This study abroad trip was absolutely the best experience I had and will definitely never be forgotten! From the beginning of the trip towards the very end of the trip, I admired it because this is something that I might not be able to see again. My favorite site visit was the Down house because of the fact that his backyard was where his work was presented. By that visit it makes me want to do further research on Charles Darwin and his work. Another part of the trip was going to the tower of london because the fact that it was supposed to be a prison where Adolf Hitter was supposed to be was fascinating. And walking of the perimeter of the tower of london was the walking of history to me.
As being in study abroad this has made me realize that there is different cultures and ways to approach things. However London reminds me of a huge New York City and it reminds me of the fast life and fast paced. And then Munich reminds me of a city where it’s a big city however, every person that speaks English in Munich says that every person speaks English. So I would suggest that you make yourself aware of general words in German like bathroom, water, how much etc. That was the first thing that stuck out to me but also how you had to pay for the bathrooms in Germany, but they were clean which was a benefit. When we went to Nurmenburg Germany it was a completely different view compared to Munich. It actually felt like Germany with the architecture and how the houses were made. So I suggest you take a lot of pictures while you are there because it is remarkable! And as we left Germany, we went to Vienna and I wish we would have spent more time in Vienna because it was spectacular and mouth dropping. And one thing that stood out to me the most was how much school cost in Vienna. The cost for schooling in Vienna is 400 euros which was surprising compared to the cost in the United States.
The benefits of studying abroad is that you get the understanding of how different cultures live and operate in different environments. For example, the average day americans do not use the train system on a daily basis unless you are in a big city. So going into studying abroad, you have to be very open minded and that will allow you to accept the differences each country has to offer. While being in a different country for education it gives you the opportunity to allow yourself to look beyond the lecture and the textbook. It gives you the opportunity to engage with what you are learning.
As being a first generation college student, it is important for other first generation college students to get that opportunity too. Some tips that I would give is to connect with the students before that trip. Like for example, maybe do a zoom call of what everyone is interested in and then to see how you can connect with that person so they can be your friend. Another tip would be to pack snacks and have a water filter that can attach to your water bottle because you do not know what the water is coming from. And another thing is to prepare for anything like bring two pairs of heavy pants and light pants and leggings and shorts that you can prepare if the weather app is not successful.
Gabriella Jackson Olson (BS Psychology) spent Summer 2022 in England, Germany, and Austria as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Gabriella had the following to say about study abroad, “It is a great experience that allows you to open your mind. An spectacular experience is on the wait for you and allows you to enjoy the experience and allows you to have a different perspective.”