Study abroad ambassadors and international students in front of trolly

Study Abroad Ambassadors

If you wish to speak with these ambassadors about their experiences, you can contact them directly through the provided link or email us at studyabroad@uncw.edu and we will put you in touch.

Africa & the Middle East | Americas | Asia | Europe | Oceania | Multi-Country

AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

South Africa

Courtney Foley

Univ. of Cape Town - ISA
Fall 2015

South Africa is a country perfect for people who love endless adventures. One weekend, I took a trip along the southern tip of Africa where I bungee jumped, pet an elephant, swam in the Indian ocean, and rode an ostrich all in three days. I had the time of my life in Cape Town, and I hope you do as well!


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AMERICAS

Argentina

Sarah Keasey
Buenos Aires - Capital of Culture - Faculty-Led
Short Term - Spring 2015
In Argentina, there were flea markets with hand-made crafts, musicians playing in the streets, tango dancers performing on the sidewalks and the smell of media-lunas (croissants) in every barrio. Along with the endless culture lessons, my Spanish improved immensely. Everyone can read about a different culture, or even watch a movie based in a different country, but there is no comparison to experiencing it in real life.
Nicholas Alphin
Buenos Aires - Capital of Culture - Faculty-Led
Short Term - Spring 2016
While I was in Argentina, I had the opportunity to visit the Jardín Japonés (Japanese Gardens) in Buenos Aires. Not only were they beautiful, they opened my eyes to how the world is connected in ways we might not realize. I knew I was going to learn about Argentinean culture during my two weeks abroad, but I also got to learn about and see Japanese culture as well.

Belize

Lynsey Sain
Intercultural Communication in Belize - Faculty-Led
Short-Term Spring 2016
The most enriching part of studying in Belize was the diversity that I and the other students were exposed to. Prior to studying abroad, I didn't realize how many cultures Belize held, but we were immediately immersed upon arrival there. My favorite place was the Maya Center. It was interesting and inspiring to see how invested the villagers were in preserving their culture by working at the Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve and selling crafts that would help their community. We sat down and talked with members of the village to learn about their culture, history, and values, and we even learned how to make authentic Mayan tortillas!

Chile

Melissa Piechowiak
PUCV
Fall 2016
Chile is incredible. It has everything from the Atacama Desert, thousands of miles of Pacific coastline and mountains, and of course, beautiful Patagonia. There is something for everyone in this country. The city of Valparaiso is very enchanting with all of its bright colored murals and the nice people that live within it. It is hard to become bored living in Chile because of everything there is to see and experience.
Gabriella Hernandez
Chile Summer Study Abroad - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016
After vowing to myself in middle school that I would never ride a horse again, I was definitely set back when I found out that our first group activity was an all day horseback riding excursion. Unexpectedly, this 5 hour trip turned out to be one of my favorite experiences in Chile. This opportunity forced me to step out of my comfort zone, and by doing so, I was able to truly enjoy the beautiful scenery of Chile as well as conquer one of my fears.
Nicholas Alphin
Chile Summer Study Abroad - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016
Studying abroad in Chile is the perfect place to strengthen your Spanish skills. Between living with a host family, public transportation, and day to day activities, your Spanish skills are constantly being improved. The excursions, lifestyle, and classes while abroad in Chile are so fun and educational at the same time. There isn't a moment that is wasted, you will constantly be learning and having a great time exploring the country.

Costa Rica

Katherine Billig in Costa Rica
Capturing Costa Rica - HON 212 - Faculty-Led
Short Term - Spring 2015
Students that study abroad in Costa Rica should embrace the experience through trying new foods, speaking the Spanish language, seeing monkeys and sloths in their natural habitats, or simply interacting with native Costa Ricans. You will be able to explore a variety of settings including: beautiful beaches, mountains, rainforests, and cities, while embarking on many excursions, national park tours, and ziplining opportunities.

Ecuador

Harrison Stewart in Ecuador
Universidad San Francisco de Quito - GAIAS
Spring 2015
Studying abroad in mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is an opportunity to see wildlife so rare, it only exists in those locations. Seeing those animals in the Amazon rain forest, Andes Mountains, and the islands, as well as meeting the people who live in each place has a profound impact on how you view the world. My only regret is not extending my visa to stay longer.

Haley Mattice
Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Fall 2016
Quito is a great place to study abroad because within a few hours, for very little money, you can travel to the 4 different regions of Ecuador. The Amazon, the Andes, the coast, and the Galapagos Islands. Each of these places are completely unique and incredible to see. For people whose Spanish is not perfect, Ecuador is a good place because their accent is a little easier to understand. I found it to be a great place to practice and improve my Spanish language skills.

Peru

Jade Oakes
Universidad de Salamanca Cusco - ISA
Spring 2016
Machu Picchu, indigenous cultures, llamas - Peru has all of that and more. If you're looking for a more exotic place to study and work on your Spanish, Peru is for you. Peru has environmental diversity as well as a diverse culture. From the mountains to the coast to the desert to the jungle, you can find different indigenous people and city dwellers.

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ASIA

China

Keegan Burgess
Fudan Univ.
Academic Year 2015-16

Life becomes a daily adventure in China, from going to the store, taking in new sights and smells, and catching a public bus while running at full speed. University life in China grants many opportunities to easily make friends, from socializing with other International Students to practicing Chinese at one of the many clubs at Chinese Universities. This enabled me to make lifelong friends from all across the world, as well as China. All in all, I credit my time in China with helping me become the more open-minded, confident person that I am today, and I believe that my decision to study in China is irreplaceable.

Indonesia

Marie Hill in Indonesia
Department Pre-Approved Education Abroad - Indonesia
Summer 2015
You should study abroad in Indonesia for a Marine Biology based Independent Study because you have the opportunity to be in charge of your own work while working in the center of the Coral Triangle. You are surrounded by an unimaginable beauty and quite frankly, you will forget you are even working.

