The Collegian
Thursday, February 29, 2024

With study abroad decisions coming out soon, students reflect on past study abroad experiences

Studying abroad is a hallmark of many people’s University of Richmond experience, and over the last few years, trends of students going abroad have changed drastically. 

With the deadline for studying abroad in Fall 2023 having just passed, students revisited their trips abroad and reflected on their main takeaways.

Junior Tommy Bennett took classes at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland last fall. 

“I learned so much about myself and how to travel in places I am not used to,” Bennett said. “This was the first time in my life that I’ve traveled that much or been an outsider anywhere, and it definitely rounded out my civic understanding of what it means to be a person in a society.” 

His semester in Scotland also made him appreciate campus life and the city of Richmond much more, he said. 

“I realized that as much as I loved being abroad and the excitement of life abroad, I was starting to miss the every day of being around the people I know and being in my community, so it made me really happy to return to Richmond,” Bennett said.

Bennett recommends the University of Edinburgh program to applicants who enjoy studying the humanities.

“I felt like [Edinburgh] was a beautiful city to be studying things more related to the humanities,” Bennett said. “It made me really love learning and reignited my spark to appreciate the liberal arts education I had on campus before going abroad.” 

Sophomore Sanjna Kaul traveled to Berlin, Germany this past summer for six weeks. She has been taking German since high school, so she was accustomed to the country’s culture. 

“Even though I spoke English outside of the classroom most of the time, being surrounded by hearing German all the time and taking the language class for six hours a day, five days a week was very enjoyable,” Kaul said. “It taught me a lot about independence and enjoying alone time when I could get it.”

Kaul recommends this program to anyone, no matter their German language knowledge.

When asked what kind of student she would recommend her program to, Kaul said, “It doesn’t matter if you care about learning German or not because study abroad is so much more than the language.”

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414 students applied to study abroad this semester, which is the highest number of applications on record, wrote Ellen Sales, associate dean and director of education abroad, in an email to The Collegian.

“The five most popular countries of interest are Spain, Denmark, Italy, the United Kingdom and Czech Republic,” Sales wrote.

According to the Office of International Education, decisions for study abroad applications will be released before spring break.

Contact international writer Anne-Valerie Clitus at annevalerie.clitus@richmond.edu. 

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