Julia Schoenecker, ’25

Program: Greece

Major: Exercise and Health Science

Minor: Pre-Chiropractic

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

I chose to study abroad because I consider myself a homebody, and I needed to get used to living more on my own. I chose Greece because I knew some of the people who were going on the program, but I didn't know them very well. I wanted to be able to experience new things with new people. Also because Greece is home to Olympia and the Panathenaic stadium, and both of these things interest me because I thoroughly enjoy learning about ancient sports and other similar topics.

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

One cultural experience I had that I remember was from when we went to the Peloponnese. We traveled around to Olympia, Epidaurus, and more places. It was so interesting to me to see the old buildings that were still standing and to be able to see and learn all about the history of each place.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

My overall experience was amazing. I loved traveling and learning about different cultures. I also loved my time in Athens. The classes I had in Greece through CYA were awesome, as well as the teachers. My entire experience was so cool, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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?

Personally, study abroad made me grow as a confident individual, someone who can fend for themselves and make their own decisions. It helped me learn how to adapt and be open to whatever is happening. Academically and professionally, it taught me how to work with new people, and a new sense of patience. Not everyone that you work with experiences the same thing or speaks the same language. Being immersed into a new language helps me to realize what people go through when they move to the U.S., especially if they don't speak English. It helped me to learn how to be more patient with those people, and others in general.

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

Do it. It seems scary, especially as someone who is a homebody, but it is definitely worth it and it helps you find yourself. It also provides you with the experience of a lifetime.