Top 10 Study Abroad Blog Quotes of Fall 2016

As our Fall 2016 student bloggers wrap up their semesters abroad, we couldn’t help but feel nostalgic. With more than 400 posts this semester, we’ve really enjoyed following along on their study abroad adventures. As our Spring 2017 student bloggers prepare to begin their own journeys soon, we want to take a moment to highlight some of the most memorable posts from this semester.

Here are our top 10 favorite quotes from Fall 2016 IES Abroad student bloggers:

“I know studying abroad is benefiting me in a real, tangible way. I am asking less permission, I am (trying) to be less apologetic, and I am moving closer every day to holistically embracing and accepting myself. The prolonged distance from my familiar surroundings has forced me to utilize qualities I didn’t know I had.”

Reevaluating my Value Judgements as the “spokesperson for Europe” by Shana Pike, IES Abroad Amsterdam (Lawrence University)

“It was this trip I realized that it is okay to get lost and actually look at a map. I was without the Internet; my phone was basically a device to listen to music. I had just spent the entire day without checking Instagram, or updating my Snapchat story. And it was great. It was like it was just London and I for the day with no obligations or worries. I chose my path, and was so happy…Go unplugged, get lost, and use a map.”

Unplugged by Kalista Sutton, IES Abroad London (Le Moyne College)

“I realized what home is for me during this trip. I learned that my heart belongs to traveling. Thus, my home is wherever I am traveling. The location, it does not matter. All that matters is that I am experiencing something new and seeing the beauty of this world. But traveling alone will not make you happy (at least, it won’t make me happy). Being able to share the wonderful moments you experience with others of similar eagerness is what makes the experience more memorable and enjoyable. So yeah, my home is where the heart is. Right now, my home is Chile.”

What is home? By Sheron Matthew, IES Abroad Santiago (Wofford College)

“If college is the process of transforming from a child into an adult, study abroad is the honors version: The pace is a little quicker, the work is just a little more difficult, but the payoff is that much more satisfying.”

Getting Sick and Getting Pushed Out of Your Comfort Zone by Maria Oldenburg, IES Abroad Buenos Aires (Case Western Reserve University)

“But, perhaps, the greatest lesson is learning that my culture is more than skin deep. I can be Japanese-Filipino and American, and that’s okay. I do not have to choose. I am free to be myself, and to create an identity that doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of what an Asian-American should be. Ultimately, this experience has helped me to navigate an ever-evolving identity and to remember that I am greater and more complex than my ancestry, and that’s okay.”

The Pressure to be Japanese by Emily Okikawa, IES Abroad Tokyo (Franklin & Marshall College)

“Going to a new country, in a whole new continent; a place where I don’t really know someone I am close to, is definitely something new. I have all kinds of emotions right now, but I can’t really put those into words. That’s why New Zealand, right now, is a box, and I honestly can’t wait to open it, to dive into it, and to get all kinds of beautiful, exciting, scary, and crazy things out of it.”

New Zealand is: NEW by Renato Dornelas, IES Abroad Auckland (Skidmore College)

“While it’s both exciting and a relief to be enjoying myself abroad so much that it feels like no time has passed at all, I do wish that time would slow down just a bit…Despite my premature nostalgia, I’m more encouraged than ever to live life here to its fullest. Because when your time in a place is fixed, there really isn’t any to lose.”

Eight and a Half Weeks by Nicole Von Wilczur, IES Abroad Granada (Bowdoin College)

“I like the version of me who volunteered to be in a play, who takes disasters and turns them into weekends in Italy, who figures out trains and buses and how to get to castles, who takes dramatic selfies in Volterra overlooking Tuscany, who speaks French even when French people try to speak English to her, who has a favorite boulangerie, a Université de Nantes ID, and a coat pocket carrying old Paris metro tickets. I don’t want to fall back into the comfort of home and lose everything I’ve found here.”

A Few Days Left in Nantes by Suzan Frierson, IES Abroad Nantes (University of Redlands)

“Feeling okay with change is something that is new to me, but it is a characteristic that I will take with me beyond Cape Town. South Africa has shown me what it means to be easy going and flexible when I need to be. My life path is by no means set in stone, and based on the incredible experiences I’ve had over the past semester, I am beyond excited to see what’s in store for me.”

Adaptability is Everything by Claire Quinn, IES Abroad Cape Town (Gettysburg College)

“In three short months, I have learned more about myself than I would have in any other way. I've gone on many unbelievable adventures, with the greatest people who I'm so thankful to have met. I've gained new perspectives and a new appreciation for the world. I've learned what it means to be a global citizen and that many issues out there deserve a lot more attention. I've only touched such a small percentage of the world, and it's exciting to know that I will continue to set foot in many new places.”

It’s Not Goodbye Yet by Abigail Grinberg, IES Abroad Milan (Brandeis University)


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