Study Abroad Experience Winter 2019

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My name is Alivia Forshey and I studied abroad during the winter term in 2019. I absolutely loved my experience and really could write for days about how much fun I had. There were twelve BGSU students on the trip including my sister and one of our good friends. We studied in Nantes, France and Brussels, Belgium. The 3-week program was perfect for me because I am a senior and would not have the opportunity to go for a full semester.

A few of the most memorable experiences I had was visiting places I never thought I would see in real life. Site like the Eiffel Tower, the Roman Coliseum, the bikes around Amsterdam and so much more were incredible to see in person. We ended up taking trips to Strasbourg, France; Rome, Italy; Luxembourg City, Luxembourg; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Paris, France on top of studying in Nantes and Belgium! Each of these places had very unique people and cultures and it was amazing to be around. One thing that really differed depending on where we were was how people drove, which is something I never would have thought twice about! Another big difference was paying for water, which was such a strange concept for me. I usually drink a lot of water at home but in Europe they typically have wine or beer with every meal. It seems like we ran into something like this every day; a small difference that gave us the chance to learn so much more about a group of people and a culture that wasn’t in the US.

My favorite city was Amsterdam because everybody there rides bikes and there are canals everywhere. Also, I thought some of the historical homes and buildings were the prettiest there. We took a canal tour of the city on a small boat and also did a walking tour. The following day, we did the Heineken experience which was one of the most hands on museums I have ever been to. Next time I go, I’d like to rent a bike for the day and bike around the city. My second favorite destination was Rome. There was so much to see and do that we ran out of time even though we were there almost three days. We bought a package that included tours of the Coliseum, Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Roman Forum. On top of these places we also walked to the Trevi Fountain, which was the coolest fountain ever (and yes we definitely made a wish and tossed a coin in!) Also, I could write a book about how amazing European food and drinks are… soooo good!

The actual school part was fun too. We met so many kids from around the world in our classes and ended up going to dinners, lunches, and other events with them. It gave us a chance to learn so much more about how people across the world live. We also went a week early and spent the first week with a French family and that was amazing because we experience the genuine way that French people live. We also celebrated New Years Eve (Bonne Anne) with them. Overall, my experience abroad was one I wouldn’t trade for anything. I learned so much and came back with an entire new perspective on the world!

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