Japan

Travor Baker

Japanese Study Abroad - Faculty-Led

Summer 2016

Japan is a country vastly different from our own. The people, the language, and the culture provided students with a unique opportunity to experience a friendly and culturally rich country. By going to Japan, students can expect to be challenged linguistically and they will be forced to use their own language skills. If a student is willing to take themselves out of their comfort zone, they will gain truly memorable experiences and enjoy their time abroad.


Mallory Walker

Japanese Study Abroad - Faculty-Led

Summer 2016

Wearing a yukata and visiting the Kyomizu Temple in Japan was an exhilarating experience! Besides seeing the sweeping mountain views and tasting the cool spring water that the temple is known for, the locals were overjoyed to see foreigners visiting and rushed to take photos with us!  It was a place of deep cultural significance that I would be excited to return to in the future.

Thailand

Nicholas Alphin

Mahidol International University - ISA

Academic Year 2015-16

Welcome to the Land Of Smiles: Thailand. As a developing country, Thailand is the perfect place to build yourself as well as view the world completely differently. From getting your picture taken like a popstar, becoming amazing at charades while trying to learn the language, to constantly receiving unconditional love and advice, traveling with confidence, and making some of the best friends I will ever have, Thailand is no longer just a place I simply studied abroad; it is home. The country's undeniable love for their King and the richness of the culture turned my trip from a short three-month study abroad into a year-long journey.

Emily Soukhaphon

Cultural Tourism and Transport Tourism, Thailand - Faculty-Led

Summer 2014

Thailand is a country with a largely diverse culture. During my time there, I not only learned about my courses of study, but I grew personally from the experiences that I had and the people I met. It changed my perspective on the world and I'm glad that I am now more culturally aware.

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EUROPE

Czech Republic

Shannon Dube
ECES - AIFS
Spring 2016
The city of Prague is enriched with centuries of history. It is the perfect place to experience new culture, but also find comfort in American culture by simply eating at a Hard Rock Cafe or other chain. The people who may seem reserved at first become amazing friends once they open up to you. It was extremely easy to travel by bus to neighboring countries and the airport was only a metro and bus ride away. It's a perfect sized city to get used to if you are unused to city life.

Fiona van der Steur
Charles Univ. - AIFS
Spring 2016
I would have to say the history of the Czech Republic was the most enriching part of my study abroad experience. And no, not the history that I learned about in one of the courses I took while in Prague. What I mean is the history and beauty that was inevitably encountered just by getting lost in the streets of the most culturally stimulating city you could chose to study abroad in.

France

Maggie Chambers
Summer on the Mediterranean - Faculty-Led
Summer 2015
We never ran out of things to do in France - we could go to the port, try a new restaurant, take a bus to Cassis, go kayaking, etc. I loved how easy it to was to travel to surrounding areas too. During my time there, I was able to go to Paris, Rome, and Barcelona, which was incredible.

Julia Beattie
Summer on the Mediterranean - Faculty-led
Summer 2016
I truly believe that all students should study abroad in France or another foreign country.  I think that you learn the most when you are taken outside of your comfort zone. My favorite experience was on the last day of the trip. My friends and I hiked "les calanques," which are cliffs that meet the Mediterranean. You get to meet so many great people, many of whom are from foreign countries, and you get to create relationships and make lifelong memories.
Lemuel Heida
Art and Art History in Paris - Faculty-led
Summer 2016
One of my favorite experiences in Paris was participating in a group art project at the top of Sacre Coure (the Sacred Heart Basilica). The Parisians were so welcoming and accepting of art that one of the security guards roped off the area for us while we created a drawing of the cityscape while hundreds of visitors looked on! Meeting new people from around the world who with different lifestyles than mine was a great experience.
Michelle Ho
Summer on the Mediterranean - Faculty-led
Summer 2016
It was fun to travel and learn in Marseille, France, and it was an amazing opportunity to immerse myself in its culture, try new foods, meet new friends, and learn French all in one month! The Interact Club took us on electric bikes to explore Marseille and it was one of the best experiences of my life! The weather was perfect and we even biked to the Calanques to take a swim in the crystal clear waters.

Laura Perry
Summer on the Mediterranean - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016
I think people should study abroad in France because it gives so many culturally rich opportunities. There are many diverse places in France, and so many other great countries surrounding it that make weekends ideal for travel! For me, the most enriching experiences were when I was finally among the artworks I've been studying; the Musée du Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, and Uffizi Gallery were by far my favorite experiences in Europe. At the end of a long day of studies and cultural excursions, the only cure for 13-20 miles of walking is a hot, delicious kebab, found on every corner in Marseille.
Sara Reece
KEDGE
Academic Year 2015-16
In October, a friend and I took a train up north and spent a week in Alsace, France's renowned wine region. We rented bikes and rode from village to village along little pathways winding through the vineyards, stopping here and there to eat grapes off the vines. For miles and miles all we could see were rolling hills covered in grape vines with tiny villages speckled throughout, a sight too beautiful to describe.

