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 email@example.com or Laura Zuege at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program: Lawrence University London Centre
Major(s): Viola Performance and Chemistry (Double Degree)
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.
Program: ISA Granada
Major(s): Biology, Spanish minor
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.
Program: ISA Granada
Major/Minor: Government major, Spanish minor
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.(expanded by choosing "See more info").
Program: ACM Costa Rica
Majors: Psychology and Spanish
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.
Program: ACM India
Major: International Relations
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.
Program: IES Paris - French Studies (year long)
Major(s): Flute Performance and French and Francophone Studies
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.
Program: Lawrence University London Centre
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.
Program: Bard-Smolny, Russia
Majors: Russian and English
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.(expanded by choosing "See more info").
Program: Lawrence University London Centre
Major(s): Linguistics, Anthropology minor
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.
Program: IES Amsterdam
Major/Minor: Psychology major, Government minor
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.