Student Feedback from their Study Abroad Experiences














 

Tokyo, Japan

Going to a massive city where I always stood out as a foreigner and where I could not fluently speak the language was extremely intimidating but well worth it. I got to do things I never thought I would do and I now feel like I could successfully travel anywhere. My study abroad peers were incredibly open and friendly, and the people of Tokyo shared an inspiring and contagious level of trust amongst each other that other societies should envy. I can now truly appreciate just how much I have at home and how much I rely on communication with others for daily life.


Jackie Dalke
Park University

 

San José, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's language is Spanish; I didn't know very much Spanish at the time except the basic words. As my time went on in Costa Rica I learned more Spanish and met new people. Every weekend there was an excursion planned for us to go on. Some of the places I went were; Manuel Antonio and Puerto Viejo Costa Rica. I also went on little day trips with other study abroad students to the coffee plantation, national parks, the shopping mall and the movies. This experience opened my eyes to a whole new outlook on life and different cultures. This experience taught me about myself and it also made me adjust and adapt to new language and there values and morals.


Ashley Frazier
Lincoln University of Missouri

 

 

Quito, Ecuador

Studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador was one of the most extraordinary experiences in my life! USFQ has a gorgeous campus and great professors and students. It was a blessing to live with my wonderful host family. I absolutely fell in love with the Ecuadorian people so rich with spirit, love, and joy for life. The country is beautiful and amazing. I swam in a waterfall and relaxed in a volcano lagoon! The best moments were spending time with my family and local friends. My proficiency in Spanish improved tremendously. I plan to go back as well as explore other countries and cultures.


Angela Glean
Kansas State University

 

Seville, Spain

My summer in Seville was one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to immerse myself in a completely different culture. I experienced so many amazing things things from bullfights, Flamenco shows, seeing places that are hundreds if not thousands of years old, and eating a lot of helado! My favorite parts about the entire experience were going to the classes. My professors were amazing and I truly learned so much. My housemother, Carmen, was so kind and an unbelievable cook! My time in Spain not only taught me about Spanish people, culture, and history, it taught me a lot about myself and the world around me. I hope that this was the first of many chances I have to travel the world! My advice to other students who are thinking about studying abroad would be to just do it! In college studying abroad is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to travel the world. If don't want to or are unable to spend a whole semester abroad, do as I did and spend part of your summer abroad. It will be one of the best decisions of your life!


DyNishia Miller
University of Indianapolis

 

 

Tuscania, Italy

I once dreamed of traveling around the world on a quest toward further life purpose, profound self-exploration, and self-fulfillment. In my study abroad I sought to become a more culturally diverse and understanding individual in regards to the minute differences within a country that brings about the pride in its inhabitants. I have learned that nothing is impossible and what we conceive of as being impossible is simply an act that has yet to be accomplished by the individual who seeks to do so. I can honestly say that studying abroad has given me more than just knowledge; it has provided me with the necessary tools to accomplish what I so eagerly desire in life. I have developed great skills that I will utilize to help others in accomplishing their life goals and dreams. Studying abroad has helped me become a more independent, culturally diverse, and understanding individual. My experiences have shaped me into a new and improved individual and for that I will be forever grateful. Farewell Italy! Until we see each other again in the cities of enlightenment, I thank you for your shared beauty and great experiences.


Gwen Nieves
SUNY Broome Community College

 

London, England

During my study abroad trip at Kingston University near London, England I was granted with the opportunity to explore a culture that is so historically rich in literature and architecture, along with a lifestyle that was vastly different from the small town environment I have always been a part of. I cherish the experiences I had with students and faculty from this program, as well as the complete independence that I encountered in my own fascination and exploration of a country that requires much more than a month's visit.


