• Student Stories

    Here are a few reflective essays, written by students, who participated in the Study Abroad Program. We hope you enjoy reading their stories!

      Australia   Italy: Fall | Summer  
      England   Spain  

  • Australia

    Cassie Fuhro


    I think the most important lesson I learned while abroad was that although many different cultures, languages, and religions occupy the world, we are all the same. We may have different political views or religious beliefs, but we are all just people.

    If you are looking for something new, a challenge, an adventure, or a thrill, study abroad! I know this is extremely cliché, but it was truly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And, to be honest, you can read all of the testimonials you want, but you will not fully comprehend life abroad unless you go and experience it for yourself! The friends I gained, the lessons I learned, and the memories I made will be with me for the rest of my life. The opportunity is always knocking for you to study abroad at Monmouth, now it’s up to you to open the door and stride through it! What are you waiting for?!

    Greg Rokicki

    My decision to study abroad in Sydney Australia was the single best decision I've made in my entire life.  Monmouth University gave me all of the tools needed to make such a seemingly overwhelming task extremely easy and stress free. I would like to thank Monmouth University and everyone in the study abroad department for setting a great frame for my study abroad experience, my loving parents for being extremely supportive in every aspect, and my friends for always being there for me even on the other side of the world. By living in a different country I feel as if I am better prepared to take on any challenge that the world gives me. Thanks to Australia I can now say I have a new found love for traveling and this is only the beginning of my lifelong adventures and my quest to see what the rest of the world has to offer.

    Janine Averbach

    While visiting Australia was on my bucket list, I had no idea that I would end up crossing off much more than I anticipated. Within my first week, I learned how to surf, cuddled a koala, and communicate with other international students from places such as Denmark and Thailand. I went on a spring break trip which covered most of the east coast of Australia, including adrenaline pumping activities such as bungee jumping, white water rafting, and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. I marveled at national landmarks such as the Blue Mountains and 12 Apostles, soaked up the sun at the famous Bondi Beach, and sat upon a large boat in Port Stephens watching whales splash out of the water.

     I came to love every aspect of Australia, from their lovely accents and slang words to their driving on the opposite side of the road. It easily has to be one of the most picturesque countries in the world, with certain sites and sceneries taking my breath away on numerous occasions. In a five kilometer radius, you can see mountains, beaches, rolling plains, and city skylines, with a sky that was always set so beautifully over each one of these destinations. The atmosphere was also maintained at a much more relaxed, friendlier pace, with a BBQ lifestyle and a "no worries" attitude followed by all of the people.

    Jason Weir

    Studying abroad doesn't have to be a lifelong goal; I happened to stumble upon Monmouth's study abroad web page about 4 or 5 months before I was on the plane heading to Sydney.  If you have the slightest inkling that you may want to study abroad, go to the meetings and see if there if this is something you really want to do.  Second, not knowing anybody can be better than going with a friend.  If I had gone with one of my friends, I think I wouldn't have had all the experiences and met all the friends I did while I was in Sydney.  Third, if you are actually going abroad, know that things are going to be different in that country, but not necessarily in a bad way.  Be able to go with the flow and try new things, after all you are in a different country.  I will never forget my time in Sydney and am waiting for the opportunity to go back.

    Michelle Myers

    It is hard to imagine what my life would be if I had not studied abroad in Australia. I think that I would have continued to view the world as a place without much opportunity. Studying abroad in Australia allowed me to break out of my comfort zone, have my anxieties dwindle, and to no longer sweat the small stuff. I see the adventure in every day, and I live life to the greatest extent. Since living abroad, my feet are never fully planted on the ground as I continue to pursue travels around the world. I hope that after graduation, I can move back to Sydney. Ultimately, studying abroad in Australia taught me that life is what you make it and is too short to wait around for the adventure to come find you. You must go chase it.

