Study Abroad Program
Ava Hoffman '17
Concentration: Independent Concentration in Comparative Urban Development Studies
Program: University of Cape Town, South Africa
My semester in Cape Town was an incredibly enriching personal and academic experience. Situated between the mountains and ocean, Cape Town provided incredible opportunities for outdoor adventure, from climbing Table Mountain to backpacking along the Cape Point cliffs to traveling down the Garden Route on South Africa’s southern coast. Cape Town is an incredibly beautiful city, but also an extremely unequal city struggling to contend with enduring apartheid legacies. Beyond my studies at the University of Cape Town, I became involved with a grassroots community development NGO--an experience that enabled me to explore housing rights activism, community mobilization and urban upgrading in informal settlements located in the city’s periphery. My time in Cape Town was a truly formative experience, providing me with a more nuanced understanding of local and global urban development issues. I would absolutely recommend studying abroad in Cape Town.
Jonathan Baron '18
Concentration: Molecular Biology
Program: Princeton in Brazil
I decided to do the Princeton In Brazil program because I wanted to explore a new culture, see a different country, solidify my Portuguese, and have a fun summer in Rio de Janeiro. I never thought that, outside of accomplishing all of those goals, my personality and mindset would change as well. The long talks with my Brazilian family, the class discussions about Brazilian culture while experiencing it everyday, and the beach soccer-volleyball games changed my life. I fell in love with Brazil, the Portuguese language, and Brazilian culture. Furthermore, I made life-long connections with my host family, the faculty, and my classmates. When I returned home, I was certain that I wanted to pursue a Portuguese certificate and that I wanted to return to Brazil. I would have never thought that a trip to paradise would end up changing my life.
Samantha Wu '16
Concentration: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Program: University of Melbourne; Melbourne, Australia
Studying abroad at the University of Melbourne (and doing so through IFSA-Butler) was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. I fell in love with the quirky city of Melbourne with its graffiti laneways and arcades. My time abroad pushed me outside my comfort zone and enabled me to experience many thrilling “firsts.” I took classes I never would have had the chance to take in the U.S. Studying ecology and evolutionary biology in Australia has affirmed my love for the subject. I also learned more about Australian and aboriginal culture through the friendly and interesting locals I met on my travels. Studying in a cosmopolitan city and living in a residential college with other international students gave me opportunities to challenge my cultural adaptation skills and to develop lasting ties of friendship with people all over the world.
Fabiola Pina '15
Concentration: Slavic Languages and Literatures
Program: Bard-Smolny, St. Petersburg, Russia
Many elements of the Bard-Smolny program make it incredibly unique: the cultural excursions around the city, the genuine investment of the professors, and the ability to take classes alongside native Russian speakers. The courses were rich and engaging – one of them even inspired my thesis topic! The program highly encourages participants to live with a host family, which allowed me to really immerse myself in daily Russian life and culture. St. Petersburg is a beautiful city with countless museums, theaters, and gardens – there is always somewhere to go and something to do. By the end of the program, I knew that I would visit St. Petersburg again. Without a doubt, spending a semester in St. Petersburg through Bard-Smolny challenged me to grow in both my personal and academic life. I highly recommend it!
Allison Evans '15
Program: CIEE Contemporary Netherlands Studies, Amsterdam
I absolutely loved my summer in Amsterdam, even more so because Dutch spirit was relentlessly on display due to the World Cup frenzy at the time. Through my coursework, I was able to see a completely different perspective on global social and health issues. I gained a new kind of independence by learning how to navigate a foreign city, often by bicycle, on my own. Amsterdam is beautiful with idyllic canals, quaint houses, and historical museums throughout the city. CIEE organized excursions both around the Netherlands and to other countries. I was therefore able to spend quality time exploring London, Paris, Rotterdam, The Hague, and more. With CIEE, learning takes place both in the classroom and through exposure to new cultural experiences. I grew as a person in countless ways from this program, and my wanderlust was instantly sparked. Traveling will forever be a part of my life.
Peter Smith '14
Program: Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)
The coursework helped me gain a more well-rounded understanding of Brazilian culture, history, and contemporary social issues. The coursework also helped me refine my academic interests and decide on sociology as a major, as well as giving me ideas for possible thesis topics. Getting to know my way around a new city and having a lot of independence in my living situation helped me become more self-sufficient and adventurous. Having everyday conversations with Brazilians improved my Portuguese, and new friendships made me appreciate hospitality and friendliness as values to live by. I was also lucky to get an IIP placement in Rio and was stimulated academically by my responsibilities and social issues related to my work.
Temple Douglas '14
Program: Ecole Centrale, Paris, France
I was able to study physics using a different methodology, as well as take courses very concentrated on the interface between math and science. The content of the courses was well taught and was very challenging. The faculty are interested in the development of students as future engineers and provide numerous opportunities to problem solve. The international aspect of Ecole Centrale really provides a great opportunity to understand many different cultures and learn how to collaborate with people of different backgrounds. Simply from talking to people from different countries, I feel I learned not only about different cultures, but also immensely about comparative economics, politics, and European history.