Do you miss seeing some faces around campus? Not sure exactly where they are? It’s most likely that they are studying abroad. The University offers a myriad of programs for students to take advantage of, as well as programs offered by other universities that students can take advantage of.
Students welcome new food, new experiences, and new friends into their lives when they study abroad; however, the change in scenery and lifestyle can also be nerve-wracking, especially at the beginning. Here are a few snapshots of some abroad experiences thus far:
Esha Sharma ’20
Saludos de Granada Bucknell! My name is Esha and I’m a junior economics and Spanish major currently studying abroad through the Bucknell en España program in Granada, Spain! Granada is a beautiful, historic city that has so much to offer, and I’m so happy and grateful that I have the opportunity to spend the next four months here. The mix of Andalucían and Islamic surroundings and Moorish architectural heritage provides so much to see and do. The transition was a little difficult going from speaking only English back home to speaking only Spanish to our professors, host families, and the locals. But I really think it has helped me improve my ability! We arrived in Granada a little over a month ago, and we have already done so much. I’ve eaten so many new foods and traveled to a few places in Spain already. A couple of my friends and I took a short bus ride for a weekend trip to the Sierra Nevada and went skiing, and we’ve also taken a group excursion to Córdoba and Sevilla. And while we are a little far from Madrid and Barcelona, one of the perks of being in southern Spain is the weather! Unlike good old Lewisburg, snow and frigid temperatures don’t exist here. Another one of my favorite things about Granada is the free tapas! Granada is famous for including a tapa with every drink you order. Tapas are generally small dishes but get better and better as you order more drinks. These could range from meatballs and french fries to croquettas to paella or calamari. I could definitely get used to free food. But the best thing we have done here has been by far watching the sunset at the Mirador de San Nicolás. This lookout point has a perfect view of the Alhambra, the Sierra Nevada, and of the entire city. It’s absolutely breathtaking. The whole group went, enjoyed watching the sun go down and ate some yummy gelato. I am extremely excited to see what more Granada and Europe has in store for me! Hasta luego Bucknell!
Soni Madnani ’20
When the average college student thinks “abroad,” they think of stepping outside of their comfort zone and discovering a new sense of self. For me, this has meant endless tapas, almost daily siestas, and an introduction to Spanish history and culture. Instead of finding a new sense of self, I think I have been able to discover a new-found love for Spain. Granada is the perfect place to fall in love with this country. We are literally living in what was once the capital of Moorish Andalusia. A stroll through the streets means you’ll probably get a glimpse of the famous Alhambra and hear some Flamenco music along the way. The mezcla of Spanish and Moorish culture in the city brings it alive. The Arab architecture that fills the streets sometimes makes you forget you’re in Spain but it tells a story about the rich history of the country. Obviously, I’ve only been here for a short month but I already feel like I have learned more than I ever would in a classroom at Bucknell. But hey, that’s the whole point of traveling abroad, right?
Izzy Wisen ’20
Greetings from Amsterdam! Moving from New Amsterdam (New York) to its namesake city for four months was an easy transition for me because everyone who comes here is pretty laid back and looking to make new friends. Hardest part, hands down, is the lack of macaroni and cheese in Europe; it’s been pretty rough, but I’ve managed to swap out my late night favorite for fries with mayonnaise on the way home from center city to my apartment. Sounds weird, but it’s delightful here. Something that makes this city special is the biking culture; I bike when I go to class and when I visit museums, and it’s a great way to get around. It is hard to choose a favorite memory of my time here so far, but something I have cherished deeply has been turning the navigation off on my phone and meandering around the streets of this special place. If you’re thinking about studying abroad in a European city, consider Amsterdam. It’s charming, safe, progressive, and a real good time!
Cameron Wade ’20
Greetings from abroad! My name is Cam and I am a junior at Bucknell and am currently having a wonderful time across the pond in Tours, France! It was definitely an interesting transition coming here from Bucknell but I feel that I have adjusted to the lifestyle (or “mode de vie”) and am enjoying the opportunity to culture myself (much needed). I am really looking forward to all the museums, especially those for early modern French history and Impressionist art! In addition, I am quickly becoming dependent on quality bread to function properly – I genuinely believe I am averaging three croissants a day. My favorite part of France so far has been the café culture, which has allowed me to have interesting and memorable conversations with people of very different backgrounds. I have learned something new with each one! I am so happy to have had the opportunity to be here through the Bucknell En France program and have made a ton of new friends. It has been a très bien experience!
Layla Gordon ’20
A week and a half ago I was on the red-eye to Kilimanjaro Airport, peeking through the crack in the blinds as travelers slept around me. In the 10 mornings since, I’ve woken up before sunrise to the greetings of hundreds of bird species, and every night I’ve gone to bed to the sound of crickets. This Sunday, I was with a friend who was buying a knife painting (a painting etched out on a coated canvas with a knife), and I found a picture of the Obama family hanging on the wall between two paintings. The shop owner told me he put it up when Obama was elected and hasn’t taken it down since. The day before, I was on Safari (which means journey in Swahili) in Manyara National Park, and for 10 minutes we were surrounded by a herd of foraging elephants lifting their trunks to sniff us curiously. Studying in rural Tanzania, I live differently than my friends at accredited European institutions. I hand wash my clothes and brush my teeth next to lizards, but I live a part of the world that doesn’t have a place in The New York Times, and I study species that may not exist in 20 years. I didn’t come to Tanzania for a study abroad experience, though. I came because the human life and wildlife here weren’t gonna appear on the streets of Lewisburg, or anywhere else for that matter, and if I didn’t come to see it now, perhaps I never would have.