    Roksana Hajduk

    One of the best decisions I have ever made was to study abroad in Australia. This experience has taught me how to be independent and increased my tolerance. During this journey I took the opportunity to travel to New Zealand and Fiji, where I met an amazing group of people from all over the world. Living in another country for four months has altered my perspective on life and the world itself. I feel very lucky to say that I had the chance to live on the other side of the world.

    Sinead Friel

    Studying abroad was easily the best decision I've made in my entire life. Ever since I was little I've wanted to go to Australia and I never thought it would actually happen. Some people might think it's impossible to study abroad between the cost and all the classes they have to take, but if you plan properly it's not hard to organize. I worked about 60 hours a week for three months before going abroad, but it was so worth it. Australia is an amazingly beautiful country. The best thing I did while abroad was traveling up to Cairns in Queensland and seeing the Great Barrier Reef. I got to snorkel and sky dive over it! Also, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge was one of the most amazing experiences. If you're considering studying abroad - do it

    Toniann Keiling

        I would absolutely recommend studying abroad to Australia to others.  I had the best time and if I had advice to give to any Monmouth student that was still eligible for study abroad, of course I would say to get out there, travel the world, and learn about new cultures.  I really feel as though I matured a lot as a person in Australia and there really is no better way to experience other countries besides living and studying in them for a long period of time.  Studying abroad is much different than just visiting a country on vacation because you become immersed in the culture of the country and meet so many people from all over the world by doing so.  While abroad, you learn to face fears by doing crazy activities, such as skydiving and bungee jumping.  Travelling also allows students to see some of the most beautiful places in the world, my favorite being Whitehaven Beach at the Whitsunday Islands.  So just take a chance and choose to study abroad, and I can almost guarantee that you will not be disappointed.  I certainly wasn't.

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    Alexandra Appolonia

    I stood on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, sailed along the Amalfi Coast in Italy, and climbed to the top on the Eiffel Tower in France. In as little as 16 weeks, I had traveled to Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Paris, Prague, and Germany; not many people can say they have done that. I was given the opportunity to observe different people's lifestyles in all of these distinct countries; this was so remarkable and amazing to me…. The friendships that I made from people all over the world with different backgrounds was such a rare opportunity that I was lucky enough to be given.

    Brianne Pangaro

    For anyone considering studying abroad, but feels that they will not make it on their own, trust me you will!  You will quickly acclimate to your new surroundings, learning about what makes you the happiest, while meeting many new friends and maturing almost instantly. In less than four months, I met the most amazing people, traveled to the most beautiful cities, and did things I never believed I had the courage to do. With every moment I spent abroad, I learned about many cultures and even about myself. Words cannot describe the confidence I felt blending into the busy crowds outside the "tube" and having locals ask me for directions. Though the semester goes by so quickly, what you gain is a lifetime of memories. I have nothing but positive things to say about my trip to London and I enjoyed every moment of it.

    Chris Walsh

    Spending 3 ½ months in London has taught me so much about myself, and the world around me. No matter where you are, the time that you study abroad is a time to be selfish and all that matters is that you get out there and see the world for nobody else but yourself. Throughout this experience I was able to form life-long friendships with the International students, and other study abroad students, adapt to a new culture, live in a city that I now love, and learn more about myself and what I am capable of. I am so happy that I studied abroad in London and would not take back this experience for a minute. Everything I have learned in London I will take with me and use it in my everyday life, for the rest of my life.

    Matt Scala

    Ever since I spent a week in Italy and Spain back in high school, I knew I would always want to come back to Europe one day.  When I found out Monmouth had a study abroad program in London and how easy they made it, I knew I had to go.  There was absolutely nothing that I didn't like about this experience - and that's the truth.  My most memorable experiences involved my friends, both new and old, and the things we went to go see together.  I love the history, so it was astounding to stand in Windsor and Warwick castles and to see Stonehenge and the birthplace of Shakespeare.  For spring break, I spent the week relaxing in the beautiful Swiss Alps.

