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    The Office of International Education kicked off its 2nd annual Global Reveal last Friday, announcing to excited DU students where in the world they would be spending the next six to twelve months. With over eight hundred students going to study abroad in fifty-five different countries, DU has one of the highest ranking study abroad programs in the nation. Every student will come back with a unique perspective and different stories to tell from their study abroad experience, but for now, the enthusiasm is universal.

Sarina Phu

Program: Morocco-Multiculturalism and Human Rights

Major: International Studies and Strategic Communications

Why did you choose Morocco? I chose Morocco because I wanted to go somewhere I’d be completely outside of my comfort zone and wholly challenged. The SIT: Multiculturalism and Human Rights program would allow me to get this challenge, while also experiencing complete immersion in a country, and being able to pursue my academic interests by conducting my own independent study project.

What is one of the biggest challenges you think you are going to face during study abroad? One of my biggest challenges that I’ll face abroad will probably be cultural shock – Morocco is a Muslim country with an official language of Arabic, so I’ll have to navigate the new customs and norms that are associated with this. I’m so excited for these challenges, though, and I think ultimately this experience will make me a more independent, better person!

Lily Nussbaum

Major: Psychology and English

Program: Queen’s University Belfast

What drew you to Belfast? I really liked the way their student union was set up so that it’s easy to get involved, because I like to be involved on campus. I also have always wanted to go to Northern Ireland because it’s one of the places my family is from. We go to the Scottish-Irish fest in Estes Park every year, but I’m excited to actually see what the country is like. Plus, I can’t wait to be able to travel to the rest of Europe!

What is one goal you have for yourself studying abroad? One of my goals is definitely to travel as much as possible. I want to see Europe because I’ve never been outside of the country before, other than going to Canada when I was really young.

 

Annie Langston

Program: Newcastle, Australia

Major: Marketing

What are you most looking forward to during study abroad? I am  I am looking forward to the new adventures with brand new people. I am excited to explore a new country and learn more about a foreign culture.  I am also looking forward to the food! I am a huge travel bug, and I am so pumped to break my boundaries! I know that I will grow while I am abroad but I don’t know how different that will make me.

Do you think you will come back a different person? Honestly, I have no idea!  I believe that travel gives you the opportunity to explore different parts of yourself, so I guess that falls into this category.

Gabi Arias

Program: Spain-University of Leon

Major: Finance

Why did you want to study abroad in Spain? I wanted to study abroad in Spain for a year because I wanted to have the opportunity to immerse myself into the Spaniard lifestyle and develop multiple perspectives on global issues. Also, although my first language was Spanish, I knew by applying to Spain I would get the chance to obtain a greater fluency of the language by taking Finance and Literature courses in Spanish. Another reason I decided to apply to Spain was to spend time with my family in Barcelona. My parents grew up outside of the United States, and I have always had a fascination of traveling and living abroad, now I can finally go and experience living abroad in Spain.

Do you think you will love or hate the food? I think I will love the food! I’m looking forward to the Tapa culture and trying different foods!

Sara Bacon-Maldonado

Program: Scotland-University of Glasgow

Major: English and Communication Studies

Why Scotland? I knew I wanted to study English in the UK and in the end it came down to either London or Glasgow. I figured London would be the obvious choice… so I decided on the latter.

Have you ever been abroad before? What are you thoughts in going abroad for the first time? I’ve never been abroad before, so this is all a very exciting and new experience. I’ll be traveling with one of my best friends so I’m super excited for all of the things we will get ourselves into. Scotland and the UK as a whole is just a really gorgeous place and I am excited to go adventuring and live out all my Harry Potter dreams.

Do you think you will visit many castles? I plan on visiting as many castles and historical sites as humanly possible (keeping school and my budget in mind, obviously).

Erin Beasley

Program: Thailand

Major: Molecular Biology

Why did you decide to study abroad in Thailand? I picked Thailand because I wanted an adventure. I wanted to go somewhere different and be pushed to grow in a new place. I’ve been fascinated with SE Asia since middle school, and I’ve only heard wonderful things about Thailand! I’m also obsessed with elephants, and definitely want to go to the elephant sanctuaries there!