Kimberly Wronkiewicz
Truman State University

 

 

Moscow, Russia

Studying abroad in Russia is quite a unique experience. Russia is an exotic country, and my own experiences were characterized by similarly exotic people and places. From young students to the elderly, on trains and even at the market, many Russians were eager to communicate with American students who earnestly tried to use and learn the Russian language. Meanwhile, in my travels throughout the three capitals of Russia, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kazan, I saw the unique churches, museums, and sites of Russia's history. Today, Russia is the product of its many peoples, their culture, and rich history.


Ryan Kohler
Truman State University

 

Christchurch, New Zealand

Needless to say I was on my own; starting from scratch in an unknown world. I still remember my first week, missing home, worrying about how I was going to fit in. Then I met Allie, my best friend while I was abroad. The fear washed away. Everyone has a best friend or two. But this was different. We both had no one else, stuck in this new place. It honestly was friendship at first sight as crazy as it sounds. We both were engineering majors who just wanted to get out of the classroom and explore. And that's what we did. I went to classes too, no worries, but nearly every weekend I traveled. Castle Hill, Queenstown, Picton, Abel Tasman, Arthur's Pass, Mount Cook, talk about adventures! Though New Zealand is absolutely gorgeous, it's not just the place that made it amazing, but the people I met along the way that made it unforgettable. The friends I made and traveled with got closer to me in a few months than people I've been friends with for years! It was our experiences, our adventures together that took our friendship to another level and sealed it for good.


Kim Laufenberg
University of Wisconsin—Platteville

 

 

Venice, Italy

But not only was if full of many spectacular moments, it was also full of wonderful people. There was the local restaurant owner who helped me study my Italian vocab through pantomime and props. There was the fantastic staff who was always a phone call away and present to help us through any difficult moments. I befriended a monastery of nuns who lived down the road and who welcomed me into their home many a Sunday to attend mass, eat breakfast, share their free time and then sometimes even stay for lunch too. These same sisters offered me a place to stay at another location when I was later backpacking through Europe and who I am still in contact with today.


Samantha Zawistowski
Adelphi University

 

Seville, Spain

When I first arrived to Sevilla the only thing I wanted to do was return to the United States. I could not see pass my own fear and insecurities to see the beauty that Spain had to offer. I immediately began to do exactly what I was told not to do. I was comparing Spain to America. Mostly, I complained about the streets and the noise. However, upon returning home and having time to reflect on my experience, I have come to realize studying or even traveling abroad is well worth the journey. Spain was magical. There were Gothic cathedrals, Flamenco dancing, fresh pan everyday, siestas, and wonderful Señoras to make you feel right at home. Now I think every person should journey abroad at least once in life.


Diamond Munerlyn,
Lincoln University

 

 

Lugano, Switzerland

Studying abroad in Lugano, Switzerland at Franklin College will go down as the best summer in my life--I'm sure of it. There was nothing quite like traveling around Europe for a weekend and having a place to come back to like Lugano. The Swiss are the cleanest, most adventurous, fit, wealthy, and pleasant people I've met in my life and you would not understand until you go to this beautiful country. From the breathtaking views from the Lake and downtown Lugano looking up into the Alps, and the breathtaking views looking down upon the small towns from the mountains is something no picture can capture, because trust me, I tried. When studying at Franklin College, the Resident's Assistants were always finding activities for the students to do together, none of which were inside because who would want to miss the weather and glorious views when sitting indoors? I am making it a priority to travel back to Switzerland within the next five years, and I would be fine only traveling within it's borders. No other country has as much diversity as Switzerland with the French, German, and Italian regions, so it's almost as if you're getting parts of Europe in one. As a result of this diversity, the French, German, and Italian cuisines are all authentic and words can't describe the taste of the delicious food. Go and get the real European experience all within one country, go to Switzerland!


Aubrey Kettrick
St Bonaventure University

 

 

Seville, Spain

I would say that everyone should take the opportunity to study abroad as a blessing. The experiences you get are incredible and once in a lifetime. You will see yourself grow as a person over the course of just a few short months. You will learn about yourself, and be tested in every single way imaginable, and unimaginable. You will end the semester saying goodbyes to your best friends, to go home to your best friends. Get out of your room and explore! Talk to everyone, taste everything, and just live life to the fullest. The time goes by too quickly but you will always remember everything. Over time you will see the person you have become, and learn how to balance both of the worlds in one. That is the most incredible part of the journey.