    Nana Bonsu

    Studying abroad was by far the best decision I have ever made. At first it was
    overwhelming to think about being so far from home for such a long period of
    time, but it did not take long before I realized how at home I felt in London. My
    study abroad experience taught me so much about life and relationships, and I
    have grown beyond words as an individual. Spending almost four months in London
    made me more open minded and willing to try new things, and I now have a new
    outlook on many aspects of life. Apart from the beautiful places I was able to
    visit and the fun experiences I will never forget, I met so many great people
    and have formed lifelong friendships. It is hard to believe that my time in
    London has come to an end, but I have an immeasurable amount of moments I will
    cherish for the rest of my life.

    Rachel Conners

    My advice to future students is to remember that while four months may seem like forever when you get there, it really is a finite time, so take advantage of the area as much as you can while you are there! You can sleep and watch movies anywhere, so why waste Europe!? …Whether it is a different sort of food, talking to someone you would have originally written off, or just going to a museum you never thought you would find yourself at, sometimes it's these seemingly little things that can open your eyes to lots of things you may have been missing!

    Vanessa Mielke

    London became my home quickly. I became accustomed to the way the city worked and memorized my favorite tube stops…. The travels that we experienced we would never change for the world. Looking down from the top of the Eiffel Tower, seeing Stonehenge, and stepping where the bagpipers of the Scottish Tattoo had been could never be replicated. Walking through the halls of Regent's and hearing three different languages was something magical. I made friends from all over the world and the United States as well. This was something that I never could have found at home, and I would never change that.

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    Italy: Fall

    Alexis Arnold

    A semester abroad has enriched my life in countless ways. I gained a sense of independence and adventure through living in a new city, the ability to travel outside of Florence including many other countries and islands, and making lasting friendships with Americans, Italians, and others from across the world. The best feeling was being able to call Florence my home. I soon felt like I belonged, I navigated my way around the streets, and I was happy to see familiar faces while walking around the beautiful and historic city. Throughout my journey, I learned to adapt to multicultural environments. That is a defining trait that brings many benefits to one's life upon return to the USA. It shows you can take the initiative to learn and grow in another culture while appreciating the differences amongst the American and European lifestyle. If you aren't independent already, you will learn to be more independent while abroad. I learned to be content while taking a stroll to the other side of the Arno river with no one by my side. As a whole, other students studying abroad were the friendliest and lively group of people I have met in my life. Living in Florence, Italy really was la bella vita!

    Alexis Manzo

     "A life changing experience" is a phrase commonly used to describe this amazing opportunity, and although this can be accurate for many, the way you chose to seize each moment is ultimately your decision.  Studying abroad was the undoubtedly best decision I ever made because it lead me to places I could not have even imagined.  To me there is no negative, whether you chose to study for the semester or the summer session, just do it I promise you will not regret it. 

    Bill Simcox

    In America we race about trying to get ahead, trying to get more and more. But all the while we lose sight of the things that are truly meaningful in life in my opinion. Just because one might have countless possessions, does not mean that they are happy or rich. Look at everything that person had to give up in order to obtain those possessions. Going abroad taught me that the world is breath taking. To see the Duomo towering over Florence, to scream "Prost" at Oktoberfest, to go white water rafting through a peaceful and serene Croatia, or any of the other countless experiences you could have while abroad. Every day we see people gain and lose money, build and destroy lives, or work in a never-ending rat race that they feel they will never win. But, the memories they have cannot be lost or taken from them regardless of the amount of money they have. I promise you if you decide to study abroad you will have ups, downs, sideways, and everything you could imagine in between, but the one thing you won't have is a meaningless experience that you will forget. You will have enough stories to last a lifetime and then some. I could tell you mine and go into depth about what I did, but I'd rather you go experience it for yourself. So put the phone down and see the world through your own eyes.

