The summer after my sophomore year of high school, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to travel to France and Monaco for 10 days. It's easily the most amazing thing I've experienced so far in my life. I can't wait for the day that I get to go back. Because I got to travel to Europe in high school, one of my goals to accomplish before I graduate from IU is to study abroad.
Looking down the Seine River
The Eiffel Tower
One side of the Louvre, along with the famous glass pyramid
Going to Europe really shaped my love for traveling and exploring new cultures. Although we were only able to spend one day in Paris (due to a flight cancellation), there were so many things that I got to experience at the heart of Parisian culture. We took the Metro (which is their subway system), walked around town, went to Notre Dame and the Louvre (yes, I saw Mona Lisa). We saw the Eiffel Tower, and of course we enjoyed the beyond delicious amazingness of French food. Seriously, their food is not even comparable to ours. It's SO GOOD. I can't even describe how good! My point is that through all of these experiences (and more that aren't even mentioned), in just one day, I learned so much about French culture. I want to learn about and experience as many different cultures as I can, and that's why I'm interested in studying abroad!
All three photos of Cassis, France
Not only is it really cool to experience a new culture, but it's also really cool to see places that look nothing like what we have in the States. It's amazing how much the landscape of France changes just three hours away. Keep in mind that the entirety of France is only about the size of Texas! In a matter of days, I went from a bustling city full of nothing but buildings to a quaint ocean side town off the Mediterranean Sea. Cassis is in Southern France, and the difference in elevation is insane down there. The architecture is also totally different in Cassis compared to Paris. Paris has big, ornate light brownish/tan buildings, while Cassis has much smaller, colorful, stucco style buildings. It's so cool to see the complete difference in cultural things like this just because we aren't exposed to them in the US!
The Mediterranean Sea
Fragonard Perfume Factory in Nice, France
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Another thing I loved about traveling to Europe was that I got to experience things that we aren't able to do in America. I swam in the Mediterranean Sea! I visited a French perfume factory and watched a man make and mold soap to look like a little duck! I got to walk around a city that not only is home to a royal family, but also transforms into a race course for Formula One racing (which I grew up watching with my dad). Every single thing that I was lucky enough to do is an experience that will stay with me forever.
As an English major planning on going into book publishing, there are internship programs available to me in London, Canterbury and Dublin. As of now, I'm planning (along with hoping) on being able to travel to one of these amazing places to help me further my career. Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity available to all students at IU, and they're experiences that not only allow you to learn the culture of another country, but also help make you more marketable to potential employers! If you're worried about covering costs, don't let that deter you! Financial aid is available. Visit the Overseas Study website for more information on IU's study abroad opportunities.
As a side note, I'm launching my own personal blog sometime in May! It's primarily a health and fitness blog, but it will contain other aspects of my life including my time at IU. Click here to check it out! (: