Alexandra is an Ambassador who studied abroad in France
Minor: Secondary Education, Teaching English as a Second Language, Gender Studies
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I decided on this program because I am a French major, and I have always seen myself going abroad. My mom always encouraged me to go abroad and explore. The French program in particular helped me complete not only several general credits, but also a lot of credits that went toward my major.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
One thing that had a lasting impression on me while abroad was the extremely different atmosphere of the south of France. At CSBSJU, and during most of my school life, I have felt a sizable amount of stress in regards to homework, friends, and school. In France, however, there was a different feeling. The French move at a different pace. They do their work in class for the most part, and they reserve time for the sole purpose of eating, or hanging out with friends. In France, things were more laid back because there was a time for work, and that's where all of those thoughts stayed.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I absolutely adored both my internship and my study abroad experiences. The people we met, opportunities we were given, place we were situated, and even the food, were incredible. I loved being in a place that made traveling to other countries so accessible. I was able to make lasting friendships with not only people who were French, but people from many other countries.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Studying abroad helped me to make many new friends and helped me to get outside of my comfort zone. While abroad, I was also more independent. I was able to focus on myself, my goals, and my studies throughout the semester, while also having time to climb mountains, go to other countries, and enjoy multiple things covered in Nutella. Interning brought great experience and job opportunities, and even the place I was staying brought me new connections and new opportunities when I graduate.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
I think it is an absolute must to study or intern abroad. I think it is important to learn about other cultures, because we are a part of a world that is rapidly changing, and understanding different people and their different perspectives on life is something that can help make you a better person. I also believe that studying or interning abroad can make you a more compassionate individual, because you have the chance to learn from and about people from a different place in the world, and you are able to see the human condition in a new light. Plus, after everything, it looks great on a resumé.