    Deanna Foley

    Stepping away from life in the United States and studying abroad in Florence for a semester was the most incredible decision I have ever made.  Living in a foreign country gave me the strength to find myself and discover a part of the world that many people only dream about.  Florence is one of the most beautiful cities, and I truly believe that it is one of the best places to live and study in.  The art, the history, the food and the people are just a few aspects of the remarkable atmosphere of Florence that set it aside from the rest of the world.  I cannot express the gratitude I have for being able to travel the world in just a short period of time.  There are no words for the excitement, the fun, the challenges and the friends that come along with this trip, and the only way to understand it is to experience it for yourself.  There is such a beautiful world out there that most of us do not even know about, and everyone should take the chance to discover it before it's too late!

    Halley D'Esposito

    Studying abroad was by far the best experience of my life, and I wouldn't take it back for the world. I don't understand why everyone doesn't study abroad. It has taught me so much about myself, like the fact that I can go with the flow, and that I can also be independent enough to be comfortable in a foreign city by myself if necessary. I traveled to eight different countries in four months, and learned so much about many new cultures. I went canyoning in Switzerland, and went to a wild Krampus performance in Austria. I had a gelato everyday, and am proud to say that I consider Florence a second home. My experience studying abroad felt like a dream. It went by in a blink of an eye. Imagine the best dream you've ever had. You fall asleep each night trying to relive it. I lived it. That was study abroad. It is something I will reflect on and miss for the rest of my life.  Not to be corny, but my study abroad experience really was a dream come true!


    Jessica Calabro

    Studying abroad in Florence was by far the best decision I have made in my life. It is an experience that I will never, ever forget. I traveled to nine different countries and experienced twenty-one different cities all in one semester. I volunteered while I was abroad and took classes that taught me so much about life and the person I want to become.  I met people from several different countries and learned how different, but amazing, all of the people and their cultures were. I became a more worldly, mature, confident young adult and can promise you that every day abroad will be the most memorable and exciting time of your life!

    Katelyn Agabiti

    For the first time in my life I realized that there is so much to see in the world and so little time! Traveling is not only fun and exciting but it's a great way to learn about different cultures and way of life. You just see how different American living is compared to European living. I highly encourage my friends to study abroad or anyone that asks me because it is a once in a lifetime kind of experience. When you get home you realize that college life stayed the same besides a few minor details and your friends and family will be waiting for you once you land back in America. Its only three and a half months and you will experience more in that time span than some people will in their entire lives!

    Lauren Feldmann

    The worst part about studying abroad was that it had to end at some point. I could have stayed in Europe forever. Out of all the cities I travelled to, Florence was honestly one of my favorites. It became my home and I looked forward to returning to it after traveling on the weekends. Florence was the perfect size, it was small enough for us to get around and know where we were going, but big enough for us to discover new things every time we went out. I only got homesick for a short period of time about half way through the semester, but FaceTiming my parents made it feel like they were in Italy with me. By the time the semester was ending I didn't want to leave at all, and I wish I was returning this spring.

                Studying abroad in Florence was absolutely life changing. I got to experience an entirely new culture and learn that there are other ways to live than how we do. I don't understand why more people don't study abroad. If you can figure out the money and budget everything before going, I would not even think twice about it. If I could, I would complete the rest of my college semesters abroad. Now that I've been home for two weeks and seen everyone, and eaten all of the food I've missed, I would have no problem going back to Italy for another semester tomorrow. I will never forget the friends that I made while studying abroad, or all of the things I got to experience.

    Louis Garbarani

    The entire ride there all I kept thinking was "Wow, I'm about to embark on an experience of a lifetime that some people only can dream of." And that's exactly what happened! Not only did I have an experience of a lifetime living in a foreign country, learning the culture, traveling all throughout Europe every weekend, but I got a chance to learn A LOT about myself and who I am as a person. ...I got to know who I truly was, what I wanted to do with my life, what I was or wasn't capable of, and that it was time for a huge change in my life.

