Well, there’s a quick response and a lengthy response to this question.
The quick response:
The lengthy response:
A year ago, if you had asked the starry-eyed, soul-searching sophomore that I was if I had plans to go abroad, I would have responded with a “no way, José.” At the time, the classes, the clubs, the Cathedral, and the Championship all had me madly in love with Duke’s campus and I couldn’t begin to imagine being away for a semester. After a series of events that would require an explanation much longer than this post should read, I found myself having a conversation with my parents about the prospect of actually going abroad. After several conversations with upperclassmen that had already studied abroad as well as a meeting with my academic advisor, I found myself on Duke’s Global Education site looking into programs in Spain.
One of my reservations was founded in the countless graduation requirements I had accumulated by choosing to pursue a major, a minor, and a certificate. Turns out all four of my classes abroad are counting towards my degree! Once I made it over that hurdle, I started to consider my commitments on campus. With a special thanks to modern technology, I’ve been actively contributing to the performing artist selection for LDOC, writing a travel blog for Her Campus Duke, and keeping up with the FAC Executive Board, too. Not to mention my contributions to this blog from Barcelona! All of those student organizations will be right where I left them when I return, and though I miss them dearly, my involvement has hardly dwindled.
My biggest worry was being apart from my favorite Blue Devils for such a long period of time. That apprehension quickly dissolved when I started meeting loads of Dukies in Barcelona, and also had the chance to rendezvous with other students studying abroad. Last weekend, I went to Amsterdam with 7 other Blue Devils, hailing from Paris, Jerusalem, Geneva, and Madrid. Needless to say it was a fantastic weekend, and I never could have experienced anything like it back in the States.
Now, there are many, many factors that go into this decision, and there are plenty of Duke students who have satisfied their desire to explore through the dozens of fantastic travel programs that Duke offers, from the Marine Lab to DukeEngage. In my case, Barcelona was my chance to explore, and I haven’t regretted my decision for a second.
In the coming weeks, I’ll tell you a little bit more about what it’s like to take classes in a foreign country, and I’ll chat with other Duke students who are enjoying their experiences abroad, too!
Until then, hasta luego!
The views and opinions of the bloggers on this page are their own; they do not necessarily represent the views of the Undergraduate Admissions Office or of Duke University.