Study Abroad: Europe Trip
I learned so much about architecture and history, and I even learned a lot about myself.
Never, in a million years, would I have thought that during the summer after my first year of college, I would be visiting several foreign countries! In high school I was the kind of person who was not into trying new things or going outside my comfort zone. However, taking this May Term trip abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I visited five different cities across Europe. Those include Venice, Salzburg, Munich, Paris, and Berlin. Visiting these cities and experiencing new cultures has been both eye-opening and educating.
Paris and Munich
Personally, this trip has taught me that I should appreciate what I have in America.
There are a lot of stereotypes about the cities I visited and the countries they belong to, but being able to experience the culture of each city yourself allows you to have your own perspective of these cultures. Additionally, this trip has made me more willing to embrace uncomfortable situations in my life and try new things. It would always be easy for me to just stick to the familiar things in life, but I have realized that doing so would not get me anywhere in life.
Now I look to go even farther outside my comfort zone any chance I get.
This also applies to how I have grown as a student. Having this incredible experience has made me look into studying abroad for a semester. I am glad I took advantage of this mini study abroad course so early in my college career, because it has made me realize that college is the time to go for the great opportunities and enhance your cultural knowledge.
In each of the five cities we visited, we were lectured by the wonderful Dr. Jean-Pierre Lalande. He showed us around the cities while teaching us about their history and architecture. Some of my fondest memories on the trip include seeing the Alps in Salzburg on top of the Hohensalzburg Fotress. The entire group of 20 students climbed up to the top of this beautiful castle in Salzburg and learned about its history and construction which took about 500 years to complete.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the food in many of these countries. The dining experience in Europe is unlike anything you'll ever find in the United States. I also found it so amazing that most people we encountered in these cities spoke and understood a good amount of English. What I found most interesting about the cities in Europe was that many people walked, boated, biked, or took the subway/train to get around. Besides Venice, each city did have roads, but there were a lot more bikers, walkers, and subway users than you usually see in main cities of the United States. These are just a few of the neat things I experienced during my 3 weeks in Europe.