Learn, travel, and make memories and friends, without the commitment of a full semester of classes.
Are you interested in studying abroad, but a full semester seems daunting? May term might be for you. Gracie MacFarlane (photo left), an incoming junior this fall, and Faith Birdsell (photo right), an incoming sophomore, took on Italy this past May on a study abroad trip. However, the shorter amount of time didn’t lessen their experience. Within their three weeks in Italy, these students gained exposure to new cultures, learned new things, and had some unforgettable experiences.
MacFarlane, a Marketing major, enjoyed that the trip is faculty led. This made her feel more comfortable while traveling. MacFarlane enrolled in a music history class to immerse herself more into Italian culture. This class visited local performance halls and saw a few performances live. Additionally, MacFarlane mentioned that the trip gave her more self-assurance in different aspects of life. “You really get to experience another country’s culture for yourself, and you gain so much confidence in your ability to navigate new areas of life.”
Birdsell,an Entrepreneurship and Psychology double major, enjoyed the shortened Study Abroad opportunity because it didn’t take her away from family for too long.
“I am a very family-centered individual, so it was a great option for me as it was a good amount of time to go and explore, but I didn't feel I was missing out on my little siblings' lives back home.”
In Italy, Birdsell took the opportunity to learn more about small businesses. “As I want to be an entrepreneur, I went out in my free time and looked for small local businesses in each city we visited. I talked with each owner and got to know their story a little. I can confidently say I left each city having made a connection and inspired.”
MacFarlane and Birdsell found this experience to be rewarding and eye-opening. Embracing the culture and learning from a different perspective is only one benefit of studying abroad.
“The memories made from studying abroad are something that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life,” said MacFarlane, “and it’s an opportunity that serves more than the classroom alone.”
“No matter what your major is, studying abroad will add value to your personal life and professional career,” said Birdsell. “Your perspective really does change, and your outlook on life broadens even more in the most incredible way possible.”
Makenna Elphick, an incoming junior majoring in Marketing and Graphic Design, is a student writer for LSBE.