Brianna Radatz, ’25

Program: Greece

Major: Accounting

Minor: Finance


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

I have always known I wanted to study abroad, which was also a reason to come to CSB. As someone who has had an interest and appreciation for Greek history and culture, it seemed pretty clear to me where I wanted to study abroad. While living in Athens, our education switched from learning history right out of a book to taking a 15-minute walk to the actual sites and places we were learning about. I also wanted to experience a lifestyle that is very different from our own.

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

For the Greece program, taking Greek isn't required, but since I was going to be living here for 4 months, I decided to take Beginning Modern Greek. After a weekend trip to Switzerland with some friends, we took a taxi from the airport back to our apartment. We were talking to our taxi driver to learn about his life. Because he speaks little English, and we spoke little to no Greek there was an obvious language barrier. Because of my Greek class, I was able to translate and tell our driver in Greek that we were currently living and going to school in Athens. This was a memorable moment because the Greek language was difficult to learn, and I also felt like I could connect more easily to the Greek people.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

My overall experience abroad was very eye-opening. I was able to learn and experience the true Greek culture. I also had the opportunity to travel and experience the cultures and people of 11 other countries. I learned how it feels to be an outsider in a new country and also how to adapt to the new surroundings around me. I became more independent and am definitely more self-aware of those around me.

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?

While studying abroad you really get to experience how different our lives can be from others. You are not just a tourist visiting a city for a few days, but you get the opportunity to truly experience other cultures. I think it made me more adaptable and more of an open-minded person. I was forced to step outside of my comfort zone and also relearn how to do daily tasks differently. We made mistakes along the way but that helped us learn important problem-solving skills. It was also a great opportunity to make new connections within CSB+SJU but also with other students and locals.

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

If you are even considering studying abroad, do it. This is the perfect time in your life to do it. Who knows when you will have another opportunity to live in another country even if it is for a short time. There are so many places to go see in the world and studying abroad allows you to see new places and make new friends and connections along the way.