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Term Abroad: Summer '16
Major: Social Work
Minor: Criminal Justice and SociologyExpectations:
Was your study abroad program as you expected?
- Yes and no. I expected to learn a lot from my program, but the experiences and friendships I took away from my time in Croatia were better than I could have ever anticipated.
What do you think you gained from studying abroad?
- I gained so much from my study abroad experience. I gained an understanding of community development and resilience after tragedy. I learned about Croatia’s struggles and their strengths. I met many community organization leaders and learned about their passions. I also learned a lot about diversity and new cultures. I really learned a lot about myself, though. I learned that I can do more than I think I can. I realized that I can adapt even when it feels like I might not fit in. I learned that I can make a difference.
Initial thoughts on Arrival & First Impression
What was your first impression of studying abroad and initial thoughts on arrival?
- My first thought when I got to the Indianapolis airport to go to a foreign country with people that I didn’t really know was, “What have I gotten myself into?” I was absolutely terrified. When I got to Croatia and met up with my classmates for dinner on that first night I thought, “This experience is going to change my life.” And it did.
How did studying abroad impact your experience at IUPUI?
- Studying abroad definitely made me feel more like a part of IUPUI. When I was abroad, I felt like an IUPUI representative. I wanted to make my university look good. I also met amazing IUPUI faculty through my experience. Carmen (Dr. Carmen Luca Sugawara) and Miss Joan (Dr. Joan M. Carlson) are amazing and inspiring instructors. IUPUI is lucky to have them.
What’s your best memory from your time abroad?
- My best memory of my time abroad was when my fellow classmates and I went hiking in Plitvice Lakes. Plitvice Lakes is famous in Croatia for its beautiful views and waterfalls. We got up very early to go on our adventure and some of us were a little nervous about the physical aspect of it. However, when we got there we realized that those views could not be rivaled. We laughed and took pictures. It started to rain and we even got lost on our way back, but that only made it more fun.
The Travel Bug
What did you think about your study abroad program? Would you want to go abroad again?
- My study abroad experience is something that I will cherish forever. I learned so much about Croatia, community development, and myself. I miss my time in Croatia all the time. If I could rewind and do my program all over again, I absolutely would. I definitely want to go abroad again and actually hope to return to Croatia one day.
What advice would you give to other students thinking about studying abroad?
- DO IT! Apply for the scholarships, research the programs, ask the study abroad office your questions. Don’t let money or fear stand in your way because studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience. I have never met a single person that regretted studying abroad, but I have met many people that regret not studying abroad.