    Molly Mantell

    Study abroad gave me the chance to experience history in an experiential way instead of learning about it from a book. It gave me the chance to travel to cities that I never would have dreamt possible. It gave me the chance to do things that I never would have thought I had the courage to do. It gave me the chance to meet amazing people from around the world.  And most importantly, it taught me amazing things about myself by making me step out of my comfort zone. Studying abroad gives students the chance to make their own experiences of a lifetime. Because of Study abroad, my life has been forever changed.

    Nicole Gafanha

    Studying Abroad in Italy was by far the best experience of my life!! So many of my dreams came true through studying abroad. I got to meet so many amazing people from all over Europe, do things I had only dreamt of doing, I overcame my fear of heights by going paragliding in Switzerland and cliff jumping in Positano and most importantly I learned A LOT about myself. I can honestly say that the study abroad experience I had has changed my life forever. I am no longer afraid of putting myself out there and taking risks and I have a stream of confidence I never had. Had I not stepped out of my comfort zone, I would have never experienced such an amazing opportunity!!

    Vincent Shockley

    Sophomore year, everything was going well. I had great grades in my classes, stayed out of trouble, and everything was still in line for me to be able to study abroad. That was not the case for most of my friends. My good friend was on the football team so study abroad was not really an option for him. The others ate up all their free electives and gen eds so they didn't have that much wiggle room with their majors. For me it was really disappointing. Just by them not being able to go made me feel like I wasn't able to go either. There was a part of me that didn't want to leave my friends. I loved being on campus, I loved my work study job, and I even started telling myself that I didn't want to miss out on a whole semester at school. Not until I went to the first step meetings and heard more stories and students who went through the same things with their friends did I realize that turning down this opportunity would be the biggest regret of my life. Now I can say that I have gained almost 200 new friends that I shared life changing experiences with. Study abroad has given me a whole new outlook on life, what is important, and a new level of self-awareness. I've done and seen things that I never would have thought I would do. I opened up to more people tried new things, and embraced numerous cultures. This experience has really given me a taste of adult life and responsibility. Study abroad has showed me there is so much out there to see in the world and gave me a new addiction to traveling and getting lost. Not only was I forced to find my way, but I found out a lot about myself. This is really cliché and I can't believe I'm trying to explain what students before me have but believe me when I tell you that study abroad was THE best time of my life.

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    Italy: Summer

    Amy Rochette

    Everyone you will ever talk to about studying abroad will tell you the same thing: it's going to be the time of your life! And maybe that sounds a little trite, and maybe it sounds a little too good to be true.  Because how can just visiting another country be the best thing you'll ever do? It's hard to explain why or how, but it really is true.  Participating in another country's culture is magnificent. You learn so much about yourself while traveling, it's impossible for you to come back the same person.  You become so much more self-aware than you were when you left.  Definitely consider studying abroad! You won't regret it.

    Ariana Tepedino

    Italy. Maybe it sounds cliché, but I fell in love with the land that fostered the innovations of the modern day world, with the country that embodied beauty, serenity, and enchantment, with the people that gave more than took and offered more than received. When I first arrived in Florence, I had no idea that I would become so captivated by the scenery and culture surrounding me. I had not anticipated the wonder and awe I felt when stepping off the claustrophobic plane. I had never imagined that I, a naïve girl from rural New Jersey, could experience such a powerful devotion to the land my ancestors hailed from. As I stepped out of the airport and into the city of Florence I knew that studying abroad was the BEST decision I had ever made.

    Brian Deo

    Through this study abroad experience in Italy, I have become more independent, mature and aware of cultural differences between different parts of the world, while developing friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. I learned that there are great differences between the life that I am used to and various European cultures, ranging from ideologies about work to family life and everything in between. My intercultural communication professor told me during my time abroad, "Italians work to live, not live to work." These differences and similarities that are encountered while abroad have enabled me to develop a greater sense of self. This once and a lifetime opportunity cannot be summarized through pictures and videos, but only by living it yourself.

