Where Do We Recommend?

China

Lindsey Robinson Fall 2012

We currently offer over 20 programs in China, including one of our exchanges, along with a faculty-led program. There are also countless opportunities to study abroad through program providers listed on our database.

Cuba

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Check out this Minimester program offered through one of our providers, AIFS, in Havana! You could also spend your Spring Break exploring Cuba.

Czech Republic

9_Jennah_Rahwanji_Prague_Czech

You could study Geography in the Heart of Europe, or maybe on a TU exchange through the University of New York – Prague. These are just two of our 24 options to study in the Czech Republic.

Ecuador

Kathleen Seale Fall 2012

Attend our faculty-led program going to the Ecuadorian rainforest, or check out the Summer and Minimester options that AIFS offers in the Galapagos.

Greece

Greece

Spend a semester in Greece though the American College of Greece (or one of our other providers), or maybe a Summer term through ISA. We have a few other options in Greece, too, just check out our full program listings!

Morocco

22_Jacqueline_Kuper_Morocco

Spend a summer learning Arabic in Morocco, or maybe partake in a semester-long service-learning experience through ISA. We have 10 programs offered in Morocco, and one might be exactly right for you!

South Africa

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With almost 20 options to study abroad in South Africa, you can’t go wrong! We have three faculty-led programs, including this one that could earn you Theater credit. You could also spend a full semester or year, through USAC or one of our other providers!

 

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check out ALL of our program options on our database, Horizons.

Studying in Florence: Myth Busters

Study Abroad Myths Busted

Study Abroad Myths Busted

Name: Kim Le
Major: Art and Design
Hometown: Hochimin, Vietnam
Destination: Florence, Italy
Institution: TU in Italy: Lorenzo de’Medici, Florence campus

First, I must say that I absolutely love all my classes in Florence, including the elective class that made me write 12 pages research with 1.5 space (yes, I am looking at you, History of Costume!). Nearing the end of the semester, though, like every other sane college students, I am starting to look back in horror at the huge distance between reality and my expectation of classes in Florence. What happened to a ‘relaxing and carefree semester filled with adventures and making new friends and… what do you mean classes? What are classes?’ Sitting here in the middle of the night drowning in homework was certainly not what I expected before leaving, but it makes me wonder how much of myths were there in all these opinions about studying abroad. I have heard so many but right now, I can count the most popular ones here:

1. Classes are EASY.

Being an Art major taking three studio classes this semester, I have to say, 5 hours classes are not easy. I am allowed 2 absences for each class, but when skipping a studio class means 5 hours extra work, no idea how to use new techniques, and what is that new disaster on my table that no professor is around telling me how to fix?! The materials for all classes are not easy either. A sentence I cannot forget from my professor is “This is a very good class; everyone is doing very well, so I will give all a B”. The difference?  There are only B+ or B-, no normal B. I am still not sure if this is funny or not, since the way he said it so sincerely like he was giving the whole class an A and compliments. It does not help at all that homework is poking at me every chance it has, making sure my love affair with open lab studio outweighed the joy of beaches and mountains and ancient cities that I could have visited more if only I have more time.

Students Study Abroad

Students actually study during study abroad!
Photo Courtesy of Tulane Public Relations

2. Attendance is not important.

Third absence – one grade down, fourth absence – congrats, you just failed a class! It actually scared me in the beginning, because, come on, who would make us choose between an extra day in Greece or France and two hours of class (if you are lucky, since studio classes last 5 hours a week, or probably unlucky enough having to stay just because of 2 hours)? Nearly no excuse would EVER be accepted, even if you were sick with doctor’s note.

3. Classes? Which classes?

Okay, when I read the advising articles online, it seemed that classes do not even exist to us studying abroad students, or at least not related much to our experiences. What a lie. I learned and enjoyed my classes so much that I do not even mind (much) the long hours and extra hours spent on studio (which is such a scary idea I must burry it down to the deepest pit of self-denial). The classes’ facilities are not the best, but all of my professors are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable that now I am regretting having to leave.

 

Q&A Spotlight: Chris Neutzling

Name: Chris Neutzling
Major: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Crofton, MD
Destination: Rome, Italy
Institution: American University of Rome

Study abroad, Rome, Italy

Study abroad in Rome, Italy

Q1: Your favorite subject & ours: Food! Best dish? Worst dish? New recipe you picked up?

