The following article was written by Kallie Stahl, graduate assistant on the Library Events & Outreach team. She is currently pursuing her MA in communication at Villanova University.
Welcome to the weeks after fall break, the point in the semester where warm weather nostalgia is a constant daydream. Even though your favorite television shows are finally back with new seasons, you still can’t shake those thrilling summer memories. Whether you worked, bravely endured summer courses, or explored new places, your summer experiences allowed you the opportunity for personal growth and reflection.
Use the skills you’ve learned these past few months to make this academic year your best one yet. If you still can’t seem to shake your need for adventure, don’t try! Continue to fuel your desire to leave no stone unturned. While the Office of Education Abroad can supply you with helpful information and support, the world-traveling staff at Falvey can be another resource to help you plan the trip of your dreams!
“In undergrad I did a study abroad in London, which included an internship with a West End production company. I ended up returning to the UK for graduate school where I did my M.A. in English at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute located in Stratford upon Avon. I was also fortunate enough to be able to take time to travel during both my study abroad and my graduate degree and visit places like Scotland, Ireland; Wales; Nice and Cannes in France, as well as Monaco; Florence and Venice, Italy; Saville, Spain; Heidelberg and Munich, Germany, and Prague in the Czech Republic to name a few.”
Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience & Humanities Librarian
“While I did not study abroad there, I recently took an amazing trip to Iceland. We hiked in cloud-shrouded mountains, climbed a glacier, dodged free-roaming sheep, and learned a great deal about the fascinating history of this Viking-settled country. We traveled the Route 1 ‘ring road’ around the entire country so we were able to experience the full diversity of this unique geothermal island. It was so wild, bucolic, and beautiful that I’m glad I took pictures, otherwise I’d wonder if I’d dreamt the whole thing.”
“I got the travel bug at a young age, or maybe I was just born with it. I enjoy meeting people, experiencing diverse cultures and seeing different cities, states, countries… the world! I decided during my freshman year of college that I was definitely going to study abroad. It was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss. I studied abroad during my sophomore year of college for an entire semester. At the time, a younger and more timid me wanted to stay somewhat close to home and wanted to be in a predominantly English-speaking country. England was the popular choice for students who were in the same requirement boat as me. I also like to be different. Why go to England when that is where most students seem to be going? Alas, I chose Scotland! My university didn’t have an exchange program with a university in Scotland so I applied directly to the university that I wanted to attend. I was accepted and spent the spring of 2007 at University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland. To say it was the best semester of my college experience would be a complete understatement; it was so much more. I met lifelong friends, people with the same desires, life views, and perspectives as me – how awesome is that?! I highly suggest you take advantage of any opportunity that may arise to study abroad. Guaranteed, it will change your life.”
Last spring, Dave and his wife traveled throughout Eastern Europe last spring visiting Romania, Eastern Slovakia, Krakow and Berlin. “Specifically, the picture above was taken in Maramureș County, in northern Romania along the border with Ukraine, which is one of the last places in Europe that has kept its rural traditions. The people are exceptionally friendly, and wherever we went, we were invited into their house. I was offered fresh cream at one random woman’s house. Again, not tourists stops – actual homes.”
As a current graduate student in the Department of Communication, I had the opportunity to take part in the Shanghai Business and Communication Internship Program. I spent six weeks abroad, five weeks in Shanghai and one week in Beijing. Working for an international fashion company, I was able to enhance my intercultural communication skills and build upon current marketing and public relations credentials. During the program, I was able to see a multitude of amazing sites including: The Bund, Jade Budda Temple, Yuyuan Garden, People’s Square, Jing’ an Temple, Zhouzhuang, the Temple of Heaven, Huangpu River, Oriental Pearl Tower, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall of China. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in interning abroad. Experiencing Asian culture firsthand was a wonderful occasion, and I’m grateful to Villanova for providing this life changing learning adventure.
The best way to learn about places unbeknownst to you is to listen to those that have traveled there. So, whether you’re planning on studying abroad or just looking to book a fun getaway, the Villanova community can be your guide. Bon Voyage!
Article by Kallie Stahl, Graduate Assistant on the Library Events & Outreach team. She is currently pursuing her MA in Communication at Villanova University.
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