One of the best experiences a student can have during their time in college is to study abroad. We had several students take part in sponsored activities over the summer. Two groups of students were able to travel to Paris and Bologna and dive into French & Italian culture and language. Led by FRIT faculty, these students were able to spend the month of May completely immersed in study abroad experiences none of them will ever forget. Here is what three student participants had to say of their experiences:
Global May Paris '23: Grace Mullet - English Major
I miss the feeling of community I felt in Paris. There were people roaming the streets at all hours of the day, whether it was a weekday or weekend. Seeing people relaxing outside cafés during the workday and strolling through Paris's beautiful parks was a sight to see. One of my favorite memories from the program is from our last evening where we went on a dinner cruise on the River Seine. As we floated along, so many people lounging on the banks of the river waved to us! I truly appreciated the beauty of the city. It is unlike many American cities that are populated with skyscrapers. The historic buildings were so charming, and many were decorated with lights and flowers. I was in awe of the many parks we strolled through in Paris. They were so beautifully manicured and full of vibrant trees and colorful flowers. I loved that we had easy access to public transportation during our program. The metro made exploring different parts of the city a breeze! It took a little time to learn how it worked, but by the end of the program we were navigating it like pros.
Italian City '23: Taylor Macchia - Fashion & Retail Studies Major
I studied abroad in Bologna, Italy and the top three things I miss most now that I am back are: being able to take a train to visit many Italian cities, the beautiful buildings and architecture that are so different from American architecture, and the fresh food!
Montpellier '23: Maria Berman - Biochemistry Major & CLLC Huntington Scholarship Recipient
My study abroad experience in Montpellier this summer was an incredibly enriching experience. Upon my return, I remember telling my mom that I feel like my eyes have opened up fully after seeing what it was like to live in another country. The highlight of the trip was the bonds I made with other students. In my class at the local university, there were students of all ages and nationalities. Among them were adults with children trying to assimilate in their new homes, Ukrainian teens fleeing from war zones, and ordinary students studying abroad from different parts of Europe, the US, and the Middle East. Forming friendships with people from class along with the local French really shifted my perspective on the world. Despite our different backgrounds and challenges in life, we all had things to bond over- whether it was music tastes, hobbies, clothing brands we liked, or how much we hated studying for the exams. Not everyone spoke English, so we often had to communicate in broken French. Besides improving my French drastically, I learned to appreciate the need for people to bond, to find common grounds, and to communicate.
If you are interested in studying abroad, you can find more information through the FRIT website here or through the Global Education webpage of the Office of International Affairs. Remember, too, many funding opportunities are available for students who want to take advantage of these study abroad experiences.