Testimonials

Casie BlairCasie Blair, a Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences major, shares her study abroad experience.

HHS: Where did you study abroad and why did you chose that location?

CB: Madrid, Spain. Studying abroad in this location helped me complete my minor in Spanish, and I couldn't have been happier learning in the capital city of the beautiful country!

HHS: Talk about a "stand out moment" from your study abroad experience.

CB: A stand out moment for me was the experience of having a homestay. There is a difference between touring a country and living the way the people do, and I learned more about myself, the culture, and about Spain than I could have ever imagined by living with Isabel!

HHS: In what way(s), if any, did your study abroad experience change or challenge you?

CB: There is nothing like immersing yourself in a different culture, and that alone will have a positive impact on you and others you share your experiences with. Traveling challenged me to be more aware of my surroundings, enjoy natural beauty of the environment, and appreciate people around me.

HHS: What advice do you have for a student who is hesitant to study abroad?

CB: If you are thinking about studying abroad, you should consider doing it. I would never have taken back the weeks I had to learn about another place and experience a new culture. There are few other times in life where people have the opportunity to travel out of their state, let alone their country!  Since there are several times during the year a student can study abroad, I know one can make it work with their schedule. Don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel!

Andrew Moody, a psychological sciences student, talks about his study abroad experience.

HHS: Where did you study abroad and why did you chose that location?

AM: I studied abroad in the United Kingdom and Ireland; specifically the cities of Dublin, Westport, Galway, Belfast, Edinburgh, and London. A passion for history from a young age inspired me to travel some day and I have always been interested in British culture.

The program's focus on health and equality for women and the LGBT+ community drew me in to learn more about what I as an ally can do to support those in my life belonging to the LGBT+ community, as well as learning more in general about the unique issues these communities face on a regular basis in dealing with public health systems geared towards specific types of needs.

Andew Moody and group in Edinburgh

HHS: Talk about a "stand out moment" from your study abroad experience.

AM: One stand out experience for me as an ally was meeting with representatives from the TIE Campaign in Scotland. One of the founders is a heterosexual male, and seeing how much he has been able to accomplish and how personally passionate he is about the problems these communities face was a life changing experience for me. I came into the trip thinking because of my identity I had to sit back and hope for changes to be made in society, but I left from that day and that trip empowered in understanding that absolutely anyone can actively take on problems in their society and contribute towards fighting for a solution regardless of their personal identity.

HHS: In what way(s), if any, did your study abroad experience change or challenge you?

AM: While it sounds a little cliché, my study abroad experience definitely broadened my view of how very large the world actually is; and it affected my outlook on social, political, and even personal events in my life. I have changed for the better as a result of interacting with people belonging to other cultures, and I’ve made lifelong friends along the way.

Studying abroad gave me experiences and memories I will have the rest of my life that can’t be matched or replaced, and it served as a great compliment in terms of putting my college education into perspective culturally.

HHS: What advice do you have for a student who is hesitant to study abroad?

AM: Don’t be afraid to get out there and experience something new! In the majority of cases you are studying abroad with a group of students who are all in the same boat as you in terms of adjusting to a new culture. The outside world is there for you when you need to branch out and experience new things, and your classmates and instructors are there for you when you need more familiarity. As long as you go with a good sense of understanding what you need to do to take care of yourself, you will have a great time and build memories and friends—you can’t put a price tag on that.

HHS: Anything else you would like to say about study abroad?

AM: If you have the opportunity, go for it! A lot of people look for reasons not to study abroad, but the memories of your experience will forever validate the extra paperwork, the time spent away from home and the distance of travelling.

Aidan Selvia

Aidan Selvia, a hospitality and tourism management major with minors in spanish and human resources, talks about her study abroad experience.

HHS: Where did you study abroad and why did you chose that location?

AS: I studied in Florence, Italy. I chose this program because it had always been a dream of mine to travel Italy; and the program’s credits worked perfectly with my major.

HHS: Talk about a "stand out moment" from your study abroad experience.

