University of Iowa

Meet our spring 2019 study abroad correspondents

February 3rd, 2019

We're excited to announce our Study Abroad Correspondents for the Spring 2019 semester! These unique individuals were selected from a competitive pool of writers to tell the story of their destination and represent the voice of University of Iowa students while abroad. Throughout the semester, these students will share their experiences through writing and photography to be published weekly here on International Accents. 

 

Sid Peterson

Sid Peterson is a double major in journalism and mass communications and international studies at the University of Iowa. A native of Ankeny, Iowa, Sid will be spending her semester in Prague, Czech Republic, on the USAC Studies program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroadAs crazy as it may sound, the first time I knew I wanted to go abroad in college was in middle school. I remember when my French teachers had former students come and present to my class, and from that moment on I have always been very interested in studying in Europe!

How did you pick your program? After lots of research and help from my advisors, I ended up choosing USAC Prague because the program aligned best with my majors and travel goals. I definitely spent a lot of time researching on my own to find a program and city that worked the best for me!

What are you most excited for? I am most excited to have the entire semester to explore and really get to know Prague! I am excited to experience being a local: buying groceries from the local market, discovering new coffee shops, and of course, making connections overseas with professionals and classmates!

 

Lee Sailor

A native of Rolfe, Iowa, Lee Sailor is a political science major and pursing a minor in history at the University of Iowa. Lee will be spending the semester in Germany on the IEW Freiburg European Union program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroadI was interested in studying abroad before I even started at the university, however initially I did not think it was something I would be able to afford. It was not until winning the Bijou Horizons Scholarship in Fall 2017 and my subsequent visits to the Study Abroad office to discuss aid available to me that I realized studying abroad was a realistic option for me.

How did you pick your program? As political science major/history minor I selected the IES EU program both for its relevance to my areas of study and the independent study opportunities available. I will get to witness the 2019 European elections first hand and am less than a day away from numerous historic sites across Europe.

What are you most excited for?  The IES EU program includes a field trip to the UK that will take place during the 29th of March, the day the UK officially leaves the EU. I am incredibly excited to witness and study this unique event first hand. 

 

Greta Larget

Greta Larget is a music composition major at the University of Iowa.  A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Greta will be spending the semester at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia, on the Iowa Regents Semester in Australia program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroadI've known that I wanted to study abroad in college from a young age, I just wasn't sure where I wanted to go or if my major program would allow me that flexibility. I started working with both the study abroad office and my major program early on in my college career to see if there was any possibility for me to go abroad. Once I was able to find a time and a schedule that worked with both offices and that I enjoyed, I knew that I would do anything to make this opportunity a reality.

How did you pick your program? I knew that I wanted to study in an English speaking country, so that narrowed the selection from the start. I was also planning to finish up most of my general education requirements while abroad while taking classes for both my major and certificate, so finding a program that allowed me the flexibility to achieve all of those things was important to me. After checking different programs offered through Iowa, I settled on the Iowa Regents Semester Abroad Program at the University of Tasmania-Hobart due to the strong programs they had in all of my areas of interest. Also, venturing to the southern hemisphere for the first time was an opportunity I just couldn't pass up.

What are you most excited for? I am most excited for the environment and the people because Australia (and specifically Hobart) is known for its gorgeous nature and friendly locals, so I think having the chance to study there will be very inspirational. I will also be taking an electronic music class for the first time which is an area of study that I'm particularly interested in learning more about, so I can't wait to see what kinds of things I will learn in the classroom.

 

Zane Johnson

Zane Johnson is a biomedical engineering major and Spanish minor at the University of Iowa. He will be spending his semester in Uruguay on the USAC Montevideo program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroadI knew I wanted to study abroad before I even arrived on campus freshman year. I did a gap year as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Colombia and knew I wanted to finish my Spanish minor abroad.

How did you pick your program? I had a few criteria for choosing a program. The first was that it had to offer enough Spanish credits to finish my Spanish minor. The next was that it had to offer housing with a host family. That got me down to a handful of programs that I had to weigh as to cost and uniqueness of the experience. Uruguay is an uncommon country to study abroad at, and It is very economical, so it had to be my choice. 

What are you most excited for? I am most excited to perfect my Spanish, adding another 4 months to living abroad in a Spanish speaking country. I'm also very excited to live as a foreigner. As a foreigner, everything down to daily life activities is exciting. 

 

Abby Willging

Abby Willging is a neuroscience major and pre-med student at the University of Iowa. A native of Albany, Illinois, Abby will be spending the semester in Spain on the USAC Valencia Program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroad? I have pretty much always known that I want to study abroad. I’ve had a travel itch since I was a little girl, as my dad drug me around the country on road trips. As soon as I got the chance, I started looking into finding a program.

How did you pick your program? As a pre-med student, I was really worried about finding the right program. There aren’t very many options for health majors and I was worried a semester abroad would put me way too far behind. But, I visited the study abroad office on campus and they helped me find USAC Valencia, which was where I wanted to go, had the classes I needed, and was actually cheaper for me than paying out-of-state tuition for the semester. 

What are you most excited for? I’m most excited to see literally EVERYTHING. Valencia has such a rich environment and there’s so much to do. Plus, once you’re in Europe, it's fairly easy and cheap to travel to a lot of countries. I know I have to see Italy and Greece while I’m here, so stay tuned!

 

Megan Schoebelen

Megan Schnoebelen is a UI journalism and communications major from Des Moines, Iowa. She will be spending the semester at the University of Newcastle in Australia on the Iowa Regents Semester in Australia program.  

