Going across Europe was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime adventure! I met all types of people and made lasting memories. While away from home for practically 14 days, I noticed more about myself than I ever have. It was tough to get out of my shell but after the initial shock of being away from home for the first time, I was able to make great relationships. To another student who is thinking about going abroad, whether you’re extremely independent or rather be in a group, research where you will be going. I was a part of a faculty-led abroad trip by the UTC Psychology department. The chosen locations were London, United Kingdom, Munich and Nuremberg Germany, and lastly Vienna, Austria. I researched London and Germany. I didn’t research Austria because we would only be in that country for a day, so I felt that it was unnecessary. I should have done more extensive research on restaurant etiquette. You seat yourself at restaurants! You have to pay for water. Water also comes in different types, like still, sparkling, or medium. Which I didn’t appreciate drinking sparkling or medium water at all. It tasted weird and didn’t sit well with me and many other students who went.
Another tip I would give a student planning on going abroad is to apply for a travel credit card. Bring a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees, a low APR rate, and will give you points for your overseas purchases. I got 2 travel credit cards for this trip and they helped me immensely when different stores wouldn’t take a certain card. Although, I will say that having cash is always smart too! Just mind the exchange rate, it’s absolutely horrendous. Don’t lend others money though, you can always ask for a “split” payment and the waiter/waitress will gladly do so.
Although it was only 14 days, I’m glad I went. I don’t believe I would have left the United States if I didn’t have an opportunity to. I had been speaking with an advisor for almost a year about studying abroad, but I made it clear that I would like to go with UTC students. My major, Psychology, hadn’t discussed a trip yet. I was looking at going along with the Business school to France or biting the bullet and going alone on a CIS abroad or AIFS abroad. Those are programs specifically tailored to semester and year-round study abroad programs for college students worldwide. In November I was told to be on the lookout, that the Psychology department might be planning something. In January 2022, I received the first email about the possible trip abroad in May 2022. All I knew was that we were going to Europe when I was accepted in February, but I didn’t know the locations until March. Since it was led by the Psychology department, the leading professors chose sites that would tie into our education. We visited Charles Darwin’s house, the Down House. Saw Sigmund Freuds London town home and his house in Vienna! I learned that Freud had escaped from Austria to London during the Nazi party reign. I never knew! We also went to the Dachau Concentration camp in Munich. I learned many things during that day trip to the concentration camp. Like how German society in the early days after the war acted as if nothing had happened, that the German educational system make it a point for students to visit multiple concentration camps throughout their school years, and that the American education system failed in explaining the true horrors of what had happened. I’m glad I got to experience and witness these great pieces of history.
Alex Berry (BS Psychology) spent Summer 2022 in England, Germany, and Austria as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Alex had the following to say about study abroad, “Don’t let anyone stop you from leading the life that you dream of.”