London, Senegal, Madagascar, and Switzerland

Off-Campus Program Past Participant Contacts

Feel free to contact any of the students listed below to learn about their experiences in their Off-Campus Study programs. If you are interested in a program but you don't see it listed on this page, please email us!

Also, if you have studied off-campus and would like to be listed on this page as a contact for students interested in your program, please contact Rebecca Schachtman at or Laura Zuege at

Trent Guerrero

Program: Lawrence University London Centre

Major(s): Viola Performance and Chemistry (Double Degree)

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What my study abroad experience was like: My study abroad experience was what I expected in some aspects and totally different from what I expected in other aspects. It was slightly stressful being forced out of my comfort zone so often but in the end I think it was beneficial to my character and I started to enjoy doing new things that I wouldn't have thought of doing here. I've also never lived in a large city before so living in the heart of London was an amazing experience, for the most part. After a while I needed some space but the ability to easily get out into the countryside from London for cheap made the need for space and even a hike rather easy.

How my worldview changed: I knew prior that Europe was full of many different people that spoke different languages and had different cultural practices but actually going there for the first time made me realize how similar we are despite those things. Especially while traveling in countries that speak a different language I found that many people are open, nice, and willing to help even if they are rather quiet or reserved. I also got a different perspective on Americans and America while abroad that I hadn't thought about. Hearing their opinions of us made me rethink my own place within the US.

Cady Greenslit

Program: ISA Granada

Major(s): Biology, Spanish minor

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What I miss the most: The thing I miss most about Granada is living in a history book. I would sit through a lecture in class, and be able to see where it happened on my walk later that night. Granada is also a wonderful classroom, and many of my professors took us on walks as they lectured.

Studying in Granada is so much about the experience. Classes are important, and you need to attend and do the work, but the program allows you a lot of time to explore the city (and the rest of Europe on weekends). The program also takes you on many weekend excursions that allowed me to explore Spain in a way that I don't think I would be able to do on my own.

Michelle Jimenez

Program: ISA Granada

Major/Minor: Government major, Spanish minor

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My study abroad experience: I was immersed in a city that was so diverse and full of life. Granada is a city full of different people from different places all studying at the University of Granada making it an open environment for a variety of cultures.

What I miss the most: I miss being able to stand back and take a minute to think about how long the architecture in Spain has been around. I miss being able to go hiking in the Sierra Nevada to exploring the virgin beaches in southern Spain in a matter of a few hours.

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Ryan Aiello

Student in Costa Rica

Program: ACM Costa Rica

Majors: Psychology and Spanish

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What I loved the most: I loved getting myself lost while wandering around and walking into random restaurants and shops with no clue as to where I would go next. It was during these experiences that I truly pushed my Spanish skills to their limit as I befriended numerous locals who didn’t speak a word of English and in the process made life long friends.

What I miss the most: I miss my host mother in San Jose. Together, we had fantastic dinner conversations over fried plantains and tea that would last hours after our plates had been cleared.

How had my world view changed? After participating in this program I have really come to understand the cultural and political dominance of the United States and western civilization over smaller, developing countries.

Sarah Diamond

Students on camels in IndiaProgram: ACM India

Major: International Relations

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My study abroad experience:  I studied abroad in Pune, India in the fall of 2015. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I lived with an Indian family, adventured all over the country, learned so much, and met incredible people.

My favorite memory:  For Diwali break towards the end of the semester, I went trekking with a group in the Himalayas in Ladakh. It was surreal. We rode camels, slept under the stars, and experienced a culture that is completely its own. I miss it every single day.

Cosette Bardawil

Program: IES Paris - French Studies (year long)

Major(s): Flute Performance and French and Francophone Studies

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How I would describe my study abroad experience: Fulfilled! After much contemplation to find the most accurate word to describe how I felt last year, it came out. My heart, mind, and stomach were completely fulfilled by the end and I just felt more grounded and connected. I lived with a couple just south of Paris and they became like a second family. I studied at a conservatory and took classes at the IES center (e.g. Phonetics, Immigration and Diversity in Paris, Terrorism and Security, etc.). I took swing dancing and accordion lessons every week and ended up teaching flute and piano to two little girls.

