Germany, Summer 2019
“It was a liberating experience."
As a Gilman Scholar and Judy Genshaft Honors College student, I can definitely say that studying abroad in Germany has been one of the crowning accomplishments in my academic career. After putting in hours of revising and editing essays, talking to advisors, and doing my own research, I can proudly say that it all paid off in the end. It was a liberating experience, and a rare opportunity to see the other side of the world and how similar the lives of German citizens are. I had never traveled to the eastern hemisphere before, and I was curious, yet a little nervous, to see what it was like.
In some ways, I was truly living on my own terms. I was going to my classes, spending time with my classmates, and seeing history in action, but with a spirit of independence. On a more pragmatic level, I can understand if parents or family would be concerned with such a big commitment; my own mother and father were worried for me too and made me promise that I call them every single day to make sure I was safe. As long as you take reasonable safety precautions and remain observant, you shouldn’t let this deter you. The outcome will outweigh the risks, and safety will always be a priority for USF. I can’t thank my own instructors enough for being there for me and my peers on our trip. The differences in culture and lifestyle, both small and large, intrigued me and made me realize that there is a huge world out there, and its waiting for you to see it for yourself.
I will never regret putting in the time and effort to apply to the Gilman Scholarship and go abroad with the USF Honors College, because it gave me the opportunity to be a part of something larger than myself. It let me gain experience, both academic and career-wise, and helped me find my own niche in which I knew I could be comfortable. I will always hold the memories of this adventure abroad close to me and motivate myself to push my own boundaries even further. Traveling thousands of miles may seem daunting, but you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner when you see what’s waiting for you.
Tags: Judy Genshaft Honors College, Independence, Value of Study Abroad, Family