Talitha Burtis

Talitha is an Ambassador who studied abroad in France

Major: Chemistry

Minor: Psychology


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

I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to push the limits of my comfort zone. I wanted to study abroad because I knew it would push me to do things that i wouldn't normally do and help me become a more independent and confident person. I wanted to study in France because I wanted to learn a language that I had never studied before. The rich art culture of France had always intrigued me too. What better way to study the art history of France than studying abroad there!

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

I will always remember how scared and uncomfortable I was when I arrived in France. I didn't speak the language and I wasn't great at navigating in France. However, after all the language we learned, I was able to easily ask for help, order food, and communicate with people all over France.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

My overall study abroad experience was perfect. It was filled with just as much adventure, travel, and fun as I expected. Being at an international school, I was able to meet so many wonderful people from so many different countries. I worked with amazing native french speakers and was able to learn more french than I ever imagined I could in just 3.5 months. The professors made learning the language so much fun. Since some of us hadn’t taken French before, they taught us language that would help us when traveling, ordering food, and asking for directions.

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 semester abroad allows you to branch out and explore a different part of the world. It's one of the only opportunities you will ever have to study and live in a different country and experience the culture firsthand. It allows you to gain international experience and build up your resume. It has helped me personally to become more independent and confident in myself. It was an opportunity for me to study something outside of my major and gain knowledge in another topic that I was interested in.

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

Anyone considering study abroad: If you are even thinking about studying abroad, you should do it. It’s unlike any other experience you will have. Don’t worry about the extra couple thousand dollars it adds tuition. The experience is well worth it and it’s an opportunity you won’t find anywhere else.

To students who are planning on studying abroad: Save up as much money as you can before you leave so that you can always say yes to an adventure. Professors know that you are there to travel and have fun, too. Get homework done early so you can catch a flight right after class on Friday. You are never going to regret taking a train or cheap flight somewhere fun. Also, don’t be afraid to ask ambassadors questions. We are happy to answer even the smallest of questions!