Jacob Debes '21

Program: France Fall Semester

Major: French & Global Business Leadership


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

I decided to study abroad because I was greatly encouraged by the people around me to have this experience. I chose France in particular because first, I am a French major. But second is because I wanted to experience the French culture and people in an immersive way.

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.

For me, the experience that was surreal was seeing Christmas markets in France. That is something we do not have in the United States and it was an experience I have never had before.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

My study abroad experience was life changing. It allowed me to experience many different people from so many cultures. But it also put me in a place of self-discovery, I learned a lot of new things about myself. That was the biggest takeaway from France for me, the things I learned about myself and how to bring that back-state side.

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?

Being abroad is a fantastic experience that will push you out of your comfort zone, meet new people, and see completely different cultures. Personally, as I said above I learned a lot of things about myself that I did not know before I left. Academically, my French is so much better and in fact it has inspired me to push towards more French and to never lose the ability to speak it. Professionally being in France has made me realize that I need to do what makes me happy, I am not sure what that is exactly. But I am searching.

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

All I can say is enjoy every moment because it will end so quickly and all you're going to want to do is go back.