! If you’re an International Business major, be sure to check out our next article about the experiences of girls who just finished their semester abroad as part of the IB program.