Do you think you will experience culture shock? Or will you immediately feel comfortable? I’m definitely anticipating some culture shock, and probably pretty immediately. I haven’t done much international travel before, but have always wanted to explore the world- so go big or go home, right? I’ve also heard that Thai people are incredibly welcoming, so I imagine that will help too!

Ashten Scheller

Program: France-Institut Catholique de Paris

Major: International Studies and Art History

What drew you to the most romantic city in the world? Aside from that alluring “je ne sais quoi” that the French seem to always emit, I was drawn to the surprising amount of diversity that France has to offer; it’s a hub for immigrants from Northern Africa and the Francophone world, with its own set of cultural and political inequalities. Due to its incredibly history and fierce cultural pride, France in general also is perfect for studying and experiencing where history has been made time and time again–with art, music, film, etc. Paris combines all of my passions. And love of cheese and chocolate!

Are you excited or nervous for the homestay? I’m both incredibly excited and cautiously nervous for the homestay; as a self-pronounced introvert, living with new people in a totally foreign environment is intimidating, but I absolutely love making new connections with people who are both different and surprisingly similar to myself. Plus, since my program itself isn’t as immersive as some others, I really want to use the homestay opportunity to practice my French and learn more about the culture.

Are you going to visit the Hemingway Cafe? L’Institut Catholique is in the same arrondissement (neighborhood) as the Hemingway Café (Les Deux Magots), so you’d better believe that I will be frequenting the establishment for its famous hot chocolate at least once a week!

Kira Pratt

Program: New Zealand

Major: Sociology and Media Studies

Do you think classes will be harder or easier in New Zealand? From what I’ve heard from some of the people who recently returned from New Zealand, the classes should be a bit easier. One guy I talked to said that he went to this one lecture about five times over the whole six months. Which, I guess that’s kind of nice because I would like to have time to explore, but at the same time, I’m trying to get credit! I hope to take a lot of classes in media studies while I’m there, but not feel the same level of stress about them that I usually feel, here, on the quarter system.

How will this study abroad experience differ from your previous one in Spain? So, my previous mini-abroad experience was for a month in Santander, Spain. And I think the biggest difference between that experience and the upcoming one is that there won’t be a language barrier. I absolutely loved going to Spain, and it would be fun to go back, but I got very stressed about my Spanish skills pretty often when I was over there. It felt like I could never really communicate with anyone over there, which was very frustrating. But the other big difference is that I will be more on my own, I guess. My best friend and several very good friends of mine were on the Spain trip together – in fact, my best friend and I stayed with the same host family, so we were able to stick together and survive. I am a little nervous about being more on my own in that sense, although I do know some of the people in my NZ program. I think it should be a great time and I am so incredibly ecstatic about going somewhere that’s so different than Colorado – I definitely would not change a thing. It’ll just be a bit of an adjustment for me, I think!

 

Stephanie Papadopoulos

Program: Peru-Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

Major:Biology and Spanish 

Why did you want to study abroad in Peru? I want to study abroad in Peru because I have always been interested in Andean studies. Peru has always been a place where I’ve wanted to study because of its large indigenous population. I’ve done a lot of research on the intersectionality between Incan practices and their influence on modern medicine, and I have always wanted to learn more about it. I also really want to learn Quechua, the language of the Incan people, and I will be able to do so in Peru. 

What do you think the challenges will be living and adapting to another culture? A few challenges I will experience while living and adapting to another culture will definitely include the fact that I am a vegetarian. In my experience traveling to Mexico and Central America, I have always struggled to find nutritious food. However, in dealing with the hurdles I will encounter with my vegetarian diet, I will learn how to advocate for beliefs that are truly important to me. I will also better understand my privilege as a white, US born woman by traveling to South America. I am hoping that from spending time in a developing country, that I will learn how to better serve marginalized communities in the US. From traveling to Peru, I hope to develop a greater sense of humility to better understand the privilege I hold in society.

Eight hundred DU students are about to embark on an exciting, lifechanging journey! We can’t wait to hear about their adventures! 

*Header image taken from http://www.du.edu/ahss/langlit/study-abroad/spanish.html

Claire graduated with a business degree in hospitality management from the University of Denver in 2019. She was a Her Campus DU Contributor from 2015-2017 and led as Co-Campus Correspondent from 2017-2019. Her favorite hobbies include drinking coffee, writing, tweeting, and attempting to learn Mandarin.
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