Study Abroad Ambassador Experiences in Europe
I spent last year studying Geosciences at the University of Potsdam in Germany. I had been to Germany a couple times before, since my mother is German and I grew up bilingual. Even with that previous experience, the idea of living alone for a year in a European city was an exciting and slightly scary prospect, and upon reflection, it has lived up to all my expectations. The proximity of other cool places in Europe is invaluable, and I was able to maintain friendships in Vienna, Prague, and Budapest, and build new friendships in France and Spain. This aspect is something I think is one of the more important parts of traveling and spending time abroad- meeting new people and possibly learning about their worldview. I was lucky to be placed in an apartment with awesome people, and I became very close friends with those dudes. I met great people through the Geology program, which could even be considered networking when it comes to future jobs. This isn’t to say that there were not difficult times, but those times forced me to be independent and develop better people skills, and I think I became more patient and a bit more humble. I guess I can say that I often had the feeling that I had jumped into cold water, but was learning to swim and even to enjoy it. So my only suggestion to those on the fence on whether they want to study abroad (at the risk of sounding cliché) is to make the jump- you never know what you’ll learn about yourself or who you will meet. email@example.com
My study abroad experience took me to the Emerald Isle where the myth of 10,000 shades of green has proven to be true. I studied at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland and it was the best 5 months of my life. Friendly people, beautiful country, and endless experiences to be had. I'm a journalism major here at UM and unfortunately in Cork, they do not offer and journalism classes, so I ended up taking a bunch of upper-division courses that I couldn't have take anywhere else. Everything from a European Cinema course to a course devoted to Medieval Celtic traditions. I also got involved with things on campus including volleyball, the International Society, choir, and tons of others. Traveling around Europe is super easy and exciting! I was able to spend time visiting not just Ireland but also England, Spain, Italy, and Austria. I greatly encourage you to study abroad or at least look into it as a possibility. Feel free to contact me with and questions you may have! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd love to hear from you! Cheers!
From the beginning, I always had my heart set on studying in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, one of the most international, breathtaking, creative, and unique cities in the world. In this metropolitan of canals and cobblestone, millions of bicycles, flower markets, and world famous cheese, studying for a year at the Universiteit van Amsterdam allowed me to truly be in the center of it all. The heart of the city and its history was our campus. As one of the top 15 universities in Europe, with origins dating back to 1632, I was nervous about how I would do in such a different academic environment. I learned that with openness and confidence, I can rise up to any challenge I’m faced with. But the most memorable experiences and sources of personal growth came from outside the classroom, learning to be self-sufficient through living in a foreign country and better understanding myself and others through the exploration of different cultures. As a hub of travel, Amsterdam also made taking trips to other countries easy. I had the opportunity to have adventures in Morocco, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and many more. But what I will miss most about my year abroad is simply riding my bike through the winding streets of Amsterdam and the Dutch countryside, picnicking in the oasis-like parks scattered around the city, and sitting at a terrace for hours with close friends – enjoying life the way the Dutch do. People always say studying abroad is a beneficial thing to try in college, but I can proudly say that that’s an definitely an understatement. I wouldn’t trade my year abroad for the world, and I bet you won’t either. email@example.com
I studied at Philipps-Universität Marburg in Marburg, Germany as a sophomore for the school year of 2009-10. This experience was the biggest and most amazing adventure of my life! I learned so much about myself and about other people of the world. Though I studied in Germany and took all my classes in German, I also met many other exchange students from all over the world and was able to travel to other European countries and experience more than one culture during my exchange. Marburg is a beautiful university town, and in living there I learned how live on my own and became much more outgoing and confident as time went on. This was also due in part to the amazing family of friends I made over there, and because of this the hardest part of the exchange was having to come back! But now that I am back I have a more excited outlook on life and the world, and I feel very ready to take on any challenge thrown at me. Thanks to the classes I took and the experience as a whole, I also have a clearer view of what I want to pursue as a career and hope to end up in Europe again sometime soon. I encourage everyone to study abroad and travel, and if you have any questions at all please email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
