About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Peace, War, and Defense; Global Studies; Geography Minor
Program: UNC in Firenze and IES Internship Berlin
Location: Florence, Italy and Berlin, Germany
Term: Summer 2017 and Summer 2019
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I had to take two languages for Global Studies and the curriculum implores students to study abroad, so I decided to immerse myself in the two countries of the languages I was learning during those times. For Florence, I had always wanted to return and spend an extended amount of time in Italy and UNC in Firenze had exactly what I was looking for. For Berlin, I wanted to spend the summer before senior year gaining internship experience abroad, since I would like to work abroad as well, and IES provided so much help in the entire process it was hard to think that anything else would have matched as well.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I am more comfortable than I had previously thought in throwing myself into unknown situations with no one I knew before and learning to be more spontaneous and go with the flow. I also learned that I'm much more extroverted than I ever thought and gained a lot of interpersonal skills through being abroad and interacting with hundreds of different people.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
For Florence, it was getting to eat and talk with my host family every night in Italian and experiencing what being Italian is all about. For Berlin, it was spending every night after work with my friends talking about anything and everything, going on weekend trips to different European cities...and getting to experience the Berlin Pride Parade at its finest.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Be open with people but don't be THAT obnoxious American. Be spontaneous and don't book plans before you go, you'll want to go on trips with the friends you make while abroad. Try new foods and activities you would have never thought you would do either at home or ever.
Would you do it again?
How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
I want to work abroad, so I was able to get a taste of that from my internship in Berlin.
How do you identify?
Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
Going to Berlin Pride
Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
If you faced any challenges abroad, where could you turn to get the support you needed?
Always my friends there, supervisors, and staff at wherever I was