    Brittany Ciappina

    If I told myself when I transferred to Monmouth that I would have visited four countries, swam in one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and lived amongst so much history I would have never believed myself.  I wish I could express my experiences to you in words but they just wouldn't capture the beauty and amazing sights.  From standing on a mountain overlooking Cinque Terre, to walking under the Eiffel Tower, to swimming in the beautiful waterfall in Krka, Croatia, taking a chair lift above Ana Capri, and being in Pompeii amongst something that happened over a thousand years ago I will cherish these memories forever. Beyond a dream, studying abroad will change your life forever. 

    Casey Allocco

    "Amazing, I loved it." These words have been my response to every single person that has asked me about my trip to Italy. They sit there, and wait for a better answer, but how can someone possibly sum up the most remarkable month of their entire lives.  It truly became our home while we were there, and it was only a month. I never thought I could adapt to a lifestyle so easily and love every second of it. From the hottest nights trying to sleep, to catching lizards in our room, and to hanging our clothes to dry, it was all worth the view of Piazza del Mercato and the Duomo in the distance from our window. 


    I don't think anybody knows what it means to appreciate the world until your on top of it. In the peak of my life I hiked the tallest height of the mountains in Cinque Terre, dangled in a chair to the top of Anacapri, bused to the highest roads in Croatia, climbed to the top of the tower in Florence, and overlooked the city at Piazza Michelangelo. Even though all those things were only a small part of a short trip, I never failed to think "I'm on top of the world".

    Colleen Healy

    I will be forever grateful that I had both the opportunity and the courage to spend my summer abroad in Florence, Italy. The thousands of pictures and souvenirs I will cherish, but they do not come close to describing or representing what I learned and experienced abroad. I learned so many lessons about myself, the world, and life in general. I encourage anyone who is on the fence about going abroad to definitely take the leap and go! When else in life are you able to live in Piazza del Duomo, swim in the Blue Grotto, experience the "Avatar" views of Capri, or taste San Gimignano's actual "best ice cream in the world"? By spending the trip with the right people, mindset, personality and outlook, Florence, Italy can easily steal your heart in just one short month.

    Genevieve Fasano

    Choosing to study abroad was absolutely one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only did I have an enriching academic experience, but traveling throughout Italy and living in Florence completely exceeded my expectations. From practicing the techniques of pairing food and wine to learning conversational Italian, I expanded both intellectually and culturally in ways that I never imagined as a science major. Thanks to my Monmouth study abroad experience, I have realized that anything is possible. I learned the true meaning of "delicious ambiguity" and that sometimes it is best not to plan, but simply to live.

    Jane Dustman

    When asked about study abroad, there are no words that can truly express my feelings and time spent in Italy because everything I come up with is an understatement.  Even though I was only there for a month, that month was jam packed with memories and experiences that one could only dream of having.  Italy broke me out of my shell.  Me, who is scared of heights, jumped off three, twenty-foot cliffs and plummeted into crystal clear water.  I allowed the church bells to wake me up, instead of sleeping in, so I could go out and explore what Florence had to offer.    There I was, in my own little world, a world I was not familiar with, just living day by day and accepting what was offered.  And each place I visited taught me more about myself.  Every sight and smell, new food and wine sampled, along with the amazing people I met  was more exhilarating than the next.  Life is a beautiful adventure that is meant to be explored and cherished, I'm so glad I had the opportunity.

    Jennifer Goldberg

    When I started out at Monmouth I never would've picked studying abroad for me.  Going to an entirely different country seemed frightening and unlikely for someone like me.  However, over the years I've learned that experience is everything there is to life.  Throwing yourself into an uncomfortable situation will most likely be the best decision of your life because of what you'll learn from it. Although I was at first startled by the idea of studying abroad, I knew that the experience that would come along with it would be well worth it.  An exciting adventure full of unexpected events is what I wanted and it's exactly what I got.