When did you know you wanted to go abroadThe decision to study abroad came up randomly at the end of my sophomore year at Iowa. I had friends that had told me how amazing Australia was when they studied abroad, and something about that country specifically has always intrigued me. After doing research on the country and the different programs/universities I could go to, I knew that Australia was the place for me!

How did you pick your program? Everyone asks me why I want to go to Australia over Europe (which most people chose). The lifestyle of Australians has always been an interest of mine. To me it seemed like America, but better! It is also a lot safer than some countries. I chose Iowa Regents and University of Newcastle specifically because after going over all the programs in Australia, it seemed to have to best classes that fit my major and it also was less expensive than the others.

What are you most excited for? I am most excited to get out of my comfort zone. Growing up I have pretty much stayed within it. I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, so even coming to The University of Iowa, where most of my friends also came, wasn't much of a stretch for me. Even though it kind of scares me to go on this adventure all on my own, I know that every time I step out of my comfort zone I learn so much about not only the new experience but about myself as well. I am very excited to learn about a new culture and about the people in Australia! 

 

 

Maggie Fischer

Maggie Fischer is a German and history major at the University of Iowa spending the 2018-19 year in Germany on the Academic year in Freiburg program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroadI knew I wanted to study abroad when I first started classes at the University of Iowa. Studying German is a passion of mine and I knew that to fully know the language I needed to spread time abroad.

How did you pick your program? I picked the Academic Year in Freiburg program because it was the program with the longest duration and the strongest system of support that catered toward students who wanted to spend time in Germany.

What are you most excited for? I am most excited for a spring semester really spent deepening the relationships and connections I have made in Freiburg over the last fall semester. By being able to experience two consecutive semesters abroad I am able to create not just a study abroad experience here in Freiburg but a home as well.

 

Mitch McCarthy

A native of Iowa City, Iowa, Mitch McCarthy is an international studies major at the University of Iowa. He will be spending the semester Alicante, Spain, on the USAC Alicante program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroadI knew that I wanted to go abroad after talking to some of my friends who had already returned back to campus. Hearing their stories of traveling, meeting new friends, and learning about foreign cultures, all while practicing a new language was too great of an opportunity for me to miss out on!

How did you pick your program? I chose my program based on its location, classes offered, and price. Being a Spanish student, I knew I wanted to go to Spain, and the USAC program in Alicante offered me the best course options while staying within my budget. Lastly, being a ten-minute walk from the beach made my final decision to study in Alicante an obvious one!

What are you most excited for? I am most excited to gain a wider global view while living abroad this semester. Being surrounded by peers with different backgrounds and opinions than I am used to in Iowa City will help me to look at the world and its problems from a different angle. 

 

Elizabeth Swanson

Elizabeth Swanson is a business analytics and Spanish major at the University of Iowa. A native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Elizabeth will be spending the semester in Madrid, Spain, on the USAC Madrid program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroadOne of the reasons I chose Iowa in the first place was all of the amazing study abroad opportunities they could offer. I took advantage of the amazing study abroad office and staff my freshman year, and studied abroad for a month in Costa Rica the summer after my freshman year – but knew that I needed a longer time to be immersed in the language before I could become completely fluent. Ever since I returned from that first trip, I knew I needed to study abroad again!

How did you pick your program? I selected USAC Madrid for two main reasons. The first, I am absolutely in love with the city of Madrid, its culture, people, food, social scene. Second, USAC’s courses are pre-determined to automatically transfer over to supplement my Spanish degree coursework!

What are you most excited for? I’m excited to meet all of the amazing people here in Spain and try all the different foods I possibly can. Hopefully, by the time I come back to Iowa, I’ll be able to make some mean paella and tortilla Española!

 

Addison Bushnell

Addison Bushnell is an English and creative writing major at the University of Iowa. A native Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Addison will be spending her semester in Suva, Fiji, on the ISEP University of the South Pacific program

When did you know you wanted to go abroadI've known I wanted to study abroad for a long time, maybe since middle school! I've always been a lover of travel, so for years, I've dreamed about living and learning in a faraway place. Study abroad has been a top priority for me in terms of my college experience, and I've been visiting the Study Abroad office since I was just a freshman!

How did you pick your program? I knew I wanted to study somewhere unique, and a bit off the beaten track. I considered many different countries but eventually chose Fiji because I wanted to experience living in a non-Western country. I was also drawn by the variety of outdoor experiences in Fiji!

What are you most excited for? I'm most excited to make life long friends that will explore Fiji with me! I also can't wait to learn about Fijian culture, take some cool new classes, and have fun at the beach and in the ocean!

 

Jazmine Davis

Jazmine Davis is a psychology major at the University of Iowa pursuing a Spanish minor. A native of Steamwood, Illinois, Jazmine will be spending the semester in San Sebastian, Spain, on the USAC San Sebastian program. 

When did you know you wanted to go abroadFor as long as I can remember, I have always dreamt of traveling the world, finding incredible adventures around every corner, and meeting people of different backgrounds and cultures. When I was applying for college, I knew that studying abroad would be the best opportunity to live out those dreams and make them a reality!

How did you pick your program? As a Psychology major with a Spanish minor, I knew that I wanted to find a study abroad program that would allow me to continue my education thoroughly, while also allowing me to experience an authentic culture. I chose to go to San Sebastian, Spain, through USAC because this site was everything wrapped in one beautiful, coastal-city paradise! 

What are you most excited for? I am most excited about the countless opportunities that will come during, as well as after, my experience abroad. Everyone always told me that studying abroad will truly change your life, and I am ready to come back with an entirely new perspective and understanding of the world we live in! 

 

 

 

 

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