I knew I wanted to go abroad even before I went to college. Traveling has always been one of my favorite things to do, and my parents have allowed me to follow that passion. Additionally, I have always loved history, and quickly decided to major in the subject that allows me to study European history to my heart’s content. Those two passions combined for an amazing summer experience.
Once I came to college, I was able to take my love for history and travel to the next level. I began planning my study abroad at the end of my freshman year, meeting with the study abroad office and speaking to those who had gone abroad already. There were a lot of questions I had to ask myself, like where I wanted to go, was I okay taking a language, and when did I want to go. I decided pretty quickly that I did not want to take any additional language classes. I had completed my general education requirement in terms of language, and I did not want to subject myself to more classes that I might struggle with. That narrowed down a lot of programs for me, which was very helpful. But the question of when I was going to go still remained. The thought of missing out on a whole semester at the greatest school was hard for me to think about. So I started to consider going in the summer. The more I thought about leaving Denison versus having the best of both worlds, my decision seemed pretty obvious.
I chose to study abroad in the summer because I am very involved on campus and did not want to miss out on all the experiences that being a Denisonian offers me. I finally found a home at Denison, and I was not about to lose it. Studying abroad in the summer offers so many pros, and more people should consider it. I did not have any less of an experience because I went in the summer for a shorter time than during the semester. A few times when I told people I was going abroad in the summer, they asked me if it was because I was scared to be abroad for a whole semester. I was not worried about being in a foreign country for a whole semester, but rather be away from my favorite place for a whole semester. So summer it was.
I had the best time being abroad this summer. I learned so much about Bath, England and felt like a local in a very touristy city. I traveled somewhere new every weekend and met people that I would never have been able to otherwise. I could do all of that, and still be back for a full year of more memories and opportunities at school. So for everyone struggling with the conundrum of study abroad; do not forget about the summer. It does not work for everyone, but study abroad is an opportunity that should not be missed, and summer is a great way to balance everything that you want to do.