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Lehigh University Study Abroad:Student Testimonials

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Tommy Dewick



Singapore,
2012 Spring


 

Studying abroad in Singapore was not only the best decision of my academic career but also one of the best things I have ever done in my life. That is because when you study abroad in Singapore, you really study abroad in all of South East Asia. Due to the sheer number of neighboring countries and the ready availability of cheap flights, there is an unlimited amount of opportunities for mind-blowing experiences. During my time in Singapore, I was able to visit Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia as well as explore all that Singapore itself had to offer. The best thing about South East Asia was the variety of experiences that one could have. Within a few weeks, I had gone from trekking tropical rainforests in Borneo, surrounded by tribes of Macaque monkeys and ten-foot monitor lizards, to relaxing on Ko Phi Phi Island, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Throw in a trip to the lost city of Angkor Wat, a train ride through Vietnam, and a hike up a ten-thousand foot tall active volcano, and I can say that this was the experience of a lifetime. This is not to mention enjoying the plethora of food and cultures that come together in the melting pot that is Singapore. With less than twenty other Americans in a program of four-hundred exchange students, I was able to experience European, Latin American, and Central Asian cultures as well. I would go back to Singapore in a heartbeat and implore anyone thinking about going to a place off the beaten trail to give “the little red dot” serious consideration.


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Julian Pawlikiewicz

Cairo, Egypt
Spring 2012

 

Studying abroad in Cairo, Egypt is something I will never forget. As my semester comes to a close I remember how absolutely scared and excited I was to go to a country where I had only a small understanding of the language and an even smaller understanding of the people within it. I saw history in the making when the Egyptians had their first elections since the Revolution in 2011. I made friends from all over the world, but most importantly I learned so much about my home and myself while being so far from it. There is nothing more enriching than the study abroad experience and I think I learned some things that I’ve been having trouble put into words. I think I can best describe it as respect and perspective. I’ve learned no matter how different people may seem on the outside and how people are portrayed through the news and television, they are still people. They have the same struggles and worries. They long for many of the same things and I learned that people no matter how far away from home really are not so very different at all. If you are ever thinking about studying abroad, or visiting another country, do not hesitate. No matter the cost, the hardship, the paperwork , whatever, it will be worth it. Even though the people I have met here I may never see again I would hate to imagine what my life would be like without them. I left feeling scared and exited and I leave the same way. I hate to say goodbye it has been amazing Egypt. 


 



Casandra Salcedo

Sevilla, Spain
Spring 2011

 

Before going abroad, I came in with several expectations.  It is the greatest feeling now to be able to say that I exceeded every single expectation.  I seized every single opportunity and learned more than I would have ever imagined.  I became fluent in Spanish, made life-long friendships with spanish friends, enjoyed authentic meals, learned how to dance Flamenco, and participated in many other unique cultural experiences.  My semester abroad in Sevilla was my "vida perfecta" (perfect life).


Will Valliere

Osaka, Japan
2010-11 Academic Year

 

As a student of globalization, studying abroad was more than just a requirement—it was an opportunity, and a delight. In Japan, I learned things about the world, other people, and myself that I simply could not have learned at home. I came to a better understanding of Japan, and of America too. During my year in Japan, I climbed mountains, wrote papers, rode trains, saw musicals, walked beaches, took tests, read manga, danced in clubs, sang karaoke. I ran. I laughed. I cried at least once. I gave a speech in front of my school, its president, and the American and Australian consuls there. I met my best friend in Japan. I tried my hand at love there too, and I did all right. I saw an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear crisis. I saw history. I lived with a host family, a family I loved and still do. I spoke Japanese (poorly). I met people from all over the world. I met an Icelander, and a girl from Malta. At my school, Australians abounded. There were French students, British students, Egyptian students. Germans, Ecuadorians. There was at least one student from each of the Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. There was a gaggle of kids from Hong Kong. I met Americans of every stripe. My best friend, from Miami, comes from a culture that is worlds apart from my Boston. Of course, I met many Japanese people too.With my friends, I started a Gay-Straight Alliance at my school. Among the international community there, I found a measure of acceptance I had never known before. I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best professors I’ve ever met. So many adventures. It seems almost like a dream now. I lived the life I’d read about, dreamt about. There can no longer be any debate about it—living and studying in a foreign culture are absolutely essential to the crafting of not just a well-rounded student, but a full human being. I know that people my age are somewhat given to hyperbole, but I am completely serious when I say it: the year I spent abroad was the best year of my life.

