Cassidy Schuma: Her Journey through 23 Countries

Name: Cassidy Schuma
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Currently living in Hackettstown, NJ
Major: Environmental Studies and Economics
Relationship Status: Single
Courtesy: Cassidy Schuma
Her Campus (HC): For anyone who hasn't heard of the First Year Abroad (FYA) program, can you explain what exactly it is?
Cassidy Schuma (CS): The First Year Abroad is a program that allows students coming into Florida State as a freshman to go abroad their first year. The majority of students who do this are students from out-of-state like me because FSU gives us in-state tuition for the next 3 years. I wanted to see the world anyway, and it’s nice to know that I’m saving money doing it. The program is set to 3 semesters: fall, spring and summer. You are supposed to do one location for the fall and spring, and then you are given the chance to switch. I was one of the exceptions and was able to do my fall semester in London, spring in Valencia and summer in Italy because my major forced me to do so.
HC: So what made you decide to skip the traditional freshman year for the program, and was it a difficult decision?
CS: Deciding to go abroad their first year was hard for the majority of people, but I applied to FSU knowing that if I went here I would do this program. There was never a thought in my mind about not going abroad. I wanted to be able to travel the world for a long period of time and not just one semester.
Courtesy: Cassidy Schuma
HC: So you got to see all of the main FSU study abroad locations. Which was your favorite?
CS: Out of the three locations I studied in, I loved each for different reasons. England because there was no language barrier and I could meet a lot of people. [There was] something to do for everyone... I loved Spain just because the city of Valencia was absolutely beautiful. We had a park right in front of our study center called the Riverbed with over a mile of running areas and playgrounds. There was the City of Arts and Sciences, which is just unbelievably beautiful. I could stare at that architecture for hours! I liked Florence but that would have to be my least favorite. There were a lot of tourists and not much to do. The only amazing thing there would be the food - pear pasta!
Courtesy: Cassidy Schuma
HC: I'm sure you made a lot of memories, any one in particular that stands out to you? 
CS: Well, to say Budapest was interesting would be an understatement. I went there with my two friends, Max and Garrett, and the trip was insane. I booked one hostel called “Carpe Noctem Vitae” and later found out it was one of the biggest party hostels in the world. We walked into the hostel to find a guy drunk, shirtless and wearing a fanny pack- turns out he was an employee! 
HC: What else did you do while you were there? Any other fun memories you would like to share?
CS: We also went caving, participated in a bar crawl and went on a booze cruise with champagne. [There was this rule that] when you go under a bridge in Budapest, you have to kiss someone. It got a little crazy. But it was a great night and I met my soul mate, who I will most likely never see again. 
HC: You never know! Maybe you two will cross paths again! Since you are now study abroad royalty, do you have any travel advice for girls thinking of going abroad? 
CS: Definitely do it. Studying abroad is an amazing experience that you will remember for a lifetime. Try talking to locals. This is your one chance to make friends with people from around the world. Take pictures, but don’t take so many that you’re seeing places through a camera lens. And try to learn their language. You don’t need to master it but saying “hola” or “ciao” to someone means a lot.
Courtesy: Cassidy Schuma
HC: I know you've seen a lot of countries - can you list them all? 
CS: England, Wales, Ireland, France, Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Morocco, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Canada and Bermuda. 
Courtesy: Cassidy Schuma
HC: That’s 23 countries, wow! So what was your favorite meal? You've probably tasted some interesting foods.  
CS: Perogies! I ate over 90 of them in the 3 days when I was in Poland, and have no shame about it. I miss them.
HC: What has been your favorite thing at Florida State so far?
CS: Definitely the Rez. I love paddle boarding and kayaking and being able to drive 10 minutes to do that for free is incredible. I go there at least twice a week and plan to start going more.
HC: Have you been to a game yet? That's the best part of fall at FSU and you missed it last year! 
CS: I went to both the USF game and the Texas game and had a blast! My friend from USF actually came up for the game. Getting him to wear an FSU shirt and [him complaining] about it the entire time while secretly saying, “Go Rocky the Bull!” was hilarious. 
HC: Do you have any post graduation goals in mind?
CS: Go to law school, [concentrating on] environmental law. I want to become an environmental lobbyist in DC. Hopefully meet a guy somewhere in there or, more importantly, get a dog.
HC: If you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?
CS: Continuing to travel all around the world in preferably nature areas. I’m a bit tired of visiting big cities and would rather be doing something outdoorsy. 
HC: What's a song or artist you've had on repeat lately?
CS: It’s impossible to choose just one. “Brother” by NEEDTOBREATHE, “Green Mountain State” by Trever Hall, “Chivalry is Dead” by Trever Wesley and “Right Hand” by Drake are all really good. 
HC: Instagram or Facebook?
CS: Instragram.
HC: Now that your crazy year is over, would you go back and do it again? 
CS: Yes! I can’t believe I actually got on the plane home to begin with.
HC: So what's next on the Cassidy List of Countries to See? 
CS: I really want to see China, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and Japan!
Courtesy: Cassidy Schuma