What I loved the most: It’s hard to pinpoint what I loved the most, but besides the people, the general feeling of walking around the city keeps coming up in my mind: museums, the Seine, the fresh smell of bread, the incessant sound of the metro, the fashionable ladies, the fruit and cheese vendors, the beautiful buildings and gardens, the Parisian air of mystery, the bikers, the grandparents walking their grandkids, the little café tables scattered outside, the list goes on. This isn’t to say that there were no cultural or language barriers, because naturally, there were a couple. Most of the time, though, these barriers actually made me think so much more about the differences and it made me appreciate them more.

Something else that I discovered is that different qualities and mindsets of people come out in different languages. The French language is one of the things that makes me want to come back and teach English in France or teach music in French or find another combination of music and French. We’ll see, but for now, I can say that studying abroad in Paris for a year was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Hillary Hazeltine

Program: Lawrence University London Centre

Major(s): History

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What I loved the most: I loved just walking around. I would just get on the Tube, get off at a random stop and then walk around and see what I could find. There never was a dull moment and you never knew what you're day was going to be like or what you were going to see.

What my study abroad experience was like: I loved absolutely everything about my study abroad experience. I looked forward to going to every class and enjoyed doing the work the professors asked of us (the other study abroad students and me), since it usually required us to go explore the city. Every day was like a new adventure, and whenever I had free time I was easily able to travel around the city to a variety of places and events such as museums, tourist attractions, famous shops, markets and even movie premiers. A good way to feel like a true Londoner was when I joined an ultimate Frisbee league that met Sundays next to Kensington Palace and Wednesdays next to Buckingham Palace, and I was able to not only stay active but also get to socialize with locals who gave me good suggestions for places to visit in London that tourists didn't know about. I was also able to travel to other places, and got to spend the ten day break exploring parts of Scotland and Ireland with other study abroad students.

How my worldview changed: Studying abroad definitely showed me to do what you want to do when you want to do it because you only have so much time. Because I only had so much time in London I did everything I could, a lot of the times by myself because everyone had different interests and wanted to see different things, but I grew to really enjoy traveling alone. You become very secure with yourself because you realize how big and beautiful the world really is, and that you don't want to miss out on experiences because of other people, work and school.

Leif Olsen

Program: Bard-Smolny, Russia

Majors: Russian and English

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How my world view changed: Study abroad was an incredible experience, because it teaches you just how self-sufficient you can be. But it also teaches you how to celebrate the small things, like buying groceries for the first time in Russian.

I thought Russia was a dangerous place because that is what I saw on mainstream media news outlets. But I soon found out that the city is safe and the culture is vibrant.

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Abby Carlson-Edwards

Program: Lawrence University London Centre

Major(s): Linguistics, Anthropology minor

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What I miss the most: Coming back to Wisconsin after spending 10 weeks in London, I definitely miss the accessible public transportation the most. The tube and bus system was very easy to learn and navigate and allowed me to see all the parts of London that I wanted to see! For the first two weeks I only took the tube because the bus station by our flat was closed, I would recommend taking buses early in your term in London. While it might take you a little longer to get from point A to point B, you get to see all the beautiful monuments and architecture of the city. An added bonus is that you don’t have to pay for tourist buses that stop at popular destinations!

How my worldview changed: One of my favorite aspects of studying in London was the opportunity that I had to connect with and learn about different cultures within in the U.K. and in Europe. The course Urban Anthropology taught by Professor James helped me understand how immigrant migrations to certain neighborhoods in London have impacted the street scene that is visible today. My interactions with Londoners and Europeans allowed me to partake in a critical perspective of the United States after the inauguration of Donald Trump and instantly gave me something interesting to talk about once locals learned of my nationality.