 



Kyra Dragone



London, England
Spring 2011

 



 

Going abroad to London, England was definitely the best experience of my college career. I chose London because I’m an engineering major and I only speak English. I knew I would be uncomfortable in a country where I didn’t understand the language so my options came down to London or Australia. I couldn’t be happier with my choice to go to London, because when you go to Europe you’re not just going to one country. By the end of my 4 months I had visited 11 major cities in 8 different countries. I learned more about culture and travel in my 4 months abroad than I had in my 20 years leading up to it, but studying abroad was more learning about life than anything else. It was an experience of a lifetime and I walked away from it with a new perspective. I made friends that I still stay in touch with (we’re already planning trips to visit each other in the coming year) and have memories that will stay with me forever. I would strongly recommend every student take advantage of the study abroad opportunities offered by Lehigh. If you can travel abroad you should. It’s an experience that words could never fully give justice too.



Milagros Pacheco



Barcelona, Spain
Spring 2011

 

 

Studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain has truly been the most unforgettable experience of my entire life. As a little girl, I always dreamed of traveling the world. Fulfilling my goals was one of the most enriching feelings ever. I had the lovely opportunity to live with a host family who took me under their wing. I was able to experience the Spanish culture first-hand, and it was something that I would not trade for the world. While I was abroad, I was also fortunate enough to get an internship with Gestor Energético (Renewable Energy). I was their broadcast journalism and marketing intern. It was so exciting to be trusted within the first couple of weeks of working with this newly-developed company. Aside from taking Spanish classes, I was also able to learn Catalan, a completely different language that is spoken in this region of Spain. My favorite part of the entire voyage was making new friends and traveling on the weekends. It is amazing how convenient it is to simply pick up a carry-on, hop on a plane, and jump the border for a couple of days. Learning about different cultures so often really teaches you to open your eyes and mind to different perspectives. Practicing many various languages became a fun activity. I tried so many things that I never thought I would and lived with the motto “You only live once…” I have matured as an individual and will use this experience to advance to the next level of my journey. If I could relive my last semester, I would in heartbeat. It is incredible how many remarkable things happened to me in one semester. I have never been more grateful for any experience in my 21 years of living.



Julie Morris



Copenhagen, Denmark
Spring 2011

 

 

Studying in Copenhagen was easily the most wonderful and fulfilling time of my life. The people were incredible, the food was delicious, and the traveling was unbelievable.  The best part of it all was making lifelong friends from around the world. The worst part was leaving. Luckily, I didn’t leave empty handed, but with a relaxed and more confident self, a fully stamped passport, 15 college credits, a million fun memories, and as many Danish pastries that could fit in my suitcase. By the end of the semester I felt so comfortable and immersed, that I began to consider myself a Dane. I became a regular in my favorite bakery, found myself giving directions to lost tourists, and referring to Copenhagen as “home”.  Studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I recommend it to every Lehigh student. I cannot wait to return to my home away from home.


Joanne Hoffman



Nottingham, England
2010-11 Academic Year


 

 

I decided to study abroad my freshman year at Lehigh when I met a fellow chemical engineering student that had gone to Nottingham.  His story had me hooked.  I recently came home from after spending a year in Nottingham, England.  And yes there is a sheriff of Nottingham still, and Sherwood Forest and even a statue of Robin Hood.  And let me tell anyone that this experience was probably hands down one of the best in my life.  It was my first time being out of the United States, and I thoroughly enjoyed being completely immersed in a different environment.   I liked experiencing the different nuances that another English speaking country had compared to home, like referring to soccer as football and spelling colour with a u.Most of all I am glad that I had the chance to make friends with people from all over the world not just England.  It was the experience for me, living in a different country, learning the ins and outs of a different city, meeting new friends that really made my study abroad experience.  Yes, I did actually enjoy going to class and learning in a different style, but most of all I think that going abroad helped me to grow as a person and even better understand myself.   And I am grateful for all the opportunities that I have now, for traveling to see friends in different countries, for finding an opportunity to research something new.  And most of all I am glad that I decided to go abroad and for skype dates with the friends that I made.  I would recommend going abroad to anyone who is thinking about it.  Go, see the world, you’ll never know what you might find.


 

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