With students preparing for studying abroad this coming fall, I decided to sit down with two of our Education Peer Ambassadors who participated in previous fall semester programs for some advice and highlights of their semesters!
Jillian Madden and Marissa Jessee are both senior EAPAs majoring in International Studies. Jillian is focusing on Japanese studies and Marissa is focusing more on Europe with a concentration in comparative politics.
Jillian studied at Akita International University in Akita, Japan as an Exchange student during the fall of 2015. She was able to take all her classes in English, but took a few Japanese culture classes. She also stayed in a dorm at the university and roomed with a local student from Japan. She loved this experience because it was a great way for her to practice her Japanese language skills. She also was able to meet several students from around the world, including US, Europe, Australia, and other parts of Asia and really enjoyed getting to know all of them.
Marissa did two programs abroad, the first being a KEES program in Munich, Germany during the summer of 2016. She was able to study German language and culture along side other students at Kentucky universities! She also spent the fall semester of 2016 in Dublin, Ireland where she participated in the Dublin Parliamentary Internship through Arcadia. For her internship she worked for parliament member Jim O’Callaghen, who is the spokesperson for justice and equality on behalf of the political party Fianna Fàil. She got to update the voter registry database for voters in apartments in Dublin Bay South. The program also allowed her to take a few classes, in which studied Irish politics, literature, and history.
Jillian and Marissa both said that their time abroad was so amazing that it wouldn’t have matter if it were in the spring or in the fall! And while I can definitely agree with that, they did tell me a little bit about why they chose fall semester and what you can have to look forward to!
Jillian appreciated the fact that she had the whole summer to prepare and to save money before going abroad. She also loved the beautiful fall weather in Japan, as she spent a lot of time hiking and got to watch the leaves change. She also enjoyed getting to experience the holidays abroad and learn about Japanese culture during Halloween and Christmas. She told me about how the traditional Christmas dinner in Japan is actually Kentucky Fried Chicken! They also have a special traditional cake they save just for Christmas. Marissa’s favorite season is fall, and she said she really enjoyed getting to experience it in a different county. She especially loves Halloween and was excited to see some of the traditions of Dublin. Marissa also enjoyed having the time to spend a week in London during her fall break!
Macy is a junior studying Accounting and Marketing with an International Business minor at the University of Kentucky. She studied abroad at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus in the fall of 2016.