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Anna Jarnagin

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Biology and Global Studies (Health and the Environment) Minor in Public Policy
Program: NC in Paris
Location: Paris, France
Term: Fall 2019


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study abroad because I knew I wanted to have an international experience during college. I knew that it could be the only chance I have to live in a foreign country like a local without having to pay real bills/taxes etc. I speak French and wanted to go to a French speaking country so that I could improve my language skills. I decided on France because it seemed logical and I knew I wanted to travel around Europe. Paris ended up being the city for me because of how easily accessible it is and its Paris! How could I resist? I chose the NC in Paris program because I knew the director of the program works very close with UNC and that there was a high chance of getting a decent amount of credit. It was also a very affordable program and the French requirement was not as strict as some of the others even though it was a very language immersive program.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned how to be my happiest and best self. I am a much more confident and independent person. I learned that I don't need to sweat the small stuff and the college/grades are only a tiny blip in life and there is so much more to life than grades. It gave me a much larger perspective on life and the world and truly changed my ways of thinking.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories of my program is actually the last night we were there. We all met up at our school and the director and assistant director got cabs for us so that we could go to the directors apartment. My program only had 13 people in it and a total staff of 6 teachers. Everyone went to his apartment and he brought cheeses, fruit, bread, wines, and everything else to have a delicious and proper dinner party. We sat around and talked, socialized and reminisced about the program. At the end of the night, right before we left, we sang karaoke songs together. It was a wonderful way to conclude the semester and it was because the program was so intimate and close that we were able to make something like that happen.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Go out of your comfort zone!! I travelled alone in Germany without speaking a word of German. OF course it was scary at first, but I managed and it ended up being one of the most life changing parts of the whole semester. It showed me that I am fully capable of going way out of my comfort zone and I am now a much more independent and confident person.


Would you do it again?
In a heart beat. I loved my experience abroad and have told everyone I know to make it happen.


How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
I want to have a future in global public health and going/living abroad showed me that I am very interested in also living abroad. I also greatly improved my French skills which will help me in all aspects of my future career. I think going abroad also shows employers that you are willing to go outside of your comfort zone. Living with a host family also taught me so much about different cultures. I was surrounded by Americans, French, Brazilian, and Senegalese people who all brought different things to the table. I have a more worldly perspective now and I think it is an admirable trait to have in a job environment.


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