Meet Samantha Aiken

Program and Location:

Fall, Poland: Global STEM Semester; Poznan, Poland

Major/Minor:

Microbiology, Anthropology; Forensic Science, Global Health

Why did you choose to study abroad?

I thought I wouldn’t be able to study abroad because all of the study abroad programs I had heard of only offered CHASS or GEP classes and I needed to take STEM classes every semester. When I heard about the Poland Global STEM Program I was immediately interested, and when I saw the pictures of Poznan and learned more about the program I knew I had to apply.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am capable of so much more than I had previously thought.

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

One of my favorite parts of the program was getting to go on the group trips at the beginning of the program. It really allowed me to meet everyone in the group and make friendships early on.

What advice do you have to future study abroad students?

Bring things that will remind you of home. Call your friends and family (they want to hear from you). Try the new food and experience the new culture, but don’t feel bad about indulging in American food from time to time. If you are struggling with being away from home and dealing with academic pressure, chances are there is someone else in your group who is going through the same thing, you will always have people supporting you through anything you may go through while studying abroad who you can go to for help. Most importantly, if your on-site coordinator tells you not to drink the water, DON’T DRINK THE WATER!

Were you surprised by anything during your time abroad?

I was surprised by how understanding my professors were. They were so receptive to our needs, and understood that we were in a new country and in a new setting, and were very flexible and would often work with us to overcome any obstacles we may have been facing that impacted our academic work. It was so nice to have professors who were so understanding and truly cared about our education and well-being!

Would you do it again?

Of course!