I studied abroad Spring 2011 in Pointe à Pitre, Guadeloupe, France in the Caribbean. This small territory has so much to offer, with a blend of African, Creole and French culture all coming together on one tiny island. I lived in the dorms at the Universte des Antilles et de la Guyane close to the city on the island of Grande Terre, though I spent much of my time exploring the forested, more mountainous island of Basse-Terre. I found the island mentality, the glorious sunshine and beaches and the laid back lifestyle of the Caribbean extremely agreeable. I enjoyed the diversity of the area, with most Guadeloupian’s African ancestry, the large Indian population and the French vacationers. With classes like Caribbean history, geology of France and of the Caribbean, French conversation and scuba diving, I met a wide variety of students. I learned to love the French language, and even a bit of Creole. Traveling around to the surrounding islands of Marie Galante, Les Saintes and Dominica gave me a good glimpse into the other cultures in the area. Living in an entirely different culture as the only American student definitely presented challenges, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. There is a certain passion for life in the Caribbean music, food, dancing and people that would made anyone fall in love with the islands. Feel free to email me with any questions at Erika. email@example.com
My study abroad experience was truly life changing. I spent the 2010-11 academic year in Aix-en-Provence, France which is about 20 minutes from Marseille, the second largest city in France. I attended Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III which has campuses in both Aix and Marseille, and passed my first semester in a language program school built for foreign students and the second in the real business faculty. Through the ISEP program, I was able to live in CROUS, which is French national housing for students across the country. I had the most amazing year of my life, until this point that is, and have truly been changed for the better in my outlook and attitude. I honestly believe that a study abroad experience is a vital part of an education because of the real world, hands-on experience it provides in any subject. In France, I learned French, politics, business, interpersonal communication, advocacy for myself, and overall tolerance. I experienced French and a lot of other western European cultures, in addition to the unique opportunity which living next to Marseille offered. Marseille is a political hot spot in France, filled with a largely northern African population, and the culture that I experienced was not one I would ever have had the chance to see or understand in Montana. The picture above is of me standing in the Mediterranean Sea in November and looking back over the large, somewhat dirty, and extremely charming city of Marseille. We often took the bus there on the weekends for a toll of only 1 euro and went to the Arabic markets and strolled the streets looking at art and listening to music, ending with taking a stroll along one of the many city beaches before heading back. After a year in France, I have a quiet confidence in myself and my ability to chase my dreams, wherever they may lie, in the future. I want to share my experience so that I can help someone else to have the same invaluable experience I had. Merci! firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi everyone! I studied at the University of Sunderland in north east England for the 2010 and 2011 school year. In addition to attending classes at Sir Tom Cowie business campus, I travelled around as much of England and Scotland as I could. I also spent time in Germany, France, Italy, Hungary and Turkey, among other places. I loved my year abroad, and now that it's been nearly a year since I left I would give anything to be doing it all over again! Please contact me if you are headed to Sunderland, or England for that matter. I would love to answer any questions and share any experiences that I can! Contact me at email@example.com
I spent the last school year studying in Lyon, France. Lyon is the third largest city and France and is conveniently located in between the Alps, the Mediterranean and Paris. Along with the attraction of its size and location, places such as Germany, Switzerland and Italy are accessible by train. My time in Lyon allowed me the opportunity to live on my own, use and test my knowledge of French, experience a new education system and explore my interests. Above all, I got to meet other foreign exchange students who were just as passionate about traveling, French and exploring as I am. I was fortunate enough to get to take advantage of my location and new adventure-thirsty friends and travel all over. With all these new friends, we were able to explore every part of the city together from hanging out in the immense “Parc de la tête d’or,” walking through markets, renting bikes to ride throughout the city, enjoying some of France’s food capital’s cuisine to constantly struggling through daily French encounters together. It’s difficult to describe what a rewarding experience it is to pull yourself away from home and “the familiar” and to put yourself in a foreign place. It took months to adjust completely, but I feel that I’ve grown more than I thought possible because of it. I hope that everyone who wants to is able to have a similar positive and exciting time abroad and I would love to help answer questions to make that happen! Ilse.firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan PetersenI spent the Spring 2012 semester studying abroad in Cork, Ireland, the "true" capital of Ireland and the city of rebels. I've never spent more time being more excited about my life as I was in Ireland. It's a little difficult to truly convey what the experience means to me, but I can tell you that it's the best decision I've made in my adult life. Although I was sent to Ireland with the intent of studying political science, I learned so much more than that. I traveled throughout Ireland and got to experience almost all the Irish stereotypes and then some. I also spent time in France, the U.K., Spain and Morocco. email@example.com.
