The Bucknellian

Greetings from abroad

Julia de la Parra, Contributing Writer

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Are you wondering why you haven’t seen your favorite Junior in a while? It’s probably because they’re abroad! Going abroad can be one of the most amazing experiences the University has to offer. It is often filled with food, new experiences, and new friends. However, sometimes there can be moments of confusion and culture shock as well. Here’s what a few world travelers have to say about their experiences so far:

 

Liza Jane Branch ’19

Granada, Spain

Studying abroad in a Spanish city where almost no one speaks English proved to be difficult at first. When we first got off the bus in Granada, all of our host moms had been waiting patiently for us in this little plaza and started to swarm the bus door as we exited. Anna Shipman ’19 and I met our host mom and immediately realized that she knew exactly one word in English: “money.” She started speaking rapidly in Spanish with a thick, confusing accent and honestly has not stopped since. I was worried at first that I would never be able to understand her, which was also disheartening because I major in Spanish. I panicked, as I realized I might miss important things like which key to use for which lock, and how to get to school from my apartment. But after a while, I started to acclimate. Little by little, I began to be able to decipher what she meant, and, eventually, I could understand almost everything. I think in a way, she needed to get used to my Spanish skills as well. At first, I think she was somehow under the impression that I was fluent, which was and still is so far from the truth. The language barrier was probably the toughest part of the culture shock for me, but eventually, the anxiety began to subside and I started to feel more comfortable being constantly surrounded by Spanish speakers.

 

Sarah Epsten ’19

Tours, France

You could say that it took me the longest time to figure out what my host mom does for a living. I thought she was a foot doctor for so long, and I just learned a month in that she actually does pedicures. There’s also that time I showed up to a class of 150 students and the room was empty. It had been canceled a LONG time ago, but I had no clue because I couldn’t understand the professor. We also had to learn to put our bread on the table instead of on our plates during meals.

 

Jess Quindlen ’19

Rome, Italy.

So far, being abroad has truly been an eye opening experience. In just three weeks, I have been able to discover and learn so much about new cultures and places. In addition, I have began to build relationships with the people I have met on my program. I’m truly so appreciative for this opportunity and am so excited for the rest of the upcoming semester.

 

Justin Volpe ’19 & Martin Brennan ’19

Granada, Spain

Being abroad has been life changing. You learn about yourself in ways you never would have imagined. We’re doing the University’s program en España, and it is honestly amazing. This program has been very eye-opening for all of us, and we highly suggest people who don’t have a plan for abroad to consider it. We live with host families, we learn the language and culture, and it has been transformative. The program has been incredible in teaching us the literature and culture of foreign countries, but to be able to live it is equally as rewarding. If you have any hesitations about University culture at home, take into consideration the words from Annie Collett, president of the class of 2019, “While I dearly miss my friends from abroad I am so excited that they have the opportunity to explore and understand the cultures that make up our world.” From España to all of the University: keep abroad in your mind and understand that there is a world out there that you have to explore and it is calling your name. While we aren’t here for a long time, we are here for a great time (with studies of course).

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