Victoria Valadez, June 29th, 2015
I have now been back in Texas for about a month and it has been an interesting adjustment. I miss everything about Europe: the sights, the people, the food…especially the food! But there were definitely things about the U.S. and Texas that I missed. It was a crazy semester, but if given the opportunity I would without a doubt do it all over again!
Here are a few pictures of the places I was able to see and the people I had the pleasure of meeting.
My advice to those considering studying abroad:
1. Do it. Without a doubt it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Besides the incredible cities and scenery, I learned so much this semester that has shaped me. You will learn problem solving skills (like when your train gets cancelled and you are stuck in a small German town for the night), how to communicate with those who don’t speak the same language as you, how much you can push yourself out of your comfort zone…and so much more.
2. Do your research. Make sure you consider all of your options and chose the one that seems the best fit for you. Don’t just consider the country, consider the program, the timing of it, how intense the classes will be, how easy it will be to travel from wherever you are…all of those things make a difference.
3. Embrace the country and the culture. Wherever you go will be so different from life in the U.S., but take the opportunity to really embrace your new home. It will make it easier to make friends, and really learn about the culture. Don’t be afraid to try new things. If the country you choose takes 2 hour naps every day, try it out! If the country you choose walks around with bread on a daily basis, try it out! Studying abroad is your chance to experience something different than what you are used to. Take advantage of every opportunity.
4. And finally, enjoy yourself. Don’t get too hung up on the little things. At the end of the day it won’t really matter if you don’t get the dorm room you want or your flight gets cancelled. Don’t stress about the small things and make the most of the time you have.
Studying abroad is a truly unique experience, one that is hard to explain. My time in Strasbourg was amazing, and I strongly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take advantage of it.