Alyx RuzevichI’d been looking forward to my year in France since I was a freshman in high school, but I actually wasn’t too excited to leave my friends and family when the time came…I was worried things would change without me. Regardless I went into it determined to make the most of the time I had, with only 2 overall goals to achieve: a) improve my French to a high standard, and b) travel as much as time and finances could possibly allow. Leading up to the school year, I had little to no expectations; I was just going to be there, with a mind to remain optimistic, open-minded and appreciative. I got to know the city well, and spoke with the Angevins (Angers locals) as much as possible. I made friends that I couldn’t imagine not knowing or having spent time with now. I studied, spoke, heard and breathed French every day…with some good English conversations acting as a pressure valve in between. Europe is great that way. I saw the Netherlands for Christmas, visited Spain with my mom and met a friend for a week in Morocco. At the end of the school year I worked on a WWOOF farm in the breathtaking French Alps with a Franco-German family. From there I planned my 2-week journey through Italy by train to Croatia by ferry, reverse process to Austria, and then all the way back to Paris for my final flight home. Once I got back to Montana and business as usual, I was surprised to find that nothing had actually changed that much over a single year. The previous summer, I was afraid of what I would miss out on at home. Now I can appreciate everything that I would’ve missed out on if I hadn’t left! It all seems like a dream now, but I’ve got excellent memories, some travel know-how and one crazy, enriching year behind me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Alec ShortHello everyone, I am a Russian major here at the university and I went to study Russian at the University of Tromsø in Norway. Many of you are probably thinking "how much sense does that make??". Well when I got there it actually made a lot of sense because there was a huge Russian population where I was studying and many of the Norwegian students spoke Russian as well. I wouldn't ever take back this experience! It is one of the best opportunities to learn more about yourself and the world we share with many other people. Speaking Norwegian also wasn't a problem because most people in Norway speak English, but classes are offered at the University and are very important to take to get the full experience of being in a foreign country. I am a huge supporter of studying abroad, especially while you're in college! Any area of study can be studied abroad just as easily as it can be in your home country and it also gives you a more international advantage! The University of Montana has many great programs and a very dedicated staff to helping students! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I check my email frequently so getting back to you should be pretty quick!
In my four years at UM, I have travelled to seven Spanish-speaking countries with university programs and one through a student group. First, I went on a travel seminar about human rights, politics and environmental issues in Guatemala the summer after my freshman year, which I loved so much I signed up for the same program the next summer in Nicaragua and El Salvador, with a few bus rides inHonduras. Then, I hopped over to the Dominican Republic to visit a living wage garment factory and reported back to the other members of Students for Economic and Social Justice. During the winter of my junior year, I travelled to Chilean and Argentine Patagonia helping one of my professors research sustainable tourism development while mountain biking through the region. Then, I spent spring semester 2012 in Granada, Spain. I studied and lived completely in Spanish and took three political science classes just for the fun of studying something different from my journalism major at UM. I travelled all over Spain, and to Morocco, London, Lisbon, Berlin, and several cities in France and Poland during my five months in Europe. I made great friends from all over Europe and Mexico, and learned a little bit of a lot of languages. There are more ways than you think to get out of Missoula while you’re in college. Feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.