Sarah White
KEDGE
Spring 2016
Getting to live with over 100 international students in an old and run-down dorm was one of my favorite parts of being abroad. Being in a kitchen with over forty people speaking at least seven different languages at the same time was mind-blowing. Before coming to Marseille, I had hoped to befriend some French students but I never would have imagined that I would come out with this many friends from places all over the world.
Margarita Gordillo
Paris: The City & Art - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016
I think students should study in France because it's amazing to see where a lot of artists were inspired; their art says a lot of what they were feeling and what was going on during that time. The food was delicious and you will never forget it. Even if you're not interested in art, you will love it. My favorite experience in France was having our own apartment. I really got to live like a Parisian and experience grocery shopping at farmers markets, making my own food, riding the metro and going to class.
Carly Sprinkles
Summer on the Mediterranean - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016
Studying abroad is an experience like no other. A perspective about life, people, and the world is gained that cannot be taught in a classroom. Studying abroad gives you a profound appreciation for the many different ways of life that exist around the world. Stepping out of our American college bubble allows us to meet incredible people, become humbled by other cultures, and gain a sense of self, independence, and confidence from becoming global citizens.
Josephine Hill
KEDGE
Spring 2016
Studying abroad for a semester gives you the opportunity to really immerse yourself into a new culture. Kedge had a club that organized trips and events for the international students which was a fun way to get to know everyone. What was really a great experience was getting to live with a bunch of international students and traveling with them. By the end of the semester, I had made plans to visit a couple of them in their home country before I went back to the states.
Sarah Bendaoua
International Student from France
KEDGE
Spring 2016
You can't regret studying at KEDGE; the school is not that big, so it's easy to find yourself in the building you need. The school offers multiple opportunities where you can create your own company (doesn't have to be business related: they are open to any type of ideas you present them). Kedge Business School is one of the top 5 Business Schools in France, and all their programs from Bachelor to Master are well-known. Kedge Business School in Marseille is the place to go.
Julia Sylvester
KEDGE
Academic Year 2015-16
The Calanques are one of the most breathtaking and secretive spots to visit in Marseille, France. The Calanques are steep and rigid cliffs that fall right into the Mediterranean Sea creating a perfect place to hike and relax by the crystal blue water any time of the week. I lived right at the basin of the Calanques and could walk or run the trails leading to the water in my free time, which was one of the most liberating and exciting experiences of my adventures abroad!
Nicholas Alphin
Univ. de Savoie - ISEP
Summer 2015
Living in Chambery means living in a beautiful and small city where you have a view of the Alps, two major airports, and a culture that is open to students who are there to learn French.  My time in Chambery allowed me to travel (Savoie is right near the Italian and Swiss borders!), meet people from all over the world, and explore the incredible beauty of the French mountains.

Germany

Alexander Fregenal
Business in Bremen - Faculty-led
Summer 2016
My favorite place I visited in Germany was Berlin because there was so much to do there from seeing all the historical sights of World War II and the Cold War to checking out the latest in German automotive engineering. Berlin is such a huge melting pot of not just German culture, but also Italian, Eastern European, Turkish, and Middle Eastern as well. Berlin's blend of the past and present make it the perfect destination for any college student.

Rianna Thomas
Hochschule Bremen - Faculty-led
Summer 2016
Students should study abroad in Germany because the cultural differences are a learning experience and teach you to be adaptable. Germany is such a big country that has so much to explore that you will never be bored. The country is rooted in history and also rich with culture.
Abby Cook
Hochschule Bremen - Faculty-led
Summer 2016
As someone who has never been out of the country, speaks zero German, and can barely function a week without calling or talking to someone from home, this experience was truly eye opening. I went to Bremen, Germany with two of my best friends in hopes to have a once in a lifetime experience while having the comfort of being with others I had known for a while. I didn't realize I would be challenged in numerous ways and develop as a person in more ways than one. I tried new foods, embraced new adventures and made an attempt to pick up some of the language.
Daniel Gamlin
Hochschule Bremen - Faculty-led
Summer 2016
One of the things about Germany, and Europe as a whole, that never ceased to amaze me, was how old some places and buildings are compared to the United States. It was sometimes tough to grasp the fact that I could be walking next to a church that was 3 or 4 times as old as my country. Being able to visit and experience a place that is truly different from the U.S., compared to just visiting a new city in the U.S., was something I'll always cherish.

Greece

Stefany Ortiz
American College of Greece, Athens - AIFS
Summer 2016
My favorite place in Greece was the island of Mykonos, which had crystal clear waters and beautiful sunset views. I absolutely loved this island because it was so full of life, with upbeat music being played all around you and the people being so friend and kind. I thought it was almost too good to be true. With its white houses and blue doors, it looked like it was straight out of a film.
Anne Gillespie
Greece: From Danger Zone to Blue Zone - Faculty-led
Summer 2016
While in Greece, I not only furthered my education but I truly believe I grew as a person.  I was able to actively implement what I was learning about health to my life to improve my overall wellness. Not only was the island beautiful but the culture and friendly inhabitants made the trip so special.

Ireland

Nicholas Alphin
Taryn April
UNCW @ Maynooth: A Fall Program for First Year Spring Admitted Students
Fall 2015
One afternoon, my group of FYSA students that I studied with while in Ireland and I were brought to the coastal town of Bray where we hiked to the top of Bray Head; the views were breathtaking with hang gliders soaring just above our heads. We stopped at a small cafe to get some delicious pastries before catching the train home.

Kestyn Baughan

Kestyn Baughan
UNCW @ Maynooth: A Fall Program for First Year Spring Admitted Students
Fall 2015
After crossing the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge in Northern Ireland, I looked out past the sea and I had a glimpse of Scotland. The immensity of the cliffs and the sea that beat against them was absolutely beautiful and astonishing. Being on that cliff with my new best friends, taking pictures, and laughing was a memory I will never forget, and it was one of the many that made me fall in love with Ireland.

Rachel Williams in Ireland
Rachel Williams
UNCW @ Maynooth: A Fall Program for First Year Spring Admitted Students
Fall 2014
First Year Spring Admit students should study abroad in Maynooth to take a big leap into college. This program not only allows you to study abroad, but it acts as a stepping stone from high school to college. You can take classes that go towards your major, while being able to travel and explore on the weekends and during fall break. You will make friends with the other UNCW FSYA students that will be coming back to UNCW with you in the Spring, making the transition easier because you will have friends by your side. It is a rare opportunity for freshman to study abroad, but it is definitely worth it!