Shimriya Richard, Student
Brookdale Community College

 

 

Sevilla, Spain

Sevilla has stolen my heart. Studying abroad in Sevilla has changed me in so many ways. I learned more than just another language. I became very independent and made a lot of new friends from all over the world. I would recommend studying in Sevilla because the lifestyle is amazing. The people are extremely friendly. Life is a little different there but its great. You can walk just about anywhere and the sun is always shining. It is also very accessible to other countries such as Italy, France, Morocco, Sweeden, Germany, Ireland and Belgium.

Sevilla is the best place to study abroad and I will definitely be returning soon.

Marianna Nercesia
Hillsborough Community College

 

Seville, Spain

I spent my Spring of 2010 in Seville, Spain. I didn�t know too much about Seville but I figured anywhere in Spain had to be good. Seville is such a unique and gorgeous city. The people are generous, the weather is magnificent, and there is a relaxed atmosphere. I have absolutely fallen in love with this place.


Hayley Decker, St Bonaventure University

 

San Ignacio, Belize

This semester I was a guest in the district of San Ignacio, Belize. Belize as a whole was an amazing experience and I would definitely recommend visiting to other students.

While in Belize I had numerous exotic adventures from climbing Mayan temples to excavating through deep caves. One aspect of Belize that should not be missed is the cave Actun Tunichil Muknal and it�s more than worth the visit.

My stay at Log Cabins Inn was very nice and the staff was very understanding to any of my issues or concerns. While away I made amazing friends from not only Belize and the United States but also made friends from all over the world. While my studies had to end I do not regret choosing Belize for my study abroad destination. I feel it was the best decision I have ever made and even if you�re not an environmental science major you will still find lots of joy in being a visitor in this country.

Thomas Mills
Westfield State University


 

Dundee, Scotland

In Summer 2011 I spent six weeks in Dundee, Scotland. My time there was absolutely fantastic! I learned a great deal about a different culture and I believe I had a truly enriching experience that I know will be beneficial to my career as a physician.

Scotland is a truly beautiful country. I had a chance to visit the Highlands and it was possibly the most beautiful place I have ever been to. The many hills, the green grass, the lochs, and the waterfalls all contributed to the Highland�s beauty. While in the Highlands, I also had a chance to experience Highland Hospitality. The locals of the Highlands are incredibly welcoming and polite.

I got engaged in the culture outside of the classroom simply by meeting and having conversations with locals, visiting other towns, and exploring the beautiful areas.


Brian Kim, Student
Truman State University

 

Angers, France

I studied abroad in Angers, France during the 2010-2011 school year, and it was an incredible experience! So much so that I would love nothing more than to have the opportunity to return there one day! I fell in love with the city not long after arriving, and was sad to have to leave it at the end of my program! I would strongly recommend that any student studying French choose Angers. It is such a gorgeous city, and located only an hour and a half away from Paris by train! Not to mention it has many great spots to visit, such as the castle, which is only about a five minute walk away from the downtown area.

Looking back on my experience, I realize just how great this study abroad program was in terms of improving my French. There's nothing better you can do than becoming immersed in the language you are studying, experiencing every day situations in that foreign language and learning more and more about the host culture until finally starting to blend in a bit and become a part of it. I am so glad that I had this opportunity!


Kelli Connell

Annecy, France

My study abroad experience has been wonderful and while I am starting to miss my life in the U.S. more and more, I am incredibly lucky to have had these opportunities. I wish that this kind of experience was available to every student, as it was something that I learned a great deal from. This was the first real independent thing I have done in my life, and knowing that I succeeded on my own is an incredible feeling. I had to learn to survive without my parents and their advice, which forced me to make decisions for myself. I had to learn to cope with the differences of another culture, food that I wasn�t used to, living with a family I didn�t know, forcing myself to speak French when all the other students were speaking English. I will never forget my four months in Annecy and I am sure I wont forget my time as an au pair. I see my time studying abroad as a great accomplishment with memories that I will keep forever.


