Barbara H. Padnos International Center
130 Lake Ontario Hall
Q: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your study abroad experience?
A: Life-changing. I had no idea how my entire perspective would change in just a month. My career plans are entirely different from what they were before this trip. I met incredible people and students, and had amazing opportunities to learn about a new place and culture.
Q: Why did you choose this destination?
A: I chose the Netherlands based entirely on the English Education program that happened to be there.
Q: What are some things that surprised you about the campus, the classes, the culture, customs or traditions?
A: The culture was different than I expected. There wasn't too much culture shock, but we were surprised at small things, like the shops closing early and on weekends, people not smiling at strangers, the popularity of foosball- there were many little things we discovered each day. The students in the classrooms offered great insight into the cultural differences.
Q: What are some things you would like students to know about studying abroad in this destination or the program provider you studied with?
A: Meet as many people from other countries as you can while you're there. The University of Maastricht, where you'll be staying, has students from all over Europe. Take advantage of that, and you'll learn even more about many different cultures.
Q: What advice would you offer?
A: STUDY ABROAD! Even if you decide that this isn't the right program for you, find one that is! There is no substitute for being immersed in another culture, even if it's only for four weeks. Traveling abroad is the single most educational experience I've ever had, and I recommend it to everyone.
Q: What was your academic goal while studying abroad?
A: I went into the program hoping to learn more about teaching in diverse classrooms. I accomplished that, and so much more.
A: Biking. EVERYWHERE! It's weird how it replaces your car. I started listening to my I-pod everywhere I biked just like I would listen to my car radio.
A: The program was for English education and that's what I'm going into. I was really interested in how international schools worked, and this gave me a glimpse inside a different approach to education.
A: Life in the Netherlands is so laid back. My day consisted of some biking, eating, sitting outside at a cafe, and enjoying the beautiful scenery. I felt so relaxed while abroad, which is something I will miss: the pace of life.
A: Get ready for a good workout! The biking and walking are awesomely intense. Also, be prepared for your life to change. You are only there for a month, but the school placements and class will completely change your view of education.
A: Go! Just do it. Don't be nervous that you will miss home or not get along with people. You will come home a new person, I promise you.
A: To learn and experience as much as I could through placement, class, and just throwing myself into the culture.
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