Program and Location:
Summer, France: French Language and Culture in Lille & Paris; Lille, France
Electrical Engineering/Physics & French
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I had taken French classes since middle school, but I wanted to push myself to practice French in a more authentic setting without the safety net of an English-speaking classroom. After visiting Paris the summer before, I decided to study abroad to pursue a more immersive experience that goes past the typical tourist attractions.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I need to push myself out of my comfort zone more, because that’s the best way to grow and learn. since returning to the US, I’ve tried to apply that principle by being more open-minded and willing to embrace the unfamiliar. Getting past that instinctive mental barrier is the hardest part, but it’s worth the experience gained.
What was one of your favorite parts of your program?
We traveled with a group of NC State students, and the program advisor was my French professor from the year before. Studying abroad with a group provided a good balance of comfort and immersion. After the first week, it felt like we had known each other forever, and I created bonds that I wouldn’t have without studying abroad. It was nice to have people to relate to and share this new experience with.
What advice do you have to future study abroad students?
Approach study abroad with an open mind. Don’t try to stick too closely to a mental checklist or agenda. Get lost in the moment and the experience while you’re there, because there’s plenty of time to reflect after returning.
Would you do it again?
I’d go every summer if I could