Student Experiences

Student Spotlight

If you have participated in a Study Abroad experience or are currently abroad, we want to hear all about it! Please join us in the promotion of international education by contributing to our new LMU Study Abroad blog. Review the Student Experience Rules & Regulations and then submit your entry. We eagerly look forward to reviewing your submissions and thank you in advance for your participation!


INTERNATIONAL PASSÉ!

These dance majors got together one last time before they leaped across the world to begin their international adventures! From Madrid to London to France and even all the way to Japan, they are beginning their adventure of a lifetime! They cannot wait to come back and share their international adventures with LMU and the dance community and they want to encourage other dance majors to do the same! With careful planning and determination studying abroad as a dance major is a realistic goal. We wish them all the best here from the study abroad office!

Pictured from the left, Rachel Head, Khayla Golucke, Leslie Irwin, Tegan Hayek, Kelsey Glidewell, Sean Chong-Umeda, and Genna BloomBecker.


The Semester of a Lifetime
--Marisa Cervantes
  Bonn New Europe Fall 2013

The Fall 2013 semester that I studied abroad in Bonn was an experience that I will never forget. My friend Mirian and I chose to go together, and we were amazed with all that Europe had to offer us. I was able to visit a total of 8 countries and get to know a different part of the world. Every new place brought a feeling of excitement and disbelief, I kept saying to myself "I can't believe I'm really here!"

I went during my senior year, and I have to say that it was the last thing on my bucket list to do while I was a student at LMU. It was the best way I could have asked to start my last year here and has left me with a feeling of accomplishment to have achieved my dream of living in another country and traveling through Europe.

London

The first picture is when Mirian and I traveled to London to meet up with our sorority sisters who were studying abroad there. It was a wonderful way to explore the city, being that they knew where to go and showed us more than just the tourist attractions. After being surrounded by the German language, it was nice to go somewhere where they spoke English and I could understand everything that was going on!

The second picture is one that I captured one night while walking through the city center in Bonn. I spent so much time there during the semester, trying all the different restaurants and cafes, shopping, and immersing myself into the culture.I remember walking around one night and just thinking, "This is my home for the next few months", and I am happy to say that it really did feel like home for me.

Trevi Fountain

The third picture is from my last weekend trip to Rome. It has always been my dream to visit Italy, and it was everything that I had hoped for. This is a picture of me doing the coin-toss at the Trevi Fountain, which says that I will return to Rome one day.


 

Everyday in HK
--Courtney Cowings
Chinese University Hong Kong

Having been back from my semester exchange for almost a year now, I’ve still be trying to reflect on it all and put into words how life changing this experience was for me. One way I wanted to share my experience is by sharing the first blog post I made before leaving for my 4 month adventure to Hong Kong Fall 2012…

“I appreciate all my family and great friends that asked me to keep a blog because I want a way to remember this exciting experience as I am sure it WILL change my life and me as a person. Some of you may think you are getting the opportunity to live vicariously through me ;) but honestly I am the one gaining the most out of having my friends and family on this journey with me. I know that this experience would be a lot less fun if I didn't have anyone to share it with, so thank you guys!


As for why I chose Hong Kong.... hmmm... for so many reasons, the first being that I wanted an opportunity to truly understand a completely different culture. I want to eat like Chinese do, speak like them, live like them and hopefully retain knowledge like they do :) hehe. When I look back on the way I've grown up and the things I have been faced with in life, I don't even know how I have been able to dream so big. Going to Hong Kong for me is taking my future into my own hands, and not allowing my shortcomings to overcome me. I can't begin to describe how truly blessed I am and thankful that I've been given this opportunity. When I was 13 and living in a motel, the idea of me being a junior in college and on my way to study in Hong Kong for 4 months would have been unimaginable. Not everyone who comes from a past like mine makes it out with so many accomplishments. I have something to be proud of. I am someone to be proud of. I don't acknowledge often enough how far I've come. I promise all of you I will get all I can get from this experience. I promise I will enjoy this journey not as the girl from a bad background or the girl who's lucky to have made it out, but as the woman who isn't afraid to go after what I believe in.”

I haven’t read this post since coming back from HK, so reading it brought back so many of my early memories of my exchange. I was so afraid. Now, I have a deep love for Hong Kong and have seriously considered living there for a year or few. One of the greatest experiences I had was a dinner, towards the end of my exchange, hosted by the warden of my hostel for all the students living on my floor. There were noodles, chicken, duck, eggplant, rice, and even apple pie all laid out on one table. I felt like I belonged in that moment and that these local Hong Kong girls had become my family. I sought after a cultural immersion experience and in this moment, standing and laughing around this long rectangle table trying to get the last of the pie, that I had found it.

To read more about Courtney's experience in Hong Kong check out her blog EveryDay in HK!


Konichiwa! - Greetings from Nihon!
 
"Throughout my life, I have always envisioned living and breathing inside of Japan. As a student at Sophia University, a Jesuit institution located in the heart of Tokyo, I have encountered innumerable and fantastic experiences that I shall not soon forget. Ranging from the close friends that I have grown to know - who hail from myriad regions all around this wide world - to participating in intriguing courses taught by passionate instructors, each and every day brings with it new insight and understanding into this global society that we call our own.

