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Rianna Evans

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Double major in Geography and Contemporary European Studies, minor in German
Program: Free University; University of Sussex
Location: Berlin, Germany; Brighton, England
Term: Summer 2018; Academic Year 2019-2020


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study in Berlin because I wanted to enhance my knowledge of the German language as much as possible. I chose to study in England because I heard from other students and their stories of their time in the same program. I wanted to go for an academic year to challenge myself and know I could be completely independent in a foreign country for an extended period of time.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned I am capable on my own. I can provide for myself and work through uncomfortable situations. I wanted to prove to myself that I could work through language barriers and international travel. Being able to live independently gave me so much freedom and confidence for my future endeavors.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
Being in Berlin for the summer of 2018 was amazing because it was the same time as the World Cup. It is such a big deal in Germany and getting to watch a game in front of the Brandenburg Gate was so fun! Exploring London was my favorite part of being in England. I could take a train into London on the weekends and I spent hours walking the streets of London, discovering much more than typical tourist attractions.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
You grow the most outside of your comfort zone. If you're hesitant about reaching out and making friends, try to get past it. It is worth the initial discomfort to try something new and exciting!


How do you identify?
Scholarship Recipient, Rural County Resident


Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
I cannot emphasize this enough--don't be afraid to live outside of your comfort zone.