We’re happy to get in touch with Shelby Steidl, our December 2016 IES Abroad Ambassador of the Month. She shares her take on weighing risks and how study abroad has drastically changed her future.
Shelby is a junior at the University of Minnesota where she studies Global Studies and German, and plays rugby in her free time. She is an alumna of the Spring 2016 IES Abroad Berlin – Metropolitan Studies Program.
IES Abroad: What questions are commonly asked about your time abroad? What is your response?
SS: The most common question I probably get is, "Is it safe?” In the light of recent of terrorist attacks, I can see how people have safety concerns with traveling abroad. To that, I say that you cannot hide away and just be scared of the world forever. That stuff can happen anywhere, and plus, the more you travel the less scary the world becomes.
IES Abroad: What would tell someone who is on the fence about studying abroad?
SS: Do it. Financial aid and scholarships can help. Don't worry about the language barrier or all of the little things, for the IES Abroad staff takes incredible care of their students and makes sure that they feel comfortable in their host country. Most importantly: Don’t be scared! Go on new adventures, get lost, find yourself, and have the time of your life!
IES Abroad: Why IES Abroad?
SS: I chose IES Abroad because of the wide variety of class choices and the fun excursions they had planned for the semester. I may not have gone to some of those places on my own if I had not gone with my program. Upon arrival, I found that they had the most caring and welcoming staff I could have hoped for. No regrets!
IES Abroad: Did study abroad have a lasting effect on you?
SS: I came into my study abroad experience as a Pre-Med major with a focus on radiology. I came out as a Global Studies major with a German minor. Studying abroad literally changed the course of my life and made me realize what is actually important to me. I discovered many things about myself while living in Germany, and I can honestly say it was the best experience of my life. I plan on moving back to Berlin after I graduate next fall, but for now I love working at the Learning Abroad Center on campus helping others have their own experiences abroad!
How will study abroad change your life? We can’t wait to find out. Check out our study abroad and internship programs in Berlin, here.