    Rachel McGivney

    My experience studying abroad in Italy was one of the best decisions I  ever made; it was life changing. Not only did I get to explore and immerse myself in their culture, I learned a lot about myself.  I saw this as an opportunity to grow and expand as a person.  Education is one thing that no one can ever take away from you.  I embraced it and got to enjoy a small taste of our large world that had so much to show me, teach me and offer me. I never could have imagined the beauty and history Italy possesses. When walking through the cobble stone streets of Florence and seeing these god-made churches and statues, you feel like you are in a whole other world. In the beginning of my journey I was overwhelmed, but in a good way. I didn't know where to start exploring, there is so much to see and do in a short amount of time. My best advice to anyone studying abroad is to try to do everything you possibly can. This is once in a lifetime opportunity, so be adventurous and try new things because you never know when you will get the chance to do them again. I am so grateful l I was able to travel all around Italy and to different countries, because I got to meet the most amazing people and see some of the most beautiful places on Earth. There is this quote I love, "We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us" - Anonymous

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    Alex Lustig

    After a rough freshman year of college at another school, I transferred to Monmouth University in hopes of a better college experience. While I did like Monmouth much more, I never made the solid group of friends I would have liked to since I was a commuter and did not join any clubs. My Dad suggested I study abroad, and I decided to try it. I have never had such a truly memorable experience in my life. I have seen some amazing places and met some amazing people through this program. I highly recommend studying abroad to any student.

    Alexa Pellacani

    In the end, my favorite part of my entire journey was the same aspect of the trip I was most unsure about in the beginning.  It was living with my host family.  Despite how breathtaking Spain is, despite all the friends I made, both peers from Monmouth as well as locals from Cadiz, the hardest part about leaving Spain was leaving my madre.  She was strong, compassionate, and positive, and taught me more throughout my experience than I ever expected to learn from any one person.  She was absolutely incredible.  Creating such a genuine relationship, that I hope to keep for many years to come, was the best gift I could have ever received from this experience.  As we said our goodbyes, it was extremely comforting knowing that not only did she leave an impact on my roommate and I, but that we left an impact on her, and her family as well.  Part of the reason I think that our Madre, my roommate and I were able to form such an incredible bond was because we truly went into the experience with a positive attitude and an open mind.  Our Madre appreciated our positively throughout the experience and our curiosity towards the Spanish culture.  I believe that is why I had such a rewarding experience in Spain, I wanted to experience their culture, not just continue living my own culture in another country. Thankful, grateful and fortunate can only partially explain how I feel about being given this opportunity.  I have a better insight and understanding about myself, my own culture, and of the world.  I will never forget this experience.  Spain, the friends I met, and the family I lived with will all always and forever have a place in my heart.

    Bryan Cucinotta

    My trip to Cádiz taught me so many life lessons that I don't even know where I could start and when (or whenever) I would be able to finish! Through a small amount of time of six weeks, I have formed bonds and friendships with almost every single person who traveled with me that will last a life time, I learned to appreciate and love the little things about a different culture that I wish were present in the United States (I want my siesta back), and memories that I will cherish forever. I studied abroad to further improve my Spanish-speaking skills and to put it on my résumé-which I can say that I can do-but what I had not counted on was having an experience where I could say that there is a special place for Cádiz in my heart.

    Christina Gonzalez

    Going to Spain was truly a life changing experience. I would give everything in the world to be back on the Caleta and the ability to go to the Cathedral bakery one more time. Being in Spain helped me find myself. It showed me that I can be independent and that I can conquer anything that I put my mind too. I had an experience of a lifetime that I would not anyone to take away from me. As my time in Spain came to end, I realized that I gained 17 friends, self-confidence and an amazing time. I think having a great group helped make my experience spectacular. We became like a family and we could depend on each other for anything and everything. I would go back to Spain every summer if I could.