AS: Although I loved the food, classes and all the friends I made on the trip, my favorite part by far was immersing myself in the history and culture of Italy. It was incredible to see places that I’d only ever thought I’d see in pictures such as the Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

HHS: In what way(s), if any, did your study abroad experience change or challenge you?

AS:Prior to my study abroad, I had only left the country once and it was on a family vacation. There was nothing quite like being on my own in a foreign country with the city to explore on my own. I loved trying out food places, shopping in the local markets, and learning about the culture first-hand by interacting with the locals.

HHS: What advice do you have for a student who is hesitant to study abroad?

AS:If you have the chance, do it.  Purdue is great at making it affordable, and you never know if you’ll get another chance to visit these places, all while earning college credit as well!

Jarrod Storms, a health and kinesiology student, talks about his study abroad experience.

HHS: Where did you study abroad and why did you chose that location?

JS: I studied abroad in Australia and New Zealand. Ever since I was young, I have just always wanted to go to that part of the world. It seems like it would be so similar to the US, yet it is incredibly foreign, being located literally on the other side of the planet and in the opposite hemisphere. I always found that fascinating. The AUS/NZ program also has a health related focus, so being a Movement and Sports Science major, the program definitely complemented my educational interests.

HHS: Talk about a "stand out moment" from your study abroad experience.

JS: A large group of us on the trip decided we wanted to go skydiving while we were in Wollongong. We had expected it to be beautiful—the location where we jumped from the plane was over multiple beaches and the views were incredible from the ground, so we could only imagine how it would be from above. But what we saw when we actually jumped was nothing we could ever imagine.

Jarrod Storms in New Zealand

We went really early in the morning, so the sun was still rising. It must have been raining earlier that morning because the air was a little humid. When I finally jumped out of the plane - we were 14,000 feet up in the sky - the view was unbelievable! As I was going down, I passed through a rainbow! The water off of the beaches was so clear, my guide was able to point out sea creatures that were visible even from as high up as we were. My guide even pointed out where his house was from way up there! I landed on a beach and sat on the sand waiting for the rest of the group to come down. When we all finished landing, we all couldn’t contain our excitement—it was an incredible adrenaline rush! It was cool because it was an experience we all went through together. It was kind of like a super memorable bonding experience. Seeing the magic and beauty of Australia from above definitely is a memory I greatly appreciate getting to experience and will never forget.

HHS: In what way(s), if any, did your study abroad experience change or challenge you?

JS: I think the biggest challenge I encountered was becoming more open as a person; being able to open up to other people and be open to new experiences as well. A lot of the goals I set for myself before going on the program were related to opening up to people and experiences because that has always been a struggle of mine. I find it difficult to disclose too much about myself or my life. I think this quality in me prevents me from becoming close to new people, and it also makes it difficult to communicate about certain things even with my family and friends. The fact that this trip focuses a lot on building a bond with other students on the trip was really daunting to me at first. But as the trip went on, I found that the activities we did together kind of naturally formed a closeness between us as a group. A lot of us found ourselves hanging out even during our free time. A few people who started out as strangers to me ended up becoming some of my very best friends now. The fact that I was able to overcome that challenge, even in a small way, is really special I think.

HHS: What advice do you have for a student who is hesitant to study abroad?

JS: If someone was hesitant to study abroad for whatever reason, like you don’t think it’s a realistic goal to go on it, or you feel like it’s too expensive for you to swing it, I promise you, you can make it happen. College is a time in your life where you should take risks and go do things. When is the next time you are going to get an opportunity to fly 20 hours across the planet and experience the things you will experience on this trip? Chances are: you won’t. I came up with a ton of excuses why I couldn't study abroad: it was too long of a flight, I wouldn’t know anyone there, four weeks was too long to be away from home, etc. It took someone very special to me telling me to put aside the excuses and take that risk. And I am so glad I did!

Don’t just assume you can’t study abroad. Take the risk, find the resources, (there are a TON on campus, you just have to look for them) stop making excuses, and study abroad!

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