Happy Study Abroad Day 2023! Taking place annually on the last Monday in February, this national holiday aims to bring awareness to the benefits and lasting impact of international education. While we could sing the praises of going abroad all day, we thought it would be more meaningful to hand the mic over to YOU.
Let’s kick off Study Abroad Day 2023! Here’s what AIFS Abroad participants recently shared about their experience:
What do you love about studying abroad?
“I love experiencing another culture. I love being a little bit uncomfortable. I love learning about somewhere that I don’t know about. I love Europe. I love not staying in my small hometown. I love learning about different cultures, different foods, about different ways of life. Like I want to expand my life and my horizons, and literally study abroad is the best way to do so.” – Peace | AIFS Abroad in Granada, Spain
Did you know anybody else on your program before going?
“This is one of the main worries I had before studying abroad is not knowing anybody. And no, I didn’t know anybody here, there’s nobody from my home university. I completely met new people, beautiful people. They are so nice. I’m going to visit them back in the States. You, like, get new friends. You build your social skills up. You’re a whole different person when you get here.” – Brooklyn | AIFS Abroad in London, England
Okay, let’s talk housing.
“I would say overall living with a host family has been a lovely experience. Living with a family is a great way to practice the language on a day-to-day basis. It’s also great to have meals together. We eat breakfast and dinner together. It’s a way for me to try new foods that I’ve never eaten before and that’s been really cool, because I wouldn’t have had that otherwise if I was maybe living in a dorm setting. It’s also just a great way to get to know people on a deeper level.” – Courtney | AIFS Abroad in San José, Costa Rica
“I decided to live in an apartment rather than a homestay and I have five roommates and we all love our apartment so much!” – Haley | AIFS Abroad in Rome, Italy
How are classes abroad?
“Classes are different in the aspect that it is very hands-on. You want to be there, you want to be engaged, and you want to be doing the things that you’re learning about. For my Seven Wonders of Spain class, we walk around Barcelona drawing architecture, touching history, and being physically involved in the things that we’re learning about.” – Chase | AIFS Abroad in Barcelona, Spain
“I’m also choosing to take Wine Marketing because a lot of great wine comes from Tuscany, specifically. The wine production process is amazing and it’s so cool learning about it here. I’ve gotten the chance to take trips to vineyards in the Tuscan countryside and do wine tastings, which is so amazing to get hands-on experience in an area that’s known for these things.” – Lauryn | AIFS Abroad in Florence, Italy
Is knowing a language besides English required to study abroad?
“There is no language requirement necessary for the program whatsoever. There are options to take classes obviously like I’m in, and I would definitely recommend learning a few basic words and phrases just to get you by.” – Jenna | AIFS Abroad in Rome, Italy
“A lot of people in the program do come to Berlin to study German, but it is not necessary at all. I only knew a few phrases in German and I’ve been able to get around the city just fine. All my classes have been in English and most people here know at least a bit of English.” – Kelly | AIFS Abroad in Berlin, Germany