Colleen Fitzpatrick
Colleen Fitzpatrick
UNCW @ Maynooth: A Fall Program for First Year Spring Admitted Students
Fall 2016
Other students should study in Ireland because of the opportunities it provides. The location is ideal for traveling around Europe and Ireland itself has so much culture and history students can learn about. Maynooth University provided an amazing education with one-on-one sessions outside of the lectures, which were very helpful. I was able to to travel to four countries, which is what I found most enriching. I learned so much about culture and history within the different countries. Meeting people in Ireland was also so enriching; I was able to create bonds with people across the ocean.
Jeslyn Wethington
Jeslyn Wethington
Maynooth University
Fall 2016
My most memorable experience while in Ireland definitely had to be seeing the Cliffs of Moher. My friends and I got lucky and went on a day when it was sunny so you could see the Aran Islands in the distance. The detail and beauty of these cliffs is absolutely breathtaking. I sat on a grassy ledge and was able to take in my surroundings for a few minutes, but I could have sat there for hours on end and never once got tired of the view.
Erin Cahill
Erin Cahill
Maynooth University
Fall 2016
I had such an incredible experience traveling around Ireland, seeing such beautiful sights as the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, and Blarney Castle. Two of my favorite experiences were when I kayaked in Dublin with the International society from my school and when I enjoyed a Medieval feast at Bunratty Castle. Ireland has both amazing landscapes and amazing people and is the perfect place to study abroad.
Caroline Deguire
Caroline Deguire
UNCW @ Maynooth: A Fall Program for First Year Spring Admitted Students
Fall 2016
Being able to live in a society different than my own was incredibly eye-opening. There were so many resources available to the students I believe that anybody who goes to Maynooth will be welcomed with open arms. The locals were also very kind and willing to give you directions or help with anything you may have needed. Another perk of Maynooth is that it is a short train away from Dublin. This allowed us to experience the Irish city life as well as the student life.
Emily Thackston
Emily Thackston
UNCW @ Maynooth: A Fall Program for First Year Spring Admitted Students
Fall 2016
My favorite place that I visited in Ireland would have to be the cliffs of Moher. The pictures do not do this location justice; it is absolutely breathtaking. A must if traveling to Ireland. It was a place like none other that I have seen before - absolutely marveling.

Italy

Angela Ciarletta
Angela Ciarletta
The American University of Rome - ISA
Spring 2016
It was amazing living in a residential area of Rome where I could walk to the city center from school. Seeing the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Vatican, and Trevi Fountain was incredible, but I also loved being able to immerse myself in such a rich culture and practice my Italian (even though I had never studied it before). I would not have  had such vast experiences if I had only vacationed in Rome for a week or two. Living in another place and adapting to its local culture was truly life-changing.

Marissa Jodway
Marissa Jodway
Richmond in Florence - AIFS
Spring 2016
From having meals with locals, to climbing the historic Duomo, to watching the sun go down over the city at Piazzale Michelangelo, each moment is one that I will cherish forever. I could not have asked for a better study abroad experience and I hope that any student looking to study abroad will consider Florence as their home away from home.

Jordan Will
Will Jordan
Florence University of the Arts - ISA
Fall 2016
The opportunity I had to live in Florence is one that I will cherish forever.  Italy has one of the most influential cultures across the world and now I understand why.  Italy has its own unique way of life and after spending a semester there, you won't want to leave.  Other students should study abroad in Italy because of the beauty and culture throughout the entire country.  Italy has beautiful beaches, amazing cities, and even the Alpine mountains.  I was at a great university and had an apartment located in one of the most popular piazzas (city center) in Florence. Above all, my program set me up with roommates that are now lifelong friends.
Erin Powley
Erin Powley
Richmond Univ. - ISA
Fall 2016
Italy has much more to offer to students who are willing to embrace not just the perfection but also the imperfection of a country that is rooted in tradition. My professors were proud of where they lived and enthusiastic to show us the reasoning behind their lifestyle.  I was given the privilege of learning new things in a setting that emphasized real-life importance -school was no longer hypothetical information from a textbook. We got take 'field-trips' to famous renaissance vineyards, family-owned balsamic vinegar farms, world-renowned cathedrals, and even the Ferrari museum. Italy will not disappoint any student looking for a home away from home on the other side of the Atlantic.

Spain

Erica Paige Keen
Erica Paige Keen
Semester in Santander - UNC-Charlotte
Fall 2015
Spain was so much more than I could have ever imagined. I knew I would fall more in love with the language, but I wasn't prepared to fall in love with the people, the culture and the country itself. The people are so welcoming and endearing and the families we all lived with were incredible. In Santander where I studied, we would sit on the beach looking out at the Cantabrian Sea while admiring the incredible mountains. There is nothing like being in your host city and seeing such beauty everywhere you look.

Margaret Livingston in Spain
Frances Livingston
Summer Program in Ubeda, Spain - Faculty-Led
Summer 2015
You should study abroad in Ubeda, Spain because you will be living in one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, allowing you to cultivate new experiences in a different culture. The people you will live with will push you to try new things, even if you say "no gracias" but I promise those foods, dances, laughs, and walks will never leave your memory.

Nicholas Alphin
Jade Oakes
Universidad de Granada - AIFS
Fall 2015
Spain offers a diverse set of people and traditions, making it the ultimate European experience. It is especially perfect for people learning Spanish. UNCW has programs in many Spanish cities, including historical Granada and Cordoba, Barcelona of Catalonia, and coastal Alicante. Spain has a rich history that spans over thousands of years. Whatever your area of study, Spain should be on your list.
Ashley Alegre
Ashley Alegre
Valencia, Spain Summer I - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016
I think students should study abroad in Spain for several reasons, but primarily if they want to study the language, culture, and witness the beauty of Spain. Mallorca's landscape was absolutely breathtaking and the people were very friendly. My host mother brought my roommates and I close together and made sure we always had everything we needed.
Amanda Cook
Amanda Cook
Univ. of Valencia
Spring 2016
People from Spain have a very different outlook on life than us Americans do. They truly enjoy and cherish life and its joys, both small and large. They work to live, not live to work. The most enriching thing I experienced was speaking to people from my host country in their own language, and meeting and learning from other study abroad students from different countries.
Catherine DeVito
Catherine DeVito
Universidad Pablo de Olavide - ISA
Spring 2016
The experiences I had and the places I visited were greatly enhanced by the fact that it became not just a city that I lived in, but it became home, and my host family became not just my host family, but my second family. Feeling so at peace while abroad made me able flourish that much more. My favorite thing about my study abroad in Seville, Spain isn't a specific place or a specific experience, it is culmination of all of the above.
Madison Faulconer
Madison Faulconer
Universidad Pablo de Olavide - ISA
Spring 2016
I traveled to 7 countries and many different cities during my time abroad, but Seville, Spain remains my favorite place. Something about Seville that really drew me in was the fact that it was not as heavily populated with tourists as compared to Madrid or Barcelona. Seville is so quaint and beautiful, truly a gem.

