This blog post is courtesy of Jordan Holland-Mclaughlin, a study abroad alumna who participated on the ASU: London, Dublin & Edinburgh Communication Summer program. Jordan was also a recipient of our Study Abroad Office Travel Grant.
Deciding to leave home and everything I was used to for two months was the most terrifying, yet liberating decision I have ever made in my life. I was so comfortable working at an amazing job, having the best time ever with my friends, and becoming closer than ever with my family, but the opportunity to study abroad presented itself and I knew I would never get a chance like that again. I let bravery lead me in the direction of adventure and I’ll forever be grateful that I made the decision to go.
The program I decided to attend was ASU: London, Dublin & Edinburgh Communication. I decided on this program because it went to several countries and was faculty directed, which meant ASU professors and students would be on the trip with me. This kept a bit of nervousness at bay for me because I knew I would be with fellow Sun Devils. I also liked how versatile the program was for non-communications majors. The two courses I took over the duration of the trip counted as upper division electives for my English major.
One of the reasons I chose a multi-country program was to study different education systems around the world. I aspire to be a high school English teacher, and I felt like I would be able to get some insight into the way different education systems around the world work. Not only did I gain insight, I met several teachers who encouraged me to look into teaching overseas and provided me with contact information to keep in touch with them. It was an unexpected networking experience, but it was absolutely awesome!
The program itself is almost indescribable. I can’t imagine a group of Americans have ever had more fun abroad than our group did. Every waking moment was spent on weekend trips, tours, exploring cultures, and making life-long friendships. It’s truly an experience I’ll never forget. Our professors scheduled class in a way that allowed us to have long weekends, providing us with the opportunity to travel to other countries if we desired. I took weekend trips to Amsterdam and Barcelona with a few of the people on my trip and we had an amazing time. We were very surprised by the cheap airline tickets. Europe is so travel friendly!
Some people think the class aspect of study abroad is just a joke, but that is far from the truth. We learned very quickly and our professors expected the very best from us; however, this wasn’t necessarily a difficult thing for us to accomplish. We found the classes to be interesting and engaging, and they were taught by some of Arizona State’s finest.
I’m sure by now my friends and family are sick of hearing about my European summer, but I just can’t keep quiet about the best two months of my life. I would recommend study abroad to anyone who is interested. Just take the leap and embrace the experience. It will be everything you expected and so much more!