study abroad

The inside of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
London is amazing place for anyone to experience theatre in a variety of ways that make it accessible for people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Whether you enjoy classical plays, entertaining musicals, or cutting edge shows, there is something to see. Going on the London Performance Study was a unique experience that allowed me to be immersed in a new culture of theatre and begin to understand how drama can affect personal life.

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Early morning in Stratford-upon-Avon
When abroad, your time in a new country should be organic and personalized, not warped by the consequences of violent and irregular events. It may give you some heightened anxiety, but you can't let it ruin your trip. No one can expand their perspective of the world if they are afraid to explore. Going abroad is about accepting and interacting with a different culture. And that should be the main goal of your experience no matter the circumstances.

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Have you considered studying abroad but aren’t sure where to begin? Study Abroad in International Programs invites all UI students to discover global education opportunities during the annual study abroad fair Tuesday, September 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second floor of the University Capitol Centre.

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Sporting the Tiger Hawk around central campus of UCD.
What would we Iowa students do without our precious syllabus week? It is the only week out of the semester where we are nurtured back into the swing of attending classes. For those students who choose to take classes during a winter or summer term, syllabus week is a false promised land. My first week at University College Dublin was still nurturing even without a full syllabus week. Here are some of the biggest lessons I learned coming into a summer program abroad without having a full week to adjust.

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Taking a "sheltered" approach to exploring Dublin before I go at it alone. (picture of me in the gazebo)
It hasn’t even been a week here in Dublin and I already feel… to be honest I don’t know how I feel. Contempt, scared, badass? Does the feeling really matter though? Everyone who goes abroad for the first time goes through a mixture of emotions that has us all reeling on our heels, grasping for holding points. For me, this trip is about pushing against the boundaries of my comfort zone, which are about as widespread as jail cell bars. This is the point in the trip where orientation has happened, I’ve explored the city with my 16 great new classmates, and I’ve gotten my bearings.

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I believe this was hour six of the eight we were on the flight.
There are firsts for everything. Whether that's a first day of college, of being away from home, of feeling at home, there's always a time you can pinpoint these moments in your life that change you. Over the next six weeks or so, I'll be experiencing an entire novella of these kinds of moments.

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So many socks, so little matches...
My adrenaline is spiking as I make final decisions on what to take across the world. Is it weird if I still want to bring my blankie? How many pairs of jeans do I pack? Why do all of my socks not have matches?

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I’ve loved studying in Chambéry and I can’t wait to return to France.
Staring blankly up at the ceiling of a French hospital, I distantly understood that I was in trouble, but could find no words to explain how I felt. Speaking in French to explain my situation to the doctor was impossible, as I was no longer sure that I could speak any language. Time moved differently, jumping back and forth between clear memories of before the accident and the fuzzy, confused reality of after. My head felt eerily empty, quieter than I had ever experienced it. I had a vague sense of who I was- I knew my name, at least- but could not understand how I had gotten to be in this state.

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Showing some Hawkeye pride at the top of a cloud forest mountain with a furry friend.
I just left my home away from home. I woke up the last day of my program. I admittedly had been pretending this morning would never have to come. I had 24 hours to submerge myself as far as I can in the beauty of what is San Ramon Costa Rica.

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Photo of Farfum Ladroma
Ladroma studied French, Spanish, and International Studies: Development at the UI. A presentation about a study abroad program piqued his interest in the possibility of studying in France. A Regents Study Abroad scholarship paved the way for Ladroma’s opportunity to immerse himself in the European culture. One benefit of studying abroad that Ladroma didn’t anticipate was meeting his future wife, Ashley (DeCarlo) Ladroma, B.A, communication studies, French, at a presentation in Lyon, France. The couple grew up just 38 miles from each other (Ashley is from Harlan, Iowa), but first met in France.

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