The best pasta I ever had in my life was in Florence.  Also, I was on a personal mission to try pizza everywhere I went.  Simply put, you can’t really go wrong at most places around Italy.  As for worst dish, I can’t name anything specific that stood out.  My best advice would be to get food at the none touristy places because that it where you will find the most authentic and delicious food.

Q2: Talk about your favorite spot in your home away from home. Where? Why?

The Trevi Fountain….at night.  Yes, everyone knows this place but not everyone goes at three in the morning, where it is just you and several others.  Take a stroll after a night out to the fountain and you will be at peace away from all the tourist distractions.  I spent my last night here in Rome.  My friends and I stayed out close to five in the morning just enjoying the scenery.

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

Q3: Did a local point you to a market, pub, or park you didn’t know about? Pass it on.

For my school, the hot spots were a sandwich deli right up the street and an Irish bar located near the center of Rome.  At the deli, the man behind the counter spoke English (as you will find many Italians do) and was extremely friendly.  By the end of my stay, he would recognize me and have my sandwich prepared and ready.

Q4: Are there things you don’t miss from your destination? What? Why?

Public Transportation.  The public transportation in Rome is best described as unreliable.  I know what you are thinking, isn’t Europe supposed to have fantastic transportation?  Well Rome buses basically choose when they feel like coming.  There was several times when I waited for a bus close to an hour when they are supposed to come every fifteen minutes.  The tram, on the other hand, did run on its scheduled time.  However, during my stay workers when on strike several times, so no tram then.

Q5: You’re actually homesick for something from abroad. What? Why?

Honestly, I would probably say my classmates.  I did not know a single person in my program going into it.  By my last night in Rome, nearly all of the study abroad summer students were going out together.  It is pretty rare to have nearly an entire school that does this.  I was surprised at how much of a tight knit group we were and I would love to have a reunion with everyone someday, in Rome of course!

Q6: What new vocabulary have you added to your repertoire after study abroad?

“Vorrei” which means, “I would like,” was my go to when ordering food places.  Sometimes I would cheat and point and say, “questo,” which means “this.”  Other times ordering I would probably butcher trying to pronounce the word right.

Q7: You could hardly believe your eyes when you saw … What? Why?

The David, a masterpiece by Michelangelo.  I am not too big on art.  One of my friends was really excited to see this sculpture and I kept thinking to myself, “what’s the big deal?”  Boy was I misunderstood.  When I first saw The David, I stood for a good ten minutes just staring at it.  If you ever have a chance to visit Florence I recommend going to see this sculpture.  The intricate details on it are astounding for something carved out of marble.  You can even see individual tendons on his hands!

Q8: Where did you travel? How did you choose? Was it difficult to plan?

I had the pleasure of taking a trip down the Amalfi Coast to Capri and various other cities along the way.  This was through the school so traveling was a piece of cake.  If you have to plan your own trip I recommend using, Bus2aps.  My friends used them several times and had a blast.  Also, I would recommend traveling to Capri if you get the chance.  It is one of the most beautiful places you will find in the world.

Q9: What challenged you while you were abroad? Why?

Believe it or not, my worst day happened to be the first day arriving.  I almost lost my wallet on the plane, which is probably the worst way to start any trip.  I was rushed back to my apartment alone, did not know a single person nor had any way of contacting them.  I was tired and grumpy from such a long flight.  Not knowing what to do, I decided to take a nap.  I woke up several hours later to my new roommates entering the apartment.  Things got much better from there.

Q10: PARTING WORDS. What would you say to students worried about studying abroad? 

The best journeys answer questions you would never think to ask.  Think outside the box, try news things, and be adventurous.  You are going to mess up sometimes and things are going to happen, it’s how you respond that’s important.  Always stay calm and positive.  You will be rewarded when looking back on your experiences.

Keep calm and study abroad

Keep calm!

Student Blog: NomNom.Com

Stein Switzerland

Skydiving in Switzerland!

Follow Lindsay through the Czech Republic as she experiences the cities through food and adventure! We love her Instagram feed, too .. but be forewarned, it will make you oh so hungry!

NomNom.com

www.blog-nomnom.com

Lindsay Stein

CEA: Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Angl-AMerican University in Prague

Spring 2014

Q&A Spotlight: Arielle Silverman

Name: Arielle Silverman
Major: Family and Human Services
Hometown: Westfield, New Jersey
Destination: London, England
Institution: GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, Kingston University.

Q1: FOOD, your favorite subject & ours. Best dish? Worst dish? New recipe you picked up?