Alison James
Alison James
Barcelona- Summer Language & Culture - CIEE
Summer 2016
A great part of being in Spain was that I was able to significantly improve my Spanish. I found that learning the history of the city through speaking to locals and going to museums was the most enriching part about my study abroad experience. I felt very connected to the city and to the people by being educated about their place of residence.

Joshua Kleinstuber
Joshua Kleinstuber
Semester in Santander - UNC Charlotte
Spring 2016
After my last night of celebrating in the city of Santander, I and a few students from the United States, Italy, and Spain spent the early hours of the morning sitting on the beach, where we unanimously decided that it was the best sunrise that any of us had ever seen. My trip of a lifetime included over 100 days of travel, 42 bus rides, 18 plane tickets, 15 countries, and countless blisters, but that final beautiful sunrise is the one memento that will undoubtedly stick with me forever.

Kristen Schimmoller
Kristen Schimmoller
Semester in Santander - UNC Charlotte
Spring 2016
I'm partial to my second home in Santander, Spain. It's a gorgeous town that sits on the water. You can take a run to El Faro (lighthouse), watch some surfing, participate in a local soccer game, get some delicious chocolate from Valor, or lay out on the beach at El Sardinero. Any way you pick, you can't go wrong!
Erin Shoemaker
Erin Shoemaker
Summer Program in Ubeda, Spain - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016
I highly recommend studying abroad in Úbeda, Spain. My absolute favorite part of my study abroad experience was living with a host family. I had to speak and understand Spanish from when I woke up until when I went to bed. The progress of my fluency in Spanish from week one to week six was overwhelming! I had the best time experiencing firsthand what the Spanish way of life really looked like. They were so welcoming and helpful and really made my time the most memorable it could be. I definitely became like one of their own and they will forever be my second family!
Lyda Sypawka
Lydia Sypawka
Valencia, Spain Summer I - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016
I believe immersing yourself in an unfamiliar culture is something everyone should experience. Spain was the perfect place to explore because of it is full of different cultures and traditions that have been around for many years. My favorite part of my experience was being able to not just visit but be a part of the Spaniards' everyday life.

Chrysanthi Siarkas
Chrysanthi Siarkas
Cruising the Cultures of the Mediterranean - Faculty-Led
Short-term Spring 2016
One night in Barcelona, my study abroad group went on a bike tour of the city. It was an incredible experience to go from feeling like a tourist in a new place to feeling like a local simply enjoying a beautiful night. The realization that two places can be so different yet so alike is truly an amazing experience.

Bryan Hall
Bryan Hall
Valencia, Spain Summer I - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016
Spain is uniquely different from other Spanish speaking countries because it is so rich in culture and tradition. I learned so much about the different groups who conquered Spain at different points in time and left their mark. Staying with a host family was the best part because they cooked traditional Spanish food, and I learned about their traditions as well as learning common Spanish phrases. I built friendships and know that I have a Spanish family that I can visit.
Christine Kessel
Christine Kessel
Semester in Santander - UNC Charlotte
Fall 2016
Spain is uniquely different from other Spanish speaking countries because it is so rich in culture and tradition. I learned so much about the different groups who conquered Spain at different points in time and left their mark. Staying with a host family was the best part because they cooked traditional Spanish food, and I learned about their traditions as well as learning common Spanish phrases. I built friendships and know that I have a Spanish family that I can visit.

Patricia Ripoli Martinez
Patricia Ripoll Martinez
International Student from Spain

Universidad de Valencia

Academic Year 2016-17
Studying abroad will open your eyes to another world you didn't know about. Living that experience will become a turning point in your life as you will get to know another culture, meet new people and discover amazing places.
Chase Catterton
Chase Catterton
Sevilla- International Studies, Business & Spanish Language - ISA 
Fall 2016
Across from our school there was a small cafe that you'd only notice if you were desperate for a caffeine fix. A friend and I found ourselves frequenting the place so often that the people who worked there greeted us by name and didn't even have to ask for our order. It was clearly a place for locals, cramped for space and thoroughly crowded during breakfast hours, but the conversations we had there and the people we formed relationships with taught me more than any of my studies.
Mary Guffey
Mary Guffey
Valencia, Spain Summer I - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016
My favorite part of my time in Spain was the relationships I formed.   I went on this excursion not knowing a single other person and came back with some life long best friends.  Through traveling on the weekend to places like Barcelona, Majorca, and exploring waterfalls in Valencia, I made memories that will always hold a dear place in my heart.
Marina Jones
Marina Jones
Alicante- Intensive Spanish Language - CIEE
Summer 2016
During the time I stayed in Alicante, my favorite part was being able to hike up the castle anytime I wanted to. It was about a 15 minute walk from my home-stay and it had an incredible view overlooking the ocean and the city. I miss being able to have that.

Sweden

Lara Noren

Lara Noren
Gothenburg Univ.
Spring 2016
I think other students should study abroad in Sweden because it has a rich culture different from most European countries. The nature is stunning, the people are interesting, and the politics are very different than most of the world. During my stay in Gothenburg, a few friends and I decided to travel to Scandinavian Lapland, the northernmost part of Sweden and Norway in the Arctic Circle. I have never been to a more beautiful place, full of mountains, reindeer, dog-sledding, saunas, a LOT of snow, and the Northern Lights (the most breathtaking natural phenomenon in the world)!

Switzerland

Nicholas Alphin

Franklin Univ. Switzerland

Fall 2013

You should study abroad because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take classes in a foreign country and visit famous landmarks while meeting some of your future best friends and learning more about yourself. People never look back and regret the shots they took, but they will regret the shots they did not take.