Bridget Milford

 

Angers, France
I could write a book on the cultural and social richness of France. I can�t really even start to explain just how beautiful of a country it really is and how incredible the people and the places and the food are. You just really have to go there for yourself. But certainly, I am very glad and consider myself fortunate to have had this experience in France.

Andrew Hughes

Bond, Australia

Spending a semester at Bond was an unbelievably amazing experience for me, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. This experience really introduced me to the global community, at Bond the student population is so diverse that no one cares where you�re from. I feel like I made a lot of quality friendships with people from a variety of countries, and I even met my wife � who is German- as a result of studying abroad.


Jacob Schrum

 



I have many memories from my time in Ireland. It is a beautiful country and I believe that I got to know the place both as a tourist and a local. I spent part of my time travelling to various tourist destinations and part of it staying in Limerick and just hanging out with people. I am entirely satisfied with my study abroad experience and I highly recommend studying abroad to anyone. I hope to return to Ireland in the future.

Angela Scheperle, Student
Limerick, Ireland

New Castle Australia

My experience in Newcastle and Australia in general was amazing. I got all of my academics done while still having time to explore such a beautiful country. I definitely got the "travel bug" from my experience and cant wait till my next adventure. It was truly an eye-opening and growing experience. I would change very little to nothing about my experience in Australia- except maybe to stay another year! It was a once in a lifetime experience and I feel I am a much better person for doing it.


Benjamin Rusk

 

SPAIN

During the fall semester of my senior year here at St. Bonaventure University I had the most wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Sevilla, Spain. The program lasted for three months and I took of plethora of Spanish courses both at the Universidad de Sevilla, and also at the International College of Seville. Through these classes I was able to deepen my knowledge about Spanish literature, grammar, and culture.

Every other weekend or so the ICS had planned weekend excursions for the entire program, and we were able to visit such cities as Jerez de la Frontera, C�diz, Granada, C�rdoba, and Ronda. We were also allowed to participate in weekly excursions to various historical places around or in Sevilla.

However, there are two moments that trump all of the above mentioned experiences: my host family, and my Spanish intercambio Ricky. While living in Sevilla I lived with the wonderful Garcia family in a small apartment not far from school. One weekend they took my roommate and I to their home pueblo of Segura de Le�n for a weekend, and we were able to participate in the festival of Capeas. Ricky, on the other hand, is a local "Sevillano" who studies English. We would meet a few times a week to help each other practice our langauges. Through him I was able to make friends with a bunch of local Spaniards, and he would take me around Sevilla showing me all the popular spots to visit. I still keep in touch with him today as he hopes to sometime visit the United States.

All in all, I had the experience of a lifetime and I thank my parents, my university, and CCIS for making this experience possible.

Michael Chiponis, Student
Sevilla, Spain, St. Bonaventure University

New Castle Australia

When I first thought of going to Newcastle Australia, it was not something that I was fully committed to. I was having a good time studying my schoolwork where I was, but the thought of studying in a foreign land seemed like a fun idea. After being in Australia for a whole semester, it turned out to be more than just a �fun idea�, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

My first day in Australia, it was 111 degrees Fahrenheit. I was coming from Ellensburg where the temperature was hovering around 5 degrees Fahrenheit. After a week or so of brutal heat, I started to get used to it and was able to come outside and enjoy the weather. The first Australians I met were too friendly to be real. They wanted to know all about me, where I was from, and why the heck I wanted to come to Australia. My answer now; because Australians really are the most friendly people in the world.

