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Celebrity Abroad and at UConn



Mary Foley is a French/ Comm double major. I met her this year when she was my recruitment counselor and heard all of her adventures of being abroad and her plans for graduating early this winter. She is this week’s Campus Celebrity!

When did you do your first study abroad?

I first went abroad my sophomore year in Fall 2012.

How long were you gone/where did you go?

I went to Paris for the academic year.

What made you decide to graduate early?

I wanted to graduate early for financial reasons.  I am an out of state student so it is pretty expensive for me to go here.  Saving money, however, isn’t exactly the reason.  It’s more that I wanted to spend that money on other things.  I studied abroad for the year in Paris, which, tuition wise was actually cheaper because of my out-of-state tuition.  Living in Paris, as you might imagine, was more expensive than living in Storrs so that money kind of balanced out.  I fell in love with studying abroad and with learning about new cultures and languages so I decided I had to take advantage of more study abroad programs that UConn had to offer.  Since I had spent that year abroad I decided it would be better to next go on Winter and Summer programs.  I went to London over Winter Intercession 2014 and to Toulouse, France in the Summer of ‘14.  These were both amazing experiences that I would not have been able to do had I not had the goal of graduating early.  I spent the money to travel and do what I loved and was able to make up for it by working hard to graduate early.

How were you able to get all of your classes out of the way?

Well originally when I went abroad, I was part of the ACES program, so, I didn’t have a declared major.  Basically, all I knew was that I wanted to study abroad.  I was advised to do this as early as possible so that I could study abroad before I felt too overwhelmed in my major especially since I was choosing one late.  So, I went my sophomore year with the intention of only staying Fall semester.  I loved it so much, however, that I had to stay.  I decided I would be a French major because I clearly had a passion for it and learning about the language and culture made me more excited than any other subject.  I was able to get most of my requirements completed for the French major when I was abroad for the year and when I went back to France for the Summer program.  I also wanted to be a Communication major because I though they went together well.  I had friends that were Communication majors and it seemed interesting to me and more broad than French so I decided to go for a double major.  To get my Comm requirements out of the way, I took Summer classes right after my year in Paris and applied to the program.  Since then, I have taken mostly Comm classes each semester in order to finish.  ACES helped me to get most of my gen eds finished my Freshman year so everything has been working out in terms of completing my requirements.

What will you do after graduation this year?

If everything goes according to plan, I hope to be living in France after graduation.  When I was in Toulouse this Summer I met a lot of people including people who worked for translating companies and companies that teach English to their employees since it is so important for international business.  These are companies that I hope to be involved with after graduation and I hope to move there as early as January- just one month after I finish my classes here.

What was your favorite part about study abroad?

The best and worst part about traveling is all of the different and amazing people you meet.  I was very fortunate to meet some of my best friends and to have the most fun and exciting times of my life.  I met people from different cultures and people who spoke different languages and learned so much more about myself in doing that.  Before I studied abroad, I really didn’t stray too far outside of my comfort zone and if I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have met these people.  It’s also the worst part about traveling though because you could meet a best friend or a soul mate abroad and then have to leave.  It’s hard to make those connections but ultimately it’s worth it and meeting the people I have met is definitely my favorite part of study abroad.

Did you have a really memorable moment while studying abroad?

I have so many memorable moments abroad.  One in particular that I always love sharing with people is once when I was in Croatia.  We went on Spring break there with the UConn program and it was quite possibly the best week of my life.  Croatia wasn’t somewhere I imagined myself going to, but it was absolutely amazing.  Anyways, one day a friend and I were on a beach just sunbathing when a man in full scuba diver garb came out of the water holding a bottle of champagne and two glasses.  After trying to convince him that they must not be for us, he popped the bottle, poured the glasses, said goodbye, and swam back into the ocean.  This was probably the craziest thing to ever happen to me but nonetheless, very memorable!

What will you miss the most about UCONN?

I will miss all of the people I met here.  I will miss my sorority sisters and having such a strong support system to go back to.

What do you look forward to in the future in regards to early graduation?

Although I will miss UConn so much, when I think about graduating early it makes me excited about what the future has in store.  I will miss Storrs and all of my friends here but I know there are so many other places to be.  I’m excited to (hopefully!) move to France and live out my dreams as soon as possible.

Do you have any advice for those of us who are still a few years from graduation?

STUDY ABROAD! But seriously my greatest advice is just to do something that gets you out of your comfort zone.  Challenge yourself and don’t be afraid to try new things.  If you can’t study abroad, join a new club- do something you never thought you would do- force yourself to interact with people you otherwise might not.  I have grown and changed a lot since my Freshman year at UConn and I would have to say I’m all the better for it.

I am from a small New Hampshire town you have probably never heard of before. I am always active and on the go, soccer, lacrosse, hiking, skiing, running and even horse back riding. I am shamelessly in love with every member of the Boston Red Sox as well as my border collie/aussie mix of a pup, Sophie. I am a physiology and neurobiology major here at Uconn and if I could be any one in the world other than myself I would be Christina Yang from Greys Anatomy
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