United Kingdom- England

Rachael Trainor
Rachael Trainor
Univ. of Roehampton
Fall 2015

My favorite part of studying abroad in England was being able to make London my city. Being alone at first motivated me to learn everything I could about where I was going to be and what I was going to be able to do while I was there. I realize how much I've changed as a person because I pushed myself to go out of my comfort zone and really experience London as a local.


Christine Conger
Christine Conger
Univ. of Hertfordshire
Spring 2016

My favorite experience studying in England was the first time I went into London with fellow international students. We experienced traditional "tea time" and walked around London in awe of the city. We were all excited to be studying in England and we laughed so much while getting to know each other.


Britton Edwards
Britton Edwards
Univ. of Hertfordshire - Faculty-Led
Short-Term Spring 2016

One of the prime benefits of studying abroad in the United Kingdom is the rich diversity that courses through the nation, primarily in the bustling city of London. Both locals and tourists add to that diversity, making the city a mixture of every group of people that comes to experience the culture. Every street corner echoes with accents and languages originating from all across the world. During my visit, I was able to speak to people from nations I'd never visited and see the traditions of societies other than the ones I'd grown up with.

Sarah Glenn
Sarah Glenn
Univ. of Roehampton
Fall 2015

My favorite thing to do in London was to ride on the top front seat of the double-decker bus, or just get a cup of tea and walk around the different markets. Also, during the holidays there are many Christmas markets around the city and the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is amazing. It is a beautifully-lit fair with rides, food, and so much holiday joy. I wake up every day missing that city, and cannot wait to go back.


Kathryn Greisiger
Kathryn Greisiger
Keele Univ.
Spring 2016

The United Kingdom, and England especially, is an amazing gateway to the rest of Europe.  With my program, not only did I meet UK students, but also students from all over the world. My semester abroad gave me the chance to discover my strengths and weaknesses and who I am as a person, and gave me a greater understanding of how the world works.

Kristen Hillson
Kristen Hillson
CSB Summer Study Abroad in London and Hatfield, UK - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016

Studying abroad in England has been the best experience I've had so far in college. Experiencing cultural differences for an extended period of time has taught me to adapt in a way I've never had to before. I feel more culturally aware, empathetic and understanding to people from different cultures. Exploring the city of London was my favorite part of the program. From walking across the Tower Bridge, touring Buckingham Palace, shopping on Oxford Street and discovering local restaurants I enjoyed every minute that I spent in the city.

Bailey Moore
Bailey Moore
Univ. of Hertfordshire
Spring 2016

From the hundreds of free museums in London to the rolling hills in the country side, England has a lot to offer. You really get to immerse yourself in English culture by staying on-campus at a university and living either with people from England or other international students from around the globe.


Ryan Ricks
Ryan Ricks
CSB Summer Study Abroad in London and Hatfield, UK - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016

England was a very worthwhile experience. My favorite place was the Harry Potter Museum. It was part of my life growing up, and is part of who I am. I got to see part of myself in real live action.

Melissa Trainer
Melissa Trainer
Univ. of Hertfordshire
Spring 2016

Although my University in England was not directly in London, being only 20 minutes away from the heart of the city was the best part of my experience in the country. London is a city that is deep-set in its history and roots, but it is also an ever-changing and modern-minded city. For anyone that has the opportunity and desire to enhance their educational career, studying abroad is something I would highly recommend because it has truly changed my life in so many positive ways.

Anna Huntley
Anna Huntley
Roehampton Univ.
Spring 2016

I got to play on the women's football (soccer) team which was an amazing experience. This allowed me to make lasting friendships with British students and get more involved with the University as a whole. It also gave me something familiar that I enjoyed and added to my experience. We went on to win the gold metal which felt incredible!

Terra Shiles
Terra Shiles
Univ. of Hertfordshire
Fall 2016

My favorite experience in London would have to be during the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas; we shared different dishes from all over the world since they had never gotten to experience it and they were so excited. Then at Christmas, we all participated in secret Santa and you could tell by the gifts that fit perfectly how well all eleven of us had gotten along and how much we cared for each other.


United Kingdom- Scotland

Sarah Hicks in Scotland

Sarah Hicks
Univ. of Stirling
Summer 2015
In Stirling, you can study in one of the most beautiful parts in the world, surrounded by lakes, castles, and lots of history. The flexible class schedule and university's central location allows you to explore Scotland and the rest of Europe during your time studying abroad. You will be able to meet many Scottish people, who I believe are some of the friendliest people in the world.

Amber Mangione

Amber Mangione
Univ. of Stirling
Spring 2015
My absolute favorite places in Scotland were the Highlands and the city of Edinburgh. The Highlands are breathtakingly beautiful and seem so unreal that it feels like you are in a different world. Edinburgh is full of history and offers tourists plenty to do, from hiking on Arthur's Seat to shopping and museum-wandering on the Royal Mile.

Madeleine Manz

Madeleine Manz
Univ. of Stirling
Spring 2016
Living in Stirling gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Scottish culture, whether it be exploring small coffee shops in town or castles and monuments filled with history. It's also only a train ride away from big cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, which gives you opportunities for day or weekend trips. Scotland is filled with the friendliest of people, and that is truly experienced in Stirling.

Rebecca Hunter

Rebecca Hunter
Univ. of Stirling
Fall 2016
Stirling is a quaint, beautiful town that allows a person to grow in their ideals and knowledge surrounded by kind and helpful Scots. My most enriching experience in Stirling was living on campus with several other students that were studying abroad and being able to learn about their traditions. I believe that Scotland was a turning point in my life, and I would love to encourage others to seek out the adventure that being in Scotland allowed me to have.

Alex Yilanes

Alexandra Yilanes
Edinburgh Napier University/School of Nursing and Midwifery - ISEP
Fall 2016
Stirling is a quaint, beautiful town that allows a person to grow in their ideals and knowledge surrounded by kind and helpful Scots. My most enriching experience in Stirling was living on campus with several other students that were studying abroad and being able to learn about their traditions. I believe that Scotland was a turning point in my life, and I would love to encourage others to seek out the adventure that being in Scotland allowed me to have.

