Callie Anderson '23
Program: UK: Children’s Literature
Major: Social Sciences
Minor: Secondary Education & History
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad because I have always loved to travel since I was a kid and went on many trips with my family. I had mostly only traveled in the US, so I wanted the chance to get to go on a longer trip somewhere new. I had also heard so many good things from fellow students at CSB+SJU who recommended studying abroad before graduating. I chose my program specifically because I wanted the chance to study abroad but felt unsure about committing to being gone for a full semester. An embedded study abroad trip was thus a great way for me to still get to go on a trip and learn about other cultures but still maximize my time on campus. The specific topic of the trip also appealed to me since it combined my studies in education with my love of reading.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
One cultural experience that I had on my trip was when in England we all went on a day trip to Oxford. We started the day with a walking tour of the city from a local who told us about the connections the city and University had to many famous writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and Philip Pullman. It was really cool to get to see how the city and its places influenced so many well-known stories. We also got to tour one of the colleges there to see the differences from education there and here which was very interesting.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I had a great time studying abroad! For my study abroad experience, we stayed for part of the trip in London and the other part of the trip in Edinburgh, thus we got to experience living in two different countries and metropolitan areas. We also got to go on many day trips out of the two cities and get to see other areas of the countries like both urban and rural. We went on many excursions to different places like museums and cultural landmarks to learn more about the places we were in as well as experiences relating to children's lit like the national children's library and talking with guest speakers about the UK publishing industry. The trip had a great mix of time where we did activities as a whole group as well as free time where we could break up into smaller groups and choose different things to do.
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?
In my experience, getting to go abroad brought many benefits. I was able to learn more about other cultures while on my trip and how to adapt to living in a new environment, helping me to grow as a person. I got to expand my knowledge as I learned more about the subject of my class as well as the history and current events of my host countries. I also was able to make a lot of new friends and become closer with a lot of the other students on my trip.
What advice can you offer for CSB+SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Look at all the different opportunities that are out there! CSB+SJU offers so many different programs so there is bound to be one that appeals to your interests and fits your academic and professional goals. I recommend talking with fellow students who have gone on study abroad to help you get the best feel for what the experience is like.