Skip to main content

Emilie Allen

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: biology
Program: College Year in Athens
Location: Athens, Greece
Term: Summer 2022


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study abroad for many reasons! As someone from a lower middle class family, I had not traveled much before college, let alone out of the country. Being surrounded by many well traveled peers made me realize how much I have not seen or experienced in the world. It was a perfect opportunity to immerse myself in a different culture.


What did you learn about yourself?
This experience taught me how to slow down. I learned that I am capable of living a life filled with experiences that I previously could only have dreamed of. It helped me realize that I do not have to put myself in a box, and that I can be successful at things I am scared to try.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
My favorite memories are probably watching the sunset over Athens from the top Mt Lycabettus, and getting to tour the inside of the Parthenon. I also loved getting to become so close with a new group of people.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
My advice would be to mentally prepare yourself for the possibility of things going poorly. I would tell them to prepare as best they can for all possibilities, and to not fixate on what is out of their control. Most things really do have a wide range of solutions, and just because something is not going right does not mean it won't be okay in the end. I got my phone stolen and panicking would have made this situation even worse. I had to travel internationally without it, but remained focused on the parts I could control.


How do you identify?
Student with a disability


Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
I am not sure if the form is exclusively referencing physical disabilities, but I struggle with ADHD. It is still new to me and adjusting to new medicines and accommodations while abroad was difficult at times. I had to learn new routines and habits that enabled me to thrive in a new environment. ,


Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
I would advise thinking ahead of time about what routines and habits help you feel best that are able to be transferred to your life abroad. For example, exercising is something that creates a routine for me and gets my dopamine up. I also tend to need a body double to be productive, so finding workout buddies was very helpful. I also recommend ensuring accommodations are in place, and that any medications are allowed in the country you choose, as some places do not allow adhd stimulant medication. Aldo, if you are someone who needs their own quiet and space to thrive, requesting a single is an option depending upon program for those who have disabilities or challenges that require this! This is something that some with a disability may want to look into, I know I considered it.


If you faced any challenges abroad, where could you turn to get the support you needed?
My program had great admin that assisted me with everything I needed! My professor was amazing as well, and was very accommodating.