Honestly, this is a tough question to answer. I am a food ADDICT, so eating was one of my favorite activities while I was abroad. By the way, I studied in England. Did everyone’s mouths just drop all the way to their keyboards after reading how much I enjoyed eating in the UK? Before I left, everyone I encountered warned me about how awful the food in England was, so the days leading up to my trip I was convinced that I was going to starve to death. Contrary to popular belief, England does have some noteworthy foods (at least in my opinion).

Alright, best dish. HOW CAN I PICK?! I’ll narrow it down to four things: Indian food, kebabs, Nando’s, and chips (fries). I’d go into excessive detail explaining each and every one, but I think people would rather not read three pages of my food obsession…(maybe I’ll expand on my own blog).

Now for the worst- I don’t know if I can pick one, mostly because there are so many English foods that are just repulsive looking and are probably what you’d think of when you hear someone mention England.

Q2: What was your favorite spot in your home away from home? Why?

London is so wonderful that I can think of hundreds of favorite spots, but I do have a couple that will always stick out in my mind. I went to a university in a town called Kingston Upon Thames, which is 20 minutes outside of central London by train. The town was absolutely adorable. There were stores, restaurants, and pubs, and it was the type of town that had sections of just pedestrian walkways, which usually meant there were always a lot of different street performers or people playing music or singing. To top it off, there was a market in one part of town that was set up every day, and walking by you could always hear vendors yelling things like, “Get your strawberries!” or “Fresh avocados for only a pound!” I always felt like I was in a movie or something, strolling down those streets and taking it all in: the sights, the people, the voices, and the smells. I didn’t want to forget any of it.

Besides the town in general being one of my favorite places, there was another spot that to this day, will always have a place in my mind. It was a pub in Kingston called The Kings Tun. I was only in Kingston for a day before my friends and I found it, thanks to our waitress at TGI Fridays. My friends and I spent many hours there over the course of our time abroad. It was a place where we all got to know each other, met other people, bonded, danced, and made memories. And as corny as it is, it’s definitely one of my favorite places.

Q4: Are there things you don’t miss from your destination? What? Why?

PIGEONS. Pigeons, pigeons, pigeons. When I decided upon living near London, I had no idea that I was signing up for being swarmed with those evil little creatures on a daily basis. The thing about pigeons is that they’re scared of nothing. Sure, they’ll run away if you chase them, but they are not above flying straight into your face if you happen to be in their path of flight. They’re horrible and I despise them.

I guess another thing I don’t really miss about London was the complete lack of etiquette while walking. I didn’t experience this anywhere else, but I’ll try to explain it like this: you know when you’re walking down the street, and you’re walking towards someone coming from the opposite direction, and the two of you don’t really know who’s going to go which way, so you do that awkward little dance thing before you finally maneuver around each other and go on your merry ways? Yeah, London folks don’t do that. Instead, they assume that you will move clear out of their way. If you don’t, they do not care. You’ll be rammed into as if you just hit a brick wall. It happened to me way too many times to count.

Oh, and I also don’t miss the rain. It rains a lot. But not the way you would expect it, no. If it’s not pouring, it’s drizzling, and if it’s not drizzling, it’s misting. And it happens when you least expect it, so the key is to always have an umbrella handy. Always.

Q5: What do you miss about England?

The amount of things I’m homesick for from abroad is unhealthy. I’ll just make a list.

1. GOOD tea. We just don’t make it like they do over there.

2. Primark. Primark is a godsend. Imagine Forever 21 x100 and you’ll get Primark. The clothes are cheap (and when I say cheap I mean quality and price), cute, and did I say cheap?

3. Cadbury. Cadbury is everything. I miss those little dairy milks.

4. Pub atmosphere. This is something that American culture does not have. It’s not about drinking. It’s about going to the pub and meeting your friends after class. It’s about spending time with people you care about and forming friendships you’ll never forget.

5. Free museums. As far as I know, almost all of the museums in London are free. This made traveling easier, as I was able to go in and out of museum after museum whenever I wanted.

6. Markets. There are so many markets in London. Camden Town is probably one of the most popular markets (at least it was in my friend group), but there are loads all over and they are just so much fun to explore.

Q6: What new vocabulary have you added to your repertoire after study abroad?

Cheeky. I can’t really explain what this means, but if someone were being sarcastic or playfully teasing, you’d call them cheeky.

Dodgy. When something is sketchy.

Chips. Fries.

Cheers, mate.” Us Americans would probably say something like, “thanks, dude!”