I was living in the International House of my school so I was able to meet people from all over Africa, Europe, Asia, and America. My trip down to Australia was about studying in a new place. After my journey, I can easily say I learned more from the immersion of 50 different cultures than I did during the class time. Some of my best friends that I will be keeping frequent contact with live in Germany, France, South Korea, and Australia.

I cannot stress how many great times I had �down under�. I never once felt out of place there. It was as if the Australians whole goal was to make the exchange students feel at home. Late nights on the town, social gatherings at all hours of the day, awesome professors, intriguing discussions with other foreigners, and the creation of new lifelong friends are a small part of why going to Australia was one of the best choices I have made.


Eric Tichenor

 

PERU

This summer, I spent 40 days in Cusco, Peru, and every single day I learned something new! Cusco is a city filled with an extraordinary culture that everyone should have the opportunity of experiencing.

During my stay there, I visited Machu Picchu, an ancient city that attracts many tourists, and one of the reasons why visitors come to Peru. It was absolutely beautiful, and I enjoyed every minute of it!

My home stay in Cusco was wonderful! My courses, taken at USIL were exciting. I�m glad I selected Cusco as my first study abroad experience. I made new friends, gained knowledge of the Inca culture and expanded my Spanish vocabulary. If I could do it all over again, I would! Sadly it has come to an end, but action-packed, culturally fulfilling Cusco will always be in my memories. I would recommend this program to anyone, and I look forward to sharing my Cusco pictures with everyone I meet.

Tyisha Massey, Student
Cusco, Peru, Lincoln University

COSTA RICA

Getting off the plane at the San Jose, airport in Costa Rica, I really did not know what to expect whether good or bad.   I just knew that I would be spending five weeks of summer in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I have been to quite a few countries but my study abroad experience in Costa Rica is one that I will always remember.  I can wholeheartedly say that I never had a “bad day” while studying abroad.  My tica family welcomed me into their home with open arms.  I was one of three students living with the family and we all bonded together as if we were all a part of their family.  I attended Universidad  Veritas, in San Jose, Costa Rica where I took an intercultural communication class and a Spanish class .  The ticas and ticos  of Costa Rica have a rich culture that draws in each and everyone who have visited their country.  My program was not solely surrounded by school work but we were able to visit different parts of Costa Rica every weekend; from  the sunny beach of Tamarindo, the reggae filled  Puerto Viejo to canopying through the rainforest of Monteverde.  It was the best two for one experience of my life.  My greatest disappointment was that rainy Sunday morning when I had to board my flight back to my American home.

Shanalee Gallimore, Graduate Student
Florida A&M University

 

BELIZE

The best place to learn is out of the classroom, and that's exactly what I did, and out of it I got the most incredible experience of meeting new people, learning a new culture as well as learning about myself.

Jessica Ness
University of Indianapolis

 

ARGENTINA

Study abroad is AMAAAAZING! But honestly, if you want to learn more about yourself and your home country, study outside the United States. It will change your life and your view on life...

Hannah Snyder
University of Indianapolis

 

SPAIN

Sevilla, Spain is the largest city in, and, subsequently, the capital of, Spain's fabled autonomy of Andalusia. I studied and lived here for four months with a Spanish family. At first I was nervous with the idea of living with a family that does not speak English, but quickly learned that Spaniards are extremely warm people who are very, very welcoming. My senora was extremely kind, considerate and helpful. The school where I studied was equally as fun and helpful. Located next to Parque de Mar�a Luisa, I found my self going for walks after class and taking in beautiful Sevilla and all it has to offer. Thanks to ICS, I went on many excursions, provided by the school, throughout Andalusia. I also took advantage of Sevilla's location and made trips to Morocco, Portugal, Madrid, etc. In my short four months here I made friends and memories from all over the world that will last me a lifetime!

Kevin McGarr
St. Bonaventure University

 


 

CCIS would like to share the stories of our 2008 Summer Scholarship Recipients!