Heather Jensen

Heather Jensen
Univ. of Stirling
Fall 2016
Scotland is a beautiful, green, and wild country. I would recommend students study in Scotland if they love nature and history.  There are wonderful mountains, but there are also bustling cities and castles.  What I found most enriching about my study abroad experience was learning how to communicate interculturally.  I met so many international people and I found an appreciaton for so many cultures, languages, and ways of life different from my own.  It opened my eyes, and I really grew as a person.

Jessica Draughn

Jessica Draughn
Univ. of Stirling
Fall 2016
My twenty-second birthday fell upon the second day of a three day tour of the Scottish highlands and I had decided before starting the journey that I wasn't going to say anything about it. I wanted it to be a day where I would be living in the moment. Driving over the bridge to the Isle of Skye, the view consisted of rolling green valleys and crystal-blue lochs for miles all around. When we stopped, it was the most beautiful place I have ever laid eyes on. Vast mossy-green ridges spread out as far as my eyes could see. The clouds wove themselves in and out of the great span of valleys. Being up there in the clouds, looking down upon this natural wonder, I knew that my life would never be the same. I would have stayed at that spot for the rest of my life if I could. The magic I felt there will always be with me, and I have to say that I believe that no other birthday will compare to that one.

United Kingdom- Wales

Samantha Badgett in Wales

Samantha Badgett
Swansea Univ.
Spring 2015
Located in the U.K., in the country of Wales, Swansea is perfect for those who want to travel abroad, but don't want the stress of living in a foreign country; Language is not an issue, since everyone speaks English. While in Swansea there will also be a group of UNCW students and an honor's professor, who, like yourself, is first learning what it is like to be living in the scenic country of Wales. Wales has some of the world's most beautiful beaches and ancient castles loom amongst the rolling hills filled with thousands of Welch sheep.

Yaritza Delgado

Yaritza Delgado
Swansea Univ.
Academic Year 2015-16
Other people should study abroad in Wales because it is such a magnificent and beautiful country. The University of Swansea is not only full of really friendly people and knowledgeable lecturers, but is also next to the beach! The city centre is very close and provides many things to do, from grocery and clothes shopping to laser tag and cinema. Everyone in the city makes you feel at home and it is very easy to get used to the way of life there. I met the most amazing people and made incredible friends that helped me grow as a person and taught me that family does not have to be blood-related.

Alexandria Dempsey

Alexandria Dempsey
Swansea Univ.
Spring 2016
Wales is a fantastic place because its charm is unparalleled anywhere else. University life in Swansea is a great balance between learning and experiencing. I think that traveling across Europe during spring break and seeing how differently people as a whole act around the world was incredibly worthwhile. I think that studying abroad in the UK is enriching because society there has a perfect balance between the familiar and the new.

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Bracy Heinlein
Swansea Univ.
Spring 2016
My favorite experience in Wales would have to be hiking Mt. Snowdon - the highest mountain in Wales. Not only was it extremely satisfying to make it to the top and look out across this vast expanse of hills, mountains, and lakes, but I got to climb it with some of my best friends - friends I made through studying abroad. Whether through words of encouragement or simply the powerful drive of competition and wanting to make it to the top first, I couldn't have made it without them.

Brenna Slingerland
Brenna Slingerland
Swansea Univ.
Spring 2016
One of my favorite places in Swansea is the Wales Coast Path, a walking path that runs the entire length of Wales. My friends and I often walked the Coast Path from the University to the headland of Mumbles, and once we hiked out to Langland Bay with a picnic lunch and spent the entire (sunny!) day on the beach, chatting, playing games, and relaxing. There is so much to explore in Wales, and the Coast Path is only part of it!
Grace Wallace
Grace Wallace
Swansea Univ.
Spring 2016
We had finished our last meal together (the six of us) at our favorite restaurant in the Swansea city center. Instead of catching a bus to campus, we meandered back on the beach - finally settling down in the sand as dusk lost the last of its color. We laughed over the last 6 months in a quiet moment where no one really had to say how much we mattered to one another, how much this semester had mattered to all of us, how much we would miss this country.

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OCEANIA

Australia

Nicholas Alphin
Caley Bass
Univ. of Canberra
Spring 2016

I was able to travel to Queensland, Australia for 11 days where I went scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, stayed in the oldest rainforest in the world, and spent a day on the beautiful Fitzroy Island.  While in Australia, I also got to hold a koala bear, see kangaroos daily, and learn heaps of  Australian lingo.

Kayla Belk
Kayla Belk
Univ. of Wollongong
Spring 2016

Getting out of one's comfort zone is necessary to grow as a person, and Australia is a fantastic place to do so. This is because it is a foreign country yet very similar to America (but with nicer people and better coffee). It was a great first place to travel for me, and I am confident it will be for future students as well. The best gift that traveling gave me throughout my semester abroad was perspective; I now look at the world through an entirely different lens.


Alyssa Panzer

Alyssa Panzer
Univ. of Wollongong
Fall 2015
My absolute favorite experience in Australia was my Spring Break trip, where I was living on a boat for 3 days and diving the Great Barrier Reef, then driving a campervan down the east coast from Cairns to Sydney for a week. That experience followed by driving 3000 kilometers through diverse territories and cities in Australia, observing the transition from a stretch of national parks to coastal drives and numerous cities, truly made my experience in Australia rich and exciting.

Miranda Fabian
Miranda Fabian
Univ. of Wollongong
Spring 2016

When people think of traveling, their minds immediately jump to Europe. Don't get me wrong, Europe is amazing and has a lot to offer. But to me, there is truly nothing like the raw adventure, open bare plains, rich ocean life, incredible mountains and unique animals of Australia. The people are laid back and calm, while also rugged and rough. The history is intense, and something we don't learn about in the States.

MaryKate Foust
MaryKate Foust
Univ. of Wollongong - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016

Studying abroad in Australia was an amazing opportunity to experience another culture on the other side of the planet. It's a wonderful place for students to go because there is no language barrier, but there are still communities of people from all over the world. The best part of my study abroad experience was snorkeling and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. It was by far the most amazing thing I've ever done, swimming among the wildlife of Australia!