Maria Mankin

Student by canal in AmsterdamProgram: IES Amsterdam

Major/Minor: Psychology major, Government minor

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What I miss the most: It's hard to pick my favorite thing about Amsterdam, because it was filled with so much beauty and adventure. However, what I loved most about the city was how cozy it felt. Walking around the cobblestone roads felt almost like a fairytale. While Amsterdam is full of excitement and life, it also has a quaint and comforting nature. The dutch have a word for this feeling: Gezellig. It's the feeling you get when you come home after a long trip, or when you take a warm bath. Amsterdam embodies this word perfectly, and I miss it every day.

How has my world view changed? Studying abroad transformed me into a more confident and independent person. Living on my own was something I had never experienced before. It was tough at times, but it ultimately was an experience that I needed in order to enter into adult life. I would recommend it to everyone, even if it scares you a little. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone was one of the most valuable things I could have ever done.

Hailey Bomar

Program: ACM Costa Rica

Major(s): Biology

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What my study abroad experience was like: My study abroad experience was very independent because I was on the field research program at ACM in Costa Rica. I spent several weeks at my research site in rural Pacific Costa Rica, where I was interviewing community members about their knowledge and experience in preventing the Zika virus. I was also lucky to receive awesome instruction in Spanish language and assistance with my research at the ACM Center in San Jose.

What I miss the most: I miss both of my host families, especially my host mom and her extended family from my research site in Quebrada-Ganado. The weeks I spent at my research were some of the most intense and wonderful weeks of my life, and were formative for contextualizing my research and improving my Spanish language skills. The close bond I developed with my host family during this time was one of the most important parts of my experience, and I’m still in contact with them today. I really miss the long conversations I had with my host mom (all in Spanish!) and I’m grateful for her patience and the warmth with which she welcomed me into her home and her family.

How my worldview changed: This experience helped me to contextualize my knowledge of public health, and to expand my view of healthcare systems beyond what I’ve known in the United States. I think we spend a lot of time identifying problems with healthcare in developing countries from an outsider’s perspective, but actually witnessing the functions of public health systems in Costa Rica opened my mind to unexpected barriers and new solutions.

Etta Lynch-Beaty

Program: IES Paris - French Studies (year long)

Major(s): French, Linguistics and ESL minors

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This study abroad experience was one of the most culturally eye opening and intellectually stimulating that I've had since travelling abroad in high school. What I miss most isn't the diverse foods or the famous monuments and museums, but my daily routine. When I took the bus to classes or just spent time outside I tried to put down my phone so that I could soak up every casual experience, smell, sounds, and interaction of my time in Paris that I could. This is the feeling I loved the most (and the metro, of course), and can't wait to get back to. I miss having the simple beauty of the day enthrall me because of its novelties that gradually became familiar, walking through the market, being able to know details about my neighbors’ lives when I greet them. I learned so much about language from this opportunity, through inspiring professors and interactions with people from multi-cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and it has pushed me to apply to several programs to continue my interests abroad!

Hannah Gjertson

Program: Lawrence University London Centre

Major(s): Biology, Biomedical Ethics and Anthropology minors

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What I miss the most: I miss the public transportation! I would just hop on the tube or bus and be in a whole new neighborhood within a few minutes. Also, taking the railway to the countryside on the weekends was lovely; England is so much more than just London!

What I loved the most: I loved getting to know Londoners. Many of them have a wonderful, dry sense of humour and the iconic British "stiff upper lip." I also love how much the British people emphasize tradition and formality. Understanding the values of pragmatism, modesty, and self-reliance helped me grasp many of the cultural and social nuances of London and its people.

How my worldview changed: Living in London made me a more independent and confident person. There were many times where I embarrassed myself and outed myself as an American. But eventually, I overcame the shyness about being an "outsider" and embraced living in a wonderful, historic city that I now miss every day! There's a lot of value in living in a new place and culture. I can't recommend it enough.

