One of the most rewarding experiences of my entire college career has been studying abroad. Coming into college, I knew I wanted to travel somewhere, but I hadn’t quite settled on a specific city.
As a requirement for my communication major, I had to take a language class so I naturally gravitated towards what I had taken in high school: German. My German skills were proficient enough that when it came time to choose a destination, I was drawn to the idea of studying in Germany. It became official once I chose the exact city, Mannheim, in which I wanted to study, and finalized my living arrangements. I was guided along the way by UMass’s own International Programs Office, who helped me choose and plan out my entire study abroad experience. This made the process painless!
One of the major perks of traveling abroad in central Europe was simply the ability to travel. I was able to visit nine countries throughout the nine months I was in Germany and relied heavily on both planes and public transportation to get where I was going. Although I LOVED the city where I was studying, it was amazing to be able to visit so many major world cities nearly every weekend.
Another great part of studying abroad was meeting people from all over the world. I got to become close friends with people from Norway, Sweden, France, China, and, of course, Germany! I was fully immersed in German culture, language, and ways of life throughout my trip, and it even strengthened my ability to live independently! Through this experience, I was able to view the world in a completely different light, as well as learn a lot about myself!
I highly recommend studying abroad if you can work it into your schedule. For more information, stop by the International Programs Office in person to speak with a peer advisor.