Audrey Munshower, ’25

Program: France

Major: Environmental Studies

Minor: Data Analytics, French

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

I always wanted to travel abroad but I knew I wanted to do more than just sightsee. I wanted to experience what life is like in a different country. I decided on France because I have a lifelong love of French culture and the French language, and I wanted to hone my speaking skills with native speakers.

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

I lived with a French host family and was able to get to know them very well. We ate dinner together every single night and would talk about our cultures. I got to share my life in the States with them and they explained what it was truly like to live in a European country.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

I had an amazing experience. I was able to travel to several different countries while abroad but also got to know my host city very well. I talked with some of the most interesting people I've ever met, I was able to study some subjects I would have never had the chance to study in the States, and I ate some of the best food on Earth.

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?

For personal growth, I noticed that I became a much more confident and curious person. Spending time in a different country introduced me to many new experiences, and I found a new appreciation for the unexpected. For my professional development, I am now able to communicate with others much more effectively than before. Living in a country where I did not fluently speak the language did present some struggles for me, but it also made me more aware of how I communicate with people, both English speakers and not.

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

Be open to new or different experiences! Things may not always go how you want or expect them to, but often the most memorable experiences were the ones you didn't plan for.