International study abroad
Six semesters abroad
By Brendan Richardson
I have studied abroad for six semesters. I spent two semesters in London, one in Valencia, and three semesters as a resident assistant in Florence.
Through studying abroad, I have learned to accept and embrace different cultures and traditions, and I try to incorporate them into my everyday life.
I chose international study abroad because I thought it would help with any present and future endeavors. I wanted to learn more about European history and the arts. I made contacts that will last a lifetime. I saw sites, landmarks, paintings and statues that I have read about.
If there is any advice that I could give to future international study abroad participants, it is to go out and experience all the world has to. Do not just sit around in your apartment. You may only get one chance to have this unbelievable opportunity, so do not let it just go by.
Brendan Richardson is a second-year graduate student studying International Affairs at Florida State University. He likes traveling, working out and reading.
Ice skating in Moscow
By Kate Wright
I grew up in Florida and had never been ice skating.
Until, that is, I wobbled into Moscow’s newly opened public rink in the middle of the grandeur of the Kremlin.
I participated in Stetson’s study abroad program in Moscow as a senior Russian Studies major. It was my third full semester abroad; I’d also spent time in Avignon, France, and Geneva, Switzerland.
Before college, I’d barely traveled outside the southern United States. Now I can’t imagine a life without the experience of a warm crepe on a cold February morning under the Eiffel Tower, or a 36-hour train ride through the beautiful, frozen north of Russia. Of course, living abroad can be very difficult. Adapting to a different set of values and teaching styles was sometimes stressful. Communicating in a foreign language was a lesson in humility.
But even the difficult moments will remain indelible memories.
Kate Wright returned from studying in Moscow in last year. She graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., in May 2007.
Getting involved at Oxford
By Brendan Rogers
Growing up in the film business in California, I was definitely in my element studying abroad at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. I felt like I was living on a movie set, at the very location where many timeless stories have been conceived, written and filmed. I took two classes, mythology and the philosophy of time. It sounded like a workable schedule…until I realized that a major paper was required each week, in each class.
I also auditioned for a part in a play produced by Oxford University’s Carte Blanche Theatre Company, and was honored to land the lead role. The friendships I made and the experience of performing in one of the world’s leading theater capitals kept me energized.
Studying abroad definitely enhances one’s appreciation of history and understanding of one’s place in this vast world, and I would highly recommend it to every student.
Brendan Rogers graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. in 2006 as a double major in philosophy and theater arts.
Volunteering in Costa Rica
By Seth Roberts
As the son of international academics, I have done more than my fair share of traveling. But none of my previous voyages could prepare me for my experience with the Costa Rican division of the leadership and community service program Global Leadership Adventures (GLA).
The part of my three-week trip that touched me the most was my community service experience. My group of eight students and a mentor worked with several physically and mentally disabled kids. We were training two of them to participate in the 2008 Special Olympics in Beijing.
Watching the kids progress physically and emotionally was incredible, and it was extremely difficult to say goodbye.
I feel like I made a contribution to the world, and I know that I came out as a better person.
Seth Roberts, 17, is a senior at University High School in Los Angeles. He is an avid sports fan and hopes to become a professional sports writer.