My study abroad experience will be one that I never forget. I chose to study abroad to seek adventure and experience life and education as it is known in the European culture. I decided to study with CIEE for a couple of reasons. I really enjoyed their public health academic track and the option to be able to study in more than one city or even country.

I decided to study abroad without knowing anyone and I believe that choice made my experience better than I could have imagined. I was able to make new friends and experience many new and exciting things because of this choice. I studied in three different locations which were London, England, Paris, France, and Rome, Italy. I chose these cities because of the history that each one contains and the many sites that I was eager to see and experience in person.

While I was abroad, I was able to experience the culture of these cities as well as many other cities in Europe by traveling during my free time. Each city contained many memories and lessons that I will never forget, academically and personally. By studying abroad, I was able to actually see sites, artworks, and memorials that we have been taught over our many years of schooling. The classes that were offered to me abroad allowed me to experience more things than I would have been able to on my own. I completed two courses in each city that I went to. Each class was a combination of lecture, guest lecture, and mostly site visits. Seeing things like Buckingham Palace, The Louvre, The Sistine Chapel, and so many more locations will be moments that I will remember forever.

When I was not in class during the week and on the weekends, I made many trips to visit other places and friends that I had met along the way. By choosing to study in Europe, I was in a close proximity to many other countries. In 18 weeks I was able to visit more than 10 different cities or countries on my own time. I really enjoyed how study abroad allowed me to make lifelong friends and have the opportunity to explore the world with them. On top of all the amazing places I traveled to, I experienced growth within myself. Studying Abroad improved my academic career and myself as a person. I developed more independence and confidence within myself. The 18 weeks I was abroad allowed me to really find out who I am and what kind of person I want to be. Without studying abroad, I would not be the person I am today or have the friendships and memories that will last forever.

Kristin Dowling is majoring in Exercise Science and spent the Spring 2019 semester studying abroad in England, France, and Italy through CIEE‘s Global Institutes (Open Campus). Kristin had the following to say about her time abroad, “Study abroad allowed me to gain experiences that I would not have had the opportunity to get while in the US. My time abroad allowed me to develop a confidence in myself that I did not have before. Study Abroad allows you to experience things that will change your life forever.”

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