Study Abroad: Best Of Both Worlds
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Politics and Activism

Study Abroad: Best Of Both Worlds

Not willing to sacrifice a semester at Wake Forest? Neither was I.

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Study Abroad: Best Of Both Worlds

Last spring I was introduced to the inevitable blast of students who return to Wake Forest after spending a fall semester abroad. The Pit lines grow, Manchester quad is flooded with activity, and ZSR study space is scarce. As a freshman, I absolutely hated this. Now, where was I supposed to set up my Eno? Who are these strangers using all the ellipticals? 

I can’t imagine missing a semester at Wake Forest. Being absent from a frat party? Oh, no. Skipping Pitsgiving? Unheard of. And don’t even get me started on the idea of missing Puppies on the Quad or Kittens in Campus Grounds. 

However, studying abroad is a popular choice among Wake students. Professors encourage us to see the world and gain knowledge from alternative cultures. Something -- probably a combination of Pinterest and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love -- opened my eyes and made me realize that study abroad was something I wanted to do. I reported to the Study Abroad office and sat down with an advisor to discuss the most fitting program for me. After sifting through paperwork on houses, programs, and internships, we found it. There it was in beautiful size 12, Times New Roman font: WFU Summer 2014 Tours, France.       

This is not a joke. The six-week program allowed me to receive nine hours of credit and fulfilled my language requirement! Get out of town, literally.      

I decided this was the program for me and began the paperwork process. My parents were on board, immediately, and my mom wasted no time ordering me the biggest and brightest purple suitcase she could find. I was Tours-bound as a rising sophomore.     

My six weeks in Tours were, without a doubt, the best weeks of my life thus far. Between the beautiful language of love, cute boys sitting in cafés, and the shameful amounts of macaroons I devoured, how could I not enjoy it? In addition to the wonderful clichés of France, I also had the opportunity to spend six weeks living with a French family. I had never been a big sister before, so I thoroughly enjoyed every evening spent playing rounds of Uno, dressing Barbie dolls, and dancing to  “La Reine des Neiges”, or the Frozen soundtrack.

Because I was studying at the Institute of Touraine, the classes were not exclusive to Wake Forest students. This introduced me to friends from all over the world including London, Switzerland, and Libya and other US college students from Indiana and Alabama, too. The friendships and memories I made will forever hold a place in my heart.

I had the experience of a lifetime. I highly recommend a summer study abroad program to anyone hesitant about spending a whole semester apart from families, friends, and of course, the Forest. I studied abroad, but won’t suffer through major FOMO next fall. Now I can have my Pitsgiving pie and eat it, too. 

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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