“You alright?” The first time someone ever said this to me, I looked at them with a blank stare on my face. I thought to myself, “Do I look upset? I feel fine, why is he asking me if I’m okay?” Clearly, it does not mean what we usually take it to mean. Instead, this saying is sometimes used in place of, “how are you?”

Lovely. Okay, so it’s not really new, but Brits use the word lovely so much. It’s just lovely.

Fit. This is another way of saying you think someone is hot (as in attractive).

Bird. This refers to a girl. Similar to the word “chick.”

Smart. If someone looked smart, they’d most likely be pretty dressed up and looking super fancy. In the words of Drake, “Oh you fancy huh?”

Fancy-dress. Refers to a costume, like you’d wear on Halloween or to a themed party.

Boot. The trunk of a car.

Hob. Stove

Lift. Most people know this one, but in case you don’t, it’s another word for elevator.

Trolley. It’s what you would use if you were going shopping at Target. (It’s a cart).

Uni. Short for university. They don’t say college, unless they’re actually in college, which is a whole different thing than uni, but that’s irrelevant.

Q8: Where did you go on your breaks? How did you choose? Was it difficult to plan?

Well, my experience was a little different than the way most people travel when they are abroad. I didn’t make too many weekend trips. I actually only went on two, if you don’t include Spring Break. The first place my friends and I went to was Dublin, Ireland. I’m not really sure how we chose this one, but if I remember correctly, I’m pretty positive one of my friends said, “I want to go to Ireland. Let’s go.” So we picked a weekend and booked the flight that day.  The second trip my other friend and I went on was to Barcelona. We had been talking about going since the beginning of the semester. May was quickly approaching, but I had been doing some research, so we finally booked our flight a couple of weeks ahead, booked a hostel our friends told us about and went for four days. It was wonderful.

Spring break worked out in a similar manner. My parents actually came to see me during my spring break and we traveled around Britain. When they left, I took the Eurostar and ended my break in Paris.

Now, there’s a reason I say my experience was a little different. Before I went abroad, my mom and I were talking about the places I wanted to travel while I was over there. She told me that after her semester, she traveled around Europe for a couple of weeks before going back home. One day she asked me, “So when you go, you’re going to stay a couple more weeks and travel right?” I hadn’t even thought about it, but she was offering, and I wasn’t saying no. I didn’t have a clue who I would travel with, and at first I was hoping to just meet someone while I was abroad that would want to do the same thing. Eventually, it was decided that my best friend from home would fly to London at the end of my semester and we would embark on a Eurotrip together. We did just that, but with the added company of our close friend from home. The three of us flew to Rome and then traveled by train to Pisa, Florence, Venice, Munich, Paris, and Amsterdam before journeying back to London.

Planning the trip was a lot of fun for me. I had wanted to plan my Eurotrip ever since I could remember, so I enjoyed every second. I had a guidebook, which definitely helped, but there is a ton of information out there on the Internet (Trip Advisor and Hostelworld everyone!). That being said, planning a trip is time consuming. You need to know where you want to go, what route you’re going to take, how long you want to stay, what trains you can and cannot take, etc. It’s a lot of work, but in the end it’s absolutely worth it. I found some amazing hostels for my friends and I to stay in, where we ended up meeting some amazing people (who we still keep in touch with), and my friend’s dad even got us a couple of free nights in two different Hilton’s in Italy!

Q9: TOUGHEST DAY , everyone has one. What challenged you while you were abroad? Why?

My biggest challenge when I was abroad was the day of my “medical emergency.” It was two nights before I was leaving for Barcelona, which also happened to be two nights before my final exam. Earlier that day the left side of my mouth was killing me. I didn’t understand why. I tried to ignore it, but the pain kept getting progressively worse. That night I called my parents. I told them that I noticed it was swelling, and I wasn’t sure what to do. After much freaking out, they decided I would need to contact someone and go to a doctor. I was not happy about this. I refused many times, telling them that I needed to pack and study for my exam all day. They were persistent.

After a lot of work, they helped me find a walk-in-clinic in Central London. But I was still concerned about my exam. Running all over the place in Central London all day meant I wasn’t going to get any studying done. Not to mention I was absolutely terrified because I had no idea what was wrong with me. Nevertheless, the next day I set off by myself, swollen mouth and all. Long story short, the doctor I saw told me it was dental, and that I would have to see a dentist. Luckily, there was a dentist who could see me that day, and he was only located around the corner. Still terrified, I walked to the dentist where I was greeted by very friendly staff. It turns out that I had some sort of infection, which could sometimes happen after wisdom teeth surgery, but was rare. He prescribed me antibiotics, told me I’d be fine by my flight, and wished me luck. I also ended up getting out of having to take my final exam, and everything worked out in my favor. It was still one of the scariest experiences I had abroad, but I’m glad I was able to overcome it.  