Jacqueline Hartman
Jacqueline Hartman
Murdoch Univ. - CIEE
Summer 2016

Australia is well known for Marine Biology because of its beautiful coral reefs and crystal clear waters. Perth, Australia offers historic downtown areas and beaches within a 20-mile radius. My greatest experience was being able to travel to the remote and pristine Ningaloo Reef that most locals do not even have the opportunity to visit. At Ningaloo Reef, I was able to perform a week's worth of research, hike along creeks, see wild kangaroos, and swim with a whale shark. Traveling specifically to Perth gave me an insight into true Australian culture because it is not as congested with tourists as Sydney or Melbourne. Studying abroad is about experiencing something greater and seeing a different way of doing things.


Victoria Vaillancourt
Victoria Vaillancourt
Univ. of Wollongong
Summer 2016

My experience as an international student in Australia was truly life changing. The time that I spent there helped me to realize how wonderful the world is. From exploring where I was, to diving the Great Barrier Reef, each day brought a new adventure. The faculty-led program I attended allowed me to have the comfort of a UNCW professor, while still being able to immerse myself in a new learning environment. I made lifelong friends, and learned a great deal about myself along the way. I highly recommend studying abroad in Australia, as it was the best few months of my life.

Leah Wills
Leah Wills
Univ. of Wollongong
Summer 2016

The University of Wollongong is a coastal university in Australia, and is home to many beaches. Some of my favorite memories are on the beaches, rock pools, and lighthouses that were only a ten-minute walk from my dorm. When a huge storm would come in, I would head down to Flagstaff Lighthouse with my friends and watch in amazement as the enormous waves would crash against the rocks.

Kaeli Beavr
Kaeli Beavr
Univ. of Wollongong
Fall 2016

While I did explore a lot of Australia and got to hang out with some kangaroos, I was also able to explore myself personally. Being far away and out of the norm is not easy, but it allowed me to learn more about myself, my motives, and my passions. I learned the value of independence, my passion for nutrition, and that in order to experience new things, I had to put myself out there and be vulnerable to the unexpected. Australia is similar enough to America that you will not feel out of place, but different enough that you will want to travel around, view all of their beautiful landscapes, and meet all of the welcoming Aussies.

Casey Moore
Casey Moore
Univ. of Wollongong
Fall 2016

Students should take the opportunity to study abroad because it truly is a life changing experience. Going overseas exposes you to uncomfortable situations that you ultimately  work through on your own.  I loved these challenges, because it made me feel and act like an actual adult and like a local.  I also loved to learn about Australian culture from Aborignal customs to learning their slang which I still use today!

Tanner Inscoe
Tanner Inscoe
Experiencing Australia - Faculty-Led
Summer 2016

Australia is such an awesome place to study abroad because there aren't any language barriers so it was easier for me to learn and become fully immersed within their culture. I had long, intriguing conversations with Australians and was able to really get into their mindset since they could understand me and vice versa. Being able to talk to and understand how they view Americans made me realize how ethnocentric as a nation we are and opened my eyes to realize that there is a much bigger world out there than just me here at UNCW.

Michael Parks
Michael Parks
Univ. of Wollongong
Fall 2016

Australia had always been such a fascinating place to me and after attending a few Study Abroad Fairs, I knew that I would never have such an incredible opportunity again. If students are looking for an experience that will surprise them, challenge them, and ultimately change their life forever, they should be heading 10,000 miles away to the land down under. The most enriching aspect of my experience abroad was learning critical skills that you can only gain halfway across the world; from learning to travel efficiently, how to communicate with strangers from different countries, and even budgeting (with no help from mom and dad!), I doubt that I could have ever found a better way to develop these skills.

Sydney Stark
Sydney Stark
James Cook Univ.
Fall 2016

What I really loved about Australia was experiencing the spirit of the country everywhere I went. I loved being there because no matter where I went, I felt like I was exploring my backyard; It was home. If a student wants to have an experience where they feel accepted, where they feel at home, but at the same time experience unparalleled diversity in wildlife and landscapes, then Australia should be their first pick because there's no other place like it.

New Zealand

Shelton Harder
Shelton Harder
Univ. of Auckland
Fall 2016

New Zealand is a very green and beautiful country with more animals than people. There are so many fun and recreational things to do in New Zealand like snorkel and surf. It is the optimal place to try something new and get out of your comfort zone while being surrounded by natural beauty and awesome people. The Kiwi culture is friendly and laid-back, and the spiritual Maori culture is integrated in New Zealand's culture through greetings, places, and academics. The enriching thing about New Zealand is that I learned so much about myself through exploring the country, getting out of my comfort zone, and meeting so many culturally diverse people.

Annalise Hiskey
Annalise Hiskey
Massey Univ.
Spring 2016

New Zealand is a strikingly beautiful country, becoming more unbelievable by the day. Locals are rather laid-back and easy-going, as well as English speakers. There's some native slang, but otherwise it was easy to understand them.  New Zealand also has everything a person could want in one country: the ocean, beautiful beaches, big city life, lush green meadows always in close proximity, stunning mountains, incredible nature and parks, and more. It was so enjoyable to learn about another culture, see gorgeous sites, and just spend time outdoors in a beautiful location.

Multi-Country

Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson
Art & Philosophy in Florence & Paris - Faculty-Led
Summer 2014
Florence and Paris are two of the most beautiful cities in the world. Having the opportunity to fully immerse myself into their cultures helped to not only broaden my perspective, but make me a more well-rounded individual. Studying abroad, in my book, is something everyone needs to experience.

Natasha Pate
Natasha Pate
HON 120: Cruising the Cultures of the Mediterranean - Faculty-Led
Short-Term Spring 2016
I was fortunate to travel through many countries during my study abroad experience, including Spain, France, Italy and Malta, on a Mediterranean cruise during the spring break of 2016. Riding through the streets of Barcelona on a bike tour guided by a local man was my favorite experience. I will never forget the sight of the city lights at night or the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

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