Student Guest Post by Gabriella Soroka
Studying abroad was, without a doubt, the best experience of my life! I studied in Florence, Italy, where I learned so much, not only about Italian culture, but also about myself. The experience shaped me into a more confident person, allowed me to try new activities and meet people from all walks of life. I am so glad I made the decision to go abroad, and I cannot wait to get back to Italy!
Monmouth University’s Global Education Office gave me a great selection of places to study. They offered full semester experiences, summer programs, and even short-term programs. Typically, those short-term programs are great for transfer students looking to graduate on time. You can choose from options such as service trips to Guatemala and Haiti, and faculty-led programs to places like Costa Rica over Spring and Winter Breaks. I chose to spend a whole semester abroad; however, it was great knowing that I could have still had a global experience even if a full semester had not worked with my schedule.
Having a global experience allowed me to learn so much, both in and out of the classroom. Prior to going abroad, I was rather reserved and usually waited for someone else to take the lead. I had not traveled much, and I always felt like I needed someone to guide me. However, once I went abroad, I was immersed in new cultures and surrounded by people and places that helped me to grow. I learned to navigate Florence without a GPS, and I often explored the city in between classes. I will never forget the confidence I felt while walking back to my apartment in Florence without someone leading the way for me. I returned home with a much greater sense of independence, and I have Study Abroad to thank for my improved level of confidence.
Studying abroad gave me some of the most memorable experiences of my life! I got to see beautiful places in the world such as Cinque Terre, Italy. I checked some things off my bucket list like making a wish at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. I also got to do things I never dreamed of doing like seeing an opera in Florence, which is where opera originated. Going abroad expanded my horizons in ways I had never expected, and I cannot overstate what a transformative experience it is. I encourage anyone considering studying abroad to seize the opportunity!