Q10: PARTING WORDS. What would you say to students afraid of studying abroad?

Two words: DON’T BE! Listen, I get it. It’s totally normal to be worried or scared of going abroad. As excited as I was about going to London, the weeks and days before my trip, I began freaking out. I shut down, and anytime the topic was brought up, I smiled uneasily and answered any questions politely. My closest friends and family were the only ones able to see the intense anxiety I was feeling. I knew absolutely nobody in my program. The thought that I was going to be completely alone and independent kept running through my mind, and I was sure I would fail. Was I going to make friends? Was I going to be homesick? Would all those lovely Brits like me? I was in constant fear. One of the things I was most nervous about was leaving home and missing out on all the experiences my friends would have. As selfish as it sounds, I didn’t want them to meet new people and have too much fun without me. A horrible case of FOMO, am I right? Really though, all these feelings are completely normal. The key is to not let any of these feelings influence your decision to go abroad.

Going abroad was one of the best experiences I will ever have in my entire life. It allowed me to open my mind, immerse myself in other cultures, and see history many people don’t have the opportunity of ever seeing. It showed me how beautiful the world is. I’ve come back and now all I want to do is travel. I’ve come back and I’ve grown in ways I never could have imagined. I am so thankful for my experience, and if I could, I would do it all over again.

Cheers, Arielle!

Towson Native Publishes Travel Book on the Rocky Road to Dublin

Name: Anna Snyder
Major: Creative Writing, Susquehanna University, PA
Hometown: Towson, Maryland
Destination: Dublin, Ireland
Institutions: University College Dublin (Undergrad Study Abroad)
National University of Ireland, Galway (Masters)

1. What brought you to Ireland?

Originally it was my dad’s suggestion that I study abroad in Ireland.  He has some Irish heritage and had traveled there before, and I just wanted to study someplace where everybody spoke English.

2. What do you want travelers to learn from your experience in Ireland?

I think the best thing I learned from my experience in Ireland is that traveling can help you open up to new things and express yourself in a way your normal routines don’t allow you to.  When you put yourself in a totally new environment and get out of your comfort zone, it forces you to learn things about yourself that you didn’t know were there.  Ireland has a very spontaneous, outgoing, musical culture, so I was able to develop those aspects of myself in a way that I wouldn’t have if I’d stayed in one place.

4. Did Ireland meet your expectations?

I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I first went to Ireland, so in a way it was all new to me.  One thing that did surprise me was how different the culture was from what I was used to growing up in the United States.  It’s easy to assume that, because they speak English over there, it won’t be too different from living in America.  But that couldn’t be farther from the truth – I traveled in Russia for the summer before I studied in Ireland, and I’d say Ireland is as different from the US as Russia is.  So be prepared for some culture shock when you first arrive.

5. Name one traveler’s mistake that made you laugh. 

There are plenty of differences between American English and Irish English.  They use a lot of the same slang words as the UK does, one of which is the term “fancy dress,” which is their way of describing a costume party.  I found this out on Halloween, when a friend of mine invited me out and told me to “come in fancy dress.”  So of course I came in the fanciest dress I owned, thinking it was going to a formal event, and I showed up to a house filled with people dressed up like Superman, hockey players, and dinosaurs.

6. What advice would you offer to student travelers planning to write about their experience for personal or professional purposes?

The best advice I can give students hoping to write about their travel experiences is to keep a journal as often as you can.  It will come in handy when you’re trying to remember what happened and where you went, and it can serve as a rough draft.  It also helps to collect as many pamphlets, flyers, etc as you can from local landmarks or events, which can be used as resources in your writing later on.  One more thing that comes in handy is to befriend locals – while it can be easier just to fall in with other American exchange students you meet, meeting kids who grew up in the area is the best way to get an insider’s look at what Ireland is really like.  ( And of course, this goes for any other country you want to study in as well.)

Thanks, Anna!

Want to hear more about Anna Snyder’s adventures and her book 24 Hours Dublin?  Interested in doing some of your own travel writing, but have a couple questions first?  Stop by the Towson Ukazoo book store on Dulaney Valley Road.  The date of the Q&A session will be Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 1 PM, and there should be tea and cookies for the event!