I original choose to study abroad in the Balkans because I got one of those mass emails that I think every student at UTC gets. For some reason I decided to read that email instead of just deleting it and boy am I glad I did. All I knew about the Balkans before this class was that when Clinton was President there were ethnic cleansings taking place there. I knew that Eastern Europe was a bit under developed compared to its neighbors in Western Europe, and that was it. I could not have imagined how much fun I was going to have and all the places I was going to get to go.
This trip was amazing! We were in a different city or town every day and in a different country every other day or so. We started out our trip in Dubrovnik which is a city on the Adriatic Sea; it is also where a lot of Game of Thrones is filmed. We learned about the country’s history and about its current economy.
Our trip also took us up to the Northern Albania Alps. We stayed in an enchanting little guest house in a village called Valbone. There we learned about local customs and traditions as well as how the average person in a village like that can successfully own and run a business from the owner of the guest house himself. Here we were secluded from the outside world and surrounded by nature, it was truly beautiful.
We ended our trip in Tirana which is the capital of Albania and a pretty big city. There we got to learn about the country’s history, tour an investment company, and explore the city. We experienced so much of what the city had to offer, and we met with local students and learned about the city from them.
I would really recommend a trip to places that people do not typically think of when they think about studying abroad. I did not know much about the region I was going to before I left, and I have to say the trip far exceeded any expectations I had.
Caroline Rabiner is majoring in Legal Studies with a minor in Religious Studies. She participated in a faculty-led trip to the Balkans through the College of Business in May, 2018. Caroline had the following to say about her study abroad experience, “I would have to say this trip was an experience of a lifetime!”
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