It was not until I attended the pre-departure study abroad orientation on campus that I realized how many Mount Union students are traveling abroad next semester! Including me, there is a total of 22 students studying abroad. Students will be traveling to Australia, Costa Rica, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Spain. Each location varies drastically in what there is to see and do, and each student will have such a different experience while abroad.
I was curious to know what fellow study abroad participants were looking forward to most, so I reached out to a few students.
- Laura Mould (Ireland): “I’m really looking forward to being able to travel through Ireland and Europe and see many of the things that I’ve wanted to see my whole life. I’m really just looking forward to the experience in general, being able to say that I did it and got to be truly independent and on my own for a while!”
- Emily Stafford (Japan): “Japan’s culture and America’s is so very different. I am really excited to meet new people and see and try different things. It is a once in a lifetime chance to learn by living a new lifestyle. I hope that it will be a wonderful trip and that the experiences help me discover a new side of my life!”
- Rachel Toth (Germany): “The thing that I am most looking forward to is being able to be totally immersed in a new culture. I love traveling and trying different things, so this will be very exciting – and a little nerve wracking as well.”
When asked, past study abroad participants were more than willing to pass on helpful advice.
- Alyssa Greenwell (London): “Take advantage of every opportunity you are given while abroad. Travel to another country for the weekend. Try new foods. Experience the different cultures. Take risks. Studying abroad is one of the greatest experiences you will ever have so be sure to get everything you can out of it. It truly is the time of your life.”
- Megan Shadrach (France): “It is important to keep an open mind about everything you see and do, and be able to laugh at your mistakes!”
- Zak Suhar (Spain): “You might be afraid or anxious, but just know that studying abroad is a huge adventure. You may encounter struggles, confusion, sorrows and a lot of opportunities, but the most exciting things are the guarantees that are rewarded through travel. Just think how much you will grow and learn from this amazing experience.” (Zak is a fellow blogger. Check out his page here!)
What am I looking forward to most? I can’t wait to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain in Rome and stand in front of the Eiffel Tower, for the first time, in Paris. I have dreamed of traveling to Europe since before I can remember, never believing I would ever be given the opportunity to do so. It feels so surreal that it is actually happening and I can’t wait to live out my dream.
The countdown continues: 33 more days!