PLEASE RHEAD THE EXPERIENCES OF FIVE OF OUR STUDENTS WHO HAD AN AMAZING TIME, AND DON'T FORGET TO RECOMMEND YOUR STUDENTS FOR FUTURE CCIS SCOLARSHIPS.

Chambery is a quaint little town that I very much enjoyed living in. Since I was born and raised in Miami, it was especially nice to live in a small city and get the feel for their way of life. As for the bad reputation of the French here in the states, I have made it my personal mission to correct it. Everywhere I went people were very kind, considerate, and incredibly helpful. School itself was a pleasure to attend. The chateau where schooling took place was located on a beautiful park, which consisted of several rose gardens. After class I loved sitting in the park and taking in the scenery. The school also offered a variety of excursions throughout the week that made assimilating much easier. In five weeks, I took approximately 800 pictures and have made friends around the world during this once in a lifetime experience!

Priscilla Carolyn Schmidt
Miami-Dade College

 

I spent a month in Morocco as part of an intensive Arabic program, and it was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. One weekend a small group of us went to explore the Old Medina of Fes, which is basically a gigantic, maze-like bazaar that seemingly never ends. Around lunch time, an Arab man offered to bring us to his restaurant and we gladly followed. Fifteen minutes later, and after walking into more and more desolate areas, we finally arrived at the restaurant equally terrified and relieved. The restaurant/home had the most beautiful tile work I have ever seen, the food was delicious, and the service was incomparable. After our meal we looked through the guest book and came upon one of the few English passages that read: “If you are an American and you were brought here the same route that we were, you are probably feeling very scared. Relax and don’t worry. Sometimes you just have to trust people.” This story summarizes what I learned while abroad. Even though you may be scared and very unfamiliar with a different culture, people are the same no matter where you go. And when people of two different places and cultures can both share an amazing day in the Medina, that is the beauty of travel and one of the joys of partaking on a journey abroad.

Ashia Wehbe
Montana State University

 

This past summer, I studied abroad at the American University of Rome. It was truly an experience of a lifetime. While there, I studied Italian language, culture, and art, but also learned much more. This experience taught me so much about the world, others, and myself. I stepped out of the comfort zone I know and tried new things. From figuring out the Roman bus system, to interacting with the people of Italy, to exploring the glorious city of Rome, each day brought new excitement and new challenges. I am so glad I had the chance to study abroad. It is an experience I will never forget.

Genna Randazzo
Central Michigan University

 

This past summer I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Florence, Italy; and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life thus far. I loved walking around the city being immersed in the culture and eating all the amazing pasta and gelato I could get! I also thoroughly enjoyed the class I took while I was there. It was a history course focusing on the civilization and culture during the Italian Renaissance. Before I took this class, I knew of the painters and sculptors of the Italian Renaissance, but I had no idea about the politics going on at that time. I learned all about the Medici family, and their significance during the Italian Renaissance. Even though my class was three hours long Monday through Thursday, I enjoyed every second of it. I had a wonderful professor who kept my attention and always had funny stories to tell about his childhood in Florence or his world famous moped. I knew study abroad was a great opportunity, but I never knew it would be so life changing!

Angela Mendoza
Saint Xavier University

 

My study abroad experience was by far the best experience of my life. Overall, it has enabled me to grow as an individual and has opened my eyes to the world. Studying abroad taught me how to adapt to the different cultures in aspects such as language, food, and body language as a way of life. Basically, I had to adjust certain things in my life to fit into their culture. For instance, Italy has a time called "siesta," where they close everything down to go home and take a nap, or eat lunch, and relax with family. Studying abroad also allows you to meet lots of new people. I met some of my best friends on this study abroad trip, and we still talk and see each other even though some of them live half way across the country. Everyday is a new learning adventure and what I have learned and experienced is knowledge that will last for a lifetime. For all of those students that are concerned about finances, I was in the same situation. But given what I know today, I wouldn't trade my experience for a million dollars.

Anthony Tisi
College of Staten Island/CUNY