Moreover, I have witnessed cultural and societal viewpoints that have allowed me to more fully establish my own personal system of values and of beliefs. Ultimately, studying abroad has given me the opportunity to more fully understand that there is no one way of living life. Indeed, there are oh so many, and I am grateful to have encountered a truly unique nation from a first-person perspective. There is no doubt in my mind that this journey overseas has strongly increased my worldview and molded my life.

Following are various images of a number of activities that I participated in.

Picture 1 is of my trip to Shinjuku Gyoen at the tail-end of the Hanami season. In the background, the  sakura - also known of as cherry blossoms - are in bloom. Over a brief period of but a few weeks, they come into their own, and - just as quickly - face away. Therefore, sakura are highly valued and appreciated in Japan, and their beauty may be seen across the islands of Japan.‌

 
 

Picture 2 is of your friendly narrator's descent into the fascinating world of Japanese matsuri. Matsuri - Japanese for festival - are held across the entirety of Japan, and are a highly-traditional hallmark of Japanese community-building and cultural remembrance. Their topics range greatly, but the one pictured did involve parading an 'Omikoshi': a portable shrine for transporting the deity of the shrine at-hand. I was asked to participate in the transporting of this shrine, and we maneuvered across Ueno, Tokyo, for the better portion of one Sunday afternoon. It was a marvelous time, as the shrine demanded being carried by dozens of men and women, alternating every so often. What a traditional and valuable experience to have participated in! Undeniably, it was one of the highlights of my time thus far.

(Note: This picture's credit goes to Ayako Suzuki, who took the photo).

Picture 3 is of myself and the world's largest tennis racket, spared no expense.

--Andrew Odeh
Sophia University
Japan


Hannah attended Saint Louis University in Madrid during the Fall 2012 semester. Below she has shared some of her experiences while abroad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friend Heather & I went on a weekend trip from Madrid to Marrakech and our Moroccan friends from school had recommended that the best place for camel rides was La Palmeraie. After hailing down a cab in the dirt streets of the old city, we drove out of the Kasbah and ventured into an area filled with palm trees and camels. The owners gave us traditional dress and headscarves to wear & we were off on our first camel riding experience! (Marrakech, Morocco; November 2012)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo was taken in Segovia, Spain on a day trip from Madrid in early September 2012. Alcázar de Segovia is the castle in that can be seen in the background and our tour guide had led us down what ‌felt like hundreds of stairs to get down to this spot for the picture-perfect view.
Pictured left to right: Woody Liu, Megan Unger, Kailey Strachan, Hannah McDermott, Abby Smith, Kendall Andronico, Kevin Cacabelos, & Marissa Lombrano.
(Segovia, Spain; September 2012)

 

 

 

 

 


Dear Study Abroad,

We have had a great time in Australia so far! We both live on campus in Hawthorn, which is one of the suburbs of Melbourne. The city is only a short train ride away and there's so much to do and see there. We've gone on tons of adventures including zip lining in the forest, a sunset harbor cruise, seen the Sydney Opera House, swam with the fish in the reef, and plenty of shopping. We've both had a chance to see some of Australia's native animals and get up close and personal with kangaroos and koalas. For our semester break we went to New Zealand with 3 of the friends we've made here and drove a camper around the whole South Island. We saw tons of sheep, mountains, and glaciers. This past weekend we spent the day in the sun at the Caulfield Cup Horse Races, which is part of the local spring carnival. We've met and made friends with people from Australia, the US, and all over the world. We've experienced Australian culture and share some of our culture with them as well. It's been heaps of fun!
 
Cheers,
 
Amy Regnier & Hayley Sheridan 
Melbourne, Australia
Swinburne University of Technology
Fall 2012

 


 
   

"After taking Spanish for four years, and still not fluent, I was eager to go abroad and fully immerse myself in a Spanish speaking country. After visiting the study abroad office and learning about the San Sebastián exchange program, I realized it was the ideal program for a full immersion experience. Situated on the coast of Northern Spain, in the Basque region near the border of France, San Sebastián is a lively city with beautiful beaches. This program arranges for students to live in apartments with other students just walking distance from the university. Hoping to improve my Spanish, I inquired about possible home stay opportunities and the school referred me to an amazing family who has often housed foreign exchange students. Although I was nervous in the days leading up to my departure, upon my arrival I was immediately comforted by the friendly nature of the Basque people in this small beach town. My host family picked me up from the airport and drove me to their house that would soon become a second home for me. They were incredibly loving and kind; staying with a host family offered all the comforts of living at home paired with the freedom to enjoy my sojourn to the fullest. At the Universidad de Deusto, three of my four courses were taught in Spanish which contributed significantly to my improved comprehension of the language. Additionally, the university coordinated a variety of social events within the city that fostered new and lasting friendships for me. To this day, I am still so close with the friends I made at the Universidad de Deusto because of our shared experiences and love for Donostia. Known for its awesome surf spots, authentic cuisine and exciting nightlife, San Sebastián is an incredibly fun and beautiful city to spend a semester, or even better a year, studying. After my five month sojourn I am so happy to have gained this monumental experience and to have successfully achieved my goal of becoming fluent in Spanish."

Camile Jimenez 
San Sebastian, Spain
Universidad de Deusto
Spring 2011