Olivia Gregorich

Student in Ireland

Program: Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland

Majors/Minors: Theatre Arts major, Creative Writing minor

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My study abroad experience and what I miss: I miss the sound of voices from Ireland.  It's not as simple as accents--the movement in their speaking has a different sound.  While on a trip to Galway, I took a day to visit one of the Aran Islands where they still speak Irish fluently.  I miss the hiking--one of the most interesting things I heard in one of my classes at the Gaiety School of Acting was that accents reflect their landscapes: wide open land creates speakers of wide open sounds, lots of snow and wind makes people clench their teeth to keep out the weather.  Language truly lives and breathes the stories, geography, and music of the people and their place, and I was more than happy to listen for a while.

How has my world view changed? It was an interesting time to be outside of the United States, during one of the most controversial Presidential elections perhaps ever.  I loved learning more about the history of Ireland, but I think in global terms it really showed me how closely the rest of the world does watch us, and how myopic we are (or can be) in return.  I know next to nothing about French or British politics, let alone those of countries on other continents.  If anything, the experience has thrown down the gauntlet for me to push myself even farther outside my comfort zone in the interest of broadening my understanding and appreciation of how complicated the connections between us and our differences are.

Dalia Khattab

Program: IES Paris - French Studies

Major(s): Biology, Government (International Relations), and French

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What my study abroad experience like: It is hard to describe my study abroad experience in a few words and without sounding cliché, but it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. This immersion program allowed me to improve my language skills, to learn about French culture through living with a host family, to explore the French professional setting through an internship, to try new things, and to travel around France and Europe.

What I miss the most: The pastries. The hot chocolate. The Nutella crêpes. My host family. My friends. The beautiful architecture. And even the metro...

Katie Singer

Student under water in EcuadorProgram: IES Abroad Quito, Area Studies and Language

Majors: History Major, Government and Spanish Minor

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What I loved most: I loved being immersed in the Spanish language and having the opportunity to live in a completely different culture. I was lucky enough to travel to many different parts of Ecuador and learned so much about how the culture varies from the Andes to the coast to the Amazon rainforest, which really helped to increase my understanding of the country.

How has my worldview changed? I am definitely more empathetic towards others now, especially people who I don't initially have a lot in common with. Also, I am much more confident in myself and my abilities--If I can navigate a foreign culture in a different language, I can do anything!

Morgan Edwards

Student exploring ChileProgram: IES Santiago (U. Católica Santiago)

Majors: Biology and Spanish

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What I loved most: I loved hearing and learning to speak a new (to me) dialect of Spanish, and having my language skills challenged in an academic setting! Living in a big city and making friends without the scaffolding of a tiny campus was a great experience as well.

How has my worldview changed? Although I always felt welcomed by new friends and classmates while I was abroad, there were frequent moments in which I really felt just how much of a cultural outsider I was. Now that I'm back, memories of that feeling help me to empathize more with people who might be feeling uncomfortable, out of place, or excluded in a variety of situations.

Karina Grady

Student by ocean in GreeceProgram: College Year in Athens
Majors: Art History Major, Museum Studies IA

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What I loved most: the food!
How has my worldview changed: Getting the chance to study abroad is the best experience of my life. In the five months I spent in Athens, Greece, I grew so much. I have never been happier than I was when I was there and that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Luke Graham

Student in RomeProgram: ISA Rome

Major: History

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What I loved the most: The best part about being in Rome was that as someone who studies Roman history, I got to interact with all the ancient sights of Rome in a meaningful. Learning about the significance of the Roman Forum and then getting to visit the sigh enhanced my experience in a remarkable way.

Anna Vogel

Student in Rome

Program: Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies- Rome

Majors: Classics and Art History

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My study abroad experience: My favorite part of studying abroad was getting to see and experience so many things that I had only heard about or seen pictures of throughout my study of Classics and Art History. Being able to physically engage with the material helped me to grasp so much more thoroughly the concepts and make them feel much more relevant.

How has my worldview changed? Studying abroad introduced me to so many new people and places that changed the way I look at the world. I think being able to get out of my comfort zone in every sense of the phrase was a life changing experience.


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