Leave it to modern-day technology to save the day, in more ways than one.
Chalk it up to my procrastination, but I left my mandatory study abroad experience until the last minute. Just when I'd selected my program, paid for the trip in full, and submitted all of my paperwork - Coronavirus hit the United States. Not to mention it was already rapidly spreading through just about every other country one can think of.
My university quickly suspended all spring and summer trips abroad, concerned for the safety of its students. Don't get me wrong, I applaud the school's decisive action 100 percent. However, I was still worried that I would be left high-and-dry.
Even though almost all of the money was refunded to my account, the honors program that I'm a part of still required that its students take part in a study abroad trip in order to graduate...and I'm officially a senior.
That being said, I was definitely running out of time.
Thankfully, the honors college sent out an email offering a handful of options that would serve as an alternative summer abroad. Therefore, students would still be able to fulfill the honors requirement and receive credits toward their standard degree. I selected a course through CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) entitled "Fashion and Business in France."
I had two professors who were both American, but they've been living in Paris, France for the past several years. Because of this, they know numerous sides of the fashion industry and market. They challenged my outlook on the industry while teaching me about the history, timeline, and current function of fashion.
I was also able to view the industry from a business standpoint, seeing how current events like Coronavirus and unrest shift both the image and the success of the fashion industry.
The course was housed completely online, with class participation assignments, essays, tests, discussion posts, and video lectures and conferences. And all of this was contained within a month-long intensive course! Needless to say, it was definitely a fair amount of work in a very succinct period of time. However, I honestly wouldn't trade it.
While I would've loved to roam the streets of Croatia and Serbia (where my original program would've been set), getting to take a course that I normally wouldn't have had time for was incredibly enjoyable.