Larissa Kleen '20

Program: France Fall Semester

Major: Nutrition-Dietetics

Student Athlete: CSB Swimming


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

I chose the French Program because I wanted to experience a European country along with being given the opportunity to learn a new language. I was immediately attracted to the French program when I heard the classes and setup of the campus. There is a lot of things to do in the city and the beach is just down the road! I also knew that being in France would allow me to take multiple weekend trips to neighboring countries in Europe.

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

I had a phenomenal experience abroad! I do not regret choosing France to study in or taking any of the classes I took abroad. I loved my director and all she brought to the study abroad seminar. I learned so much about what I want in my future and how to find happiness in everything I do. Her curriculum made a lasting impression on me, along with learning about the French culture and how it relates to my life back home in MN and at CSB/SJU. Learning French was also a major experience I will always cherish.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

My overall experience abroad was life changing and incredibly eye opening. Most days I would wake up, go to class, learn French, go to the beach, enjoy a delicious dinner with my classmates, then go into the city of Cannes and explore! On weekends, I would either travel to bordering countries with friends or stay in Cannes and enjoy cultural events around town. Our group was truly blesses to have a director who was dedicated to planning enlightening day/weekend excursions around France.

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?

Spending a full semester abroad opens ones eyes and mind to the world around them! I became for appreciative for what I have at home, understanding of different cultures around me and became more independent in travel! The benefits to studying abroad for such a long period of time is endless. I went to France with personal, academic and professional goals and by the time I came back to the USA I had achieved them all.

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

Advice I can offer students considering to study abroad is do it! You will never regret such a experience and no matter the program you choose you will see and do amazing things that will change your life and perspective on the world. For those already planning to study abroad, advice I give is to go in with an open-mind and not expect everything to be like how you picture it in your head. Learn to go with the flow and appreciate the unexpected adventures and challenges!