Why You Should Study Abroad

Even though Fall semester just started, it is time to start thinking about what you do with your summer. Sure, you could always go home and catch up with family like you always do. Or, You could study abroad. I was lucky enough last semester to go study abroad in Florence and it was the best experience of my life. Even though I went in the summer, you can go any semester. Below are some testimonials from different collegiettes on their experiences abroad and why you should go abroad. Click the link for each country to find out more information on that specific program.

Jenny Charalambous

            Where: London, England

            What semester: Summer 2018

            What program: Psychology program

(Courtesy of Jenny Charalambous)

 

“I participated in the London Psychology program in the summer of 2018. I took two classes which consisted of excursions around London visiting historical sights relating to the study of psychology. In addition to this, one course focused on the topic of identity and the influence of multiple cultures on an individual. I was able to have access to these cultures due to London’s wide variety of ethnic groups. This program also gave me the chance to travel around Europe, which allowed me to visit the countries that my family are from. The experience made me connect with myself and learn to accept who I am. When you get to meet so many individuals from your school but in different country, you really learn to appreciate your own individuality. I made friends who I've formed an unforgettable bond with I'll in such an amazing city. London was the best place for study abroad because it's such an international city. I met people from all around the world and they all taught me so much about myself. One of the benefits of being in London was that I had access to travel everywhere (aka Italy in a week). People say study abroad changes them, and for me it really did allow me to take the time and mature and grow into the person I am now. I'm more accepting to others, open to new things, and have grown to love myself so much. 10/10 recommend will be the best experience of your life.”

Amber Cumiskey

            Where: Valencia, Spain

            What semester: Spring 2018

            What program: Prerequisite Program

 

(Courtesy of Amber Cumiskey)

 

"During the week, I took classes and would explore Valencia and see what it had to offer by trying new restaurants and exploring. On the weekends, I would either take a trip or FSU would have one planned out for us to go on. No class on Friday was always a plus. My favorite memory is definitely when my friend group went to Dublin, Ireland. Ireland is an amazing country. It was literally just the perfect trip- the group, the excursions we planned, everything. To study abroad you definitely have to be tolerant of living in very close quarters with people. In my apartment, there were 8 of us and we really got to know each other...maybe a little too much. But it made me so much more open minded and it made me realize what I’m working so hard for here at FSU: so I can have the ability to keep traveling and exploring. I would definitely recommend it, best thing I have ever done. Valencia is absolutely stunning and the study center is right downtown in the middle of everything. And most of your classes are inside the study center so you can just roll out of bed and go. Valencia is definitely a city of nightlife, too. That was a huge part of all my friends and I’s experiences, so that’s something to take into account."

Morrall Garcia

            Where: Panama 

            What semester: Spring 2018

            What program: First-year abroad

         (Courtesy of Morrall Garcia)

 

"In this program, I went to school at the FSU Panama campus for four months. I took four liberal studies classes. I also went to school with other central and South American students who would soon transfer to FSU main campus. As a program, we engaged in the true culture of Panama. We went to the beach city called Bocas del Toro and we went to an indigenous village of Silico Creek. Here we literally lived as one of them; we had 0 cell service, lived in wooden shacks that had only mosquito nets for protection of bugs, and we took part in their ritual songs and dances. While in Panama, we would spend time in Panama City, specifically the old town of Casio Viejo to go to traditional restaurants and shop from local markets. My favorite memory from studying abroad in Panama has to be all the memories I made with new friends from all over central and South America. Since I did my first year abroad, I was in other locations, however I never felt so indulged in another countries culture as I did here. I lived and went to school with people that had Spanish as their first language. I started to love Spanish music, which soon became the music of choice with our friends there. Studying abroad impacted me in so many ways. It really opened my eyes to the different cultures and adversities of the world. Panama is a 3rd world country, and as we drove around and explored cities and villages other than The city of Panama I grew aware of what "3rd world" is. I would recommend studying abroad to everyone. Removing ourselves from our comfort zone and taking the time to explore new cultures I 100% helps us grow as people. The experiences I had I will remember forever."

Mia Ersoff

            Where: Florence, Italy

            What semester: Summer 2018

            What program: Communications program

 

(Courtesy of Mia Ersoff)

 

"In this program, I took two classes with Dr. Merle as my professor. We met twice a week in the main FSU Florence Study Center. Almost every time we met in the classroom, it was either to listen to a guest speaker or to collaborate with different companies around Florence. For example, one of the companies we collaborated with was Firenze Turism. This was such an amazing experience since we got to brainstorm and create awesome content with Italians in the communication industry. We also worked on the first ever FSU Florence E-mag “Italia Noles” which was more exciting. I was in charge of taking pictures for the magazine and also writing an article which pushed me out of my comfort zone. I traveled across the world to this program not knowing a single person. I was scared I would not make any friends to share this amazing experience with. Little did I know that in Via Pietrapiana 18, I would soon meet some of my best friends. I will never forget all the amazing laughs we shared, late night walks around the Duomo, the gelato from Il Procipo we ate, and the stories we now all have to tell. This is going to sound cliche, but now I understand what people mean when their perspective of the world changes through studying abroad. My whole life I only knew one place, America. I was lucky enough to travel around growing up, but never long enough to fully immerse myself in a different culture. Studying abroad in Florence allowed me to say yes to foods I’ve never tried before, start conversations with people I had never met before, and adventure to places I’d never seen before. I became a more spontaneous, curious, and open-minded individual which has only positively impacted me now as a student in Tallahassee. I would 100% recommend it."