    Jennifer Stessel

    My main and number one piece of advice would be to enjoy every single moment of the trip. From the days before you leave until the moment you get back to the USA. When you're away you don't realize how quickly time moves and how fast six weeks goes by. I would do just about anything to go back to those six weeks and live them over again. For me studying abroad was the most rewarding experience of my life and I am so grateful that I got to experience it. I would recommend this trip to anyone and I seriously hope that more students decide to study abroad for the pure enjoyment they will forever have in their memories.

    Jessica Deigert

    Studying abroad in Cádiz, Spain for 6 magical weeks was the greatest adventure of my life. The location, people, travel and more can never be replaced. I not only improved my Spanish speaking, but I learned a lot about myself. I now have full faith in myself to travel anywhere and know that I can do it! I even got over my fear of flying and heights from all of the travelling that I was able to accomplish! On day one, I felt worried and lost. On the final day, I could not hold back the tears because of our departure. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done. I still have trouble looking at photos from my trip, because the memories are so bittersweet. I never realized how much that this place would mean to me until it was over. My time there meant something and I knew it the entire way, but leaving is where it hit me the hardest. Cádiz, Spain has a lifelong place in my heart.

    Krista Varanyak

    Looking back on my time in Spain, it is extremely difficult for me to sum up my experience in a couple hundred words. I learned and lived through so many new and exciting times while in Cádiz. I made friends with complete strangers, lived with a family who only spoke Spanish, and have enough memories to write for days. I can also honestly say that each day I did something I had never done before: whether it was trying a new food, learning a new Spanish phrase, visiting one of the beautiful sites, or even taking a surfing lesson! Although for the most part, we knew what to expect each day, there was always room for an unexpected surprise. For me, that was the best part of the trip: not knowing what would happen next, but at the same time feeling completely comfortable in the unknown.

    Michael Cardonick

    The classes in Spain were much different than my expectations. The professors felt like our friends, not our superiors. The classroom was filled with discussions, lessons, and laughter. At first I stressed about the classes, but the professors' guidance and reassurance relieved me of my fears and made me feel more comfortable. They told us not to have too much anxiety and ensured us that we learned and knew the important knowledge and points of the class, and in the end what they said was true. My advice for the classes is give it your best, but remember that you are also in Spain to be immersed in the culture, so don't worry too much because you don't want it to affect your time in Spain.

    I only have a single regret of my study abroad experience and that is not finding a way to stay longer. I enjoyed every minute of my six weeks in Spain, but six weeks is not long enough. I feel as if I simply got a taste of the culture and life style. If I could move back to Cadiz I would in a heartbeat and I would be proud to say "soy de cai pisha".

    Rachel Werner

    Even when I was applying to schools I knew that I wanted to study abroad. I had taken college level Spanish classes in high school but I didn't know if I wanted to continue with Spanish classes. When I was looking into the study abroad programs that Monmouth University offered I was limited because I am an athlete at Monmouth and cannot leave school during the year. I decided on Spain and then came to the conclusion that I should continue my education in the language and add a minor in Spanish. I had known that I wanted to study abroad for a long time, but considering the experience itself, I had no idea what to expect. Unlike some other people that I know that had studied abroad, I was not nervous in the slightest bit. I was nothing but excited and ready to go for the whole month of summer leading up to the flight from JFK. And from that flight on, I had a permanent smile on my face for the next six weeks.

    I loved every minute in Spain, I loved all of the fairs and festivals and nights out. I would recommend this experience to anyone and everyone. Everyone should feel like I did about this little, poor, quaint city in Spain. Everybody should get the opportunity to have the feeling of waiting every minute to return to somewhere, like I have been since the minute the bus drove us over the bridge to the airport, since I bawled my eyes out saying goodbye to my Madre, since that last morning at the beach. I have always been someone that wants to see everything the world has to offer. I am fascinated by different cultures and the different ways of life people have. I never thought that an experience would make me want to go to the same place twice. But Study Abroad in Cadiz, has done just that.

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