College of Literature, Science and the Arts
“Studying abroad was one of the best experiences of my life, and I’d sell both an arm and a leg to do it all over again. It opened doors for me that I never knew existed, both in terms of personal development, professional advancement, and experiential learning. Given that, I cannot sit here and pretend that I didn’t face any challenges. I remember feeling out of place my first two weeks in Berlin, back when I still had trouble adjusting to a city whose history I did not know, mingling with people whose language I did not yet speak, and living thousands of miles away from the people I loved most in this world. But I remember one specific night on Valentine’s Day, when I was walking home alone, dragging a backpack full of groceries and a bouquet in my hand (which I had bought for myself), and explicitly thinking, “I don’t think I can ever leave this place.” This was nearly a year ago, and my statement still stands.
The friends I made abroad are people whom I’ve brought home with me, and I have gone and visited their hometowns just as often as they have visited me — they remain a major and integral part of my life to this day. My heart is still set on living in Berlin. After my return to America, I began seeking out opportunities to pursue a Master’s degree in Germany, which I never considered doing before. I also still stay in touch with all the faculty and staff I’ve met across my various programs, and they quietly cheer me on through email and social media as I stretch my hands out into the world even further. I am who I am today because of my study abroad experiences — it helped to sharpen my gaze and focus on what’s important and allowed me to ascertain what exactly ought to be my path in this life. Studying abroad has filled me with endless amounts of love, appreciation, and joy, and that is something everyone is worthy of experiencing.”
Do you have a story?Share Your Story