Location: Strasbourg, France
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Term Abroad: Summer '16
Majors: Marketing and International Business
What did you think about your study abroad program? Do you want to go abroad again?
My study abroad program was different because it was pretty independent. I took 2 courses through the school that I received credit for and a French class that didn’t count for credit. The French class was required by the school to just help us learn some of the language in order to survive for a month in France. The other two courses were interesting because one class gave an insight to the unique history of the country and the culture we were living in. The other class was unique because it was taught by professors who were each from different parts of the world and could give each class a different perspective to international business and the culture of their home country. The weekends were then free to do whatever we wanted and many students took full advantage of these to travel to nearby countries. I was lucky enough to visit 3 countries outside of France while there. After this experience I would definitely go abroad again. In fact, I have been back for less than a month and am already looking into ways to go abroad again.
How did studying abroad impact your experience at IUPUI?
Studying abroad allowed me to meet new people from all over the world as well as from my own school at IUPUI and to make new connections within the Kelley School of Business. I was also able to embrace diversity at IUPUI more comfortably than I had been before going abroad. It also gave me an outside and international perspective to the things I was learning at IUPUI.
I was able to get some real world experience to back up what my professors were teaching me and the things I was learning in the classroom.
Studying abroad also made me appreciate my education I was getting through IUPUI and all the opportunities this school has to offer a lot more.
What’s your best memory from your time abroad?
My favorite memory from abroad was watching the France vs. Germany game. My study abroad was timed perfectly with the Eurocup, which is like the Superbowl of soccer in Europe. We were there for the entire time this tournament was played and I am a huge soccer fan so this was really neat to experience. In particular, the France Germany game was incredible because our school was located in Strasbourg, which is right on the border of these two countries which had a huge rivalry. We were able to go out to a pub for this game and experience the locals’ excitement and patriotism. Europeans take soccer much more seriously than in America so it was really cool to be a part of such a passionate crowd. France also won that game which was a plus.
What do you think you gained from studying abroad?
While studying abroad I gained an appreciation for where I am from and the things that I have. However, I also gained a huge curiosity for new things. Going abroad made me realize how little I know about the world and other countries and I developed a newfound desire to learn, see, and experience as much as possible. I was also able to gain new perspectives, improve my communication skills, and improve some of my soft skills that can’t be taught through a textbook. Overall, I believe the most valuable thing that I gained was new friendships from countries all over the world and memories that I will never forget.
What advice would you give to other students thinking about studying abroad?
Do it! Don’t let any hesitations or obstacles get in your way because studying abroad is one of the rarest, but most valuable things you can give yourself. There are scholarships and many resources available at IUPUI that can help you get the experience you are looking for. I believe that everyone should get the opportunity to go outside their comfort zone and go abroad themselves. There is no such thing as a bad experience because no matter how it goes you will learn something about the world and most importantly about yourself.