Alexandra (Alex) Fox, child development senior, spent fall quarter of her sophomore year in Bengaluru, India. She says it was the best decision she has ever made, “Everything about my experience there was unique, beautiful and eye-opening. Despite standing out amongst the locals, I felt at home very quickly and adapted to the differences in culture.”
She was so entranced by this trip that she decided to spend the following fall quarter in Oslo, Norway, studying special education. Alex says, “Although Norway was almost the opposite of India culturally, I once again found myself in the craziest and most incredible places.” She feels that her study abroad adventures have dramatically changed her goals and aspirations for the future.
Anna Black-Hogins, child development senior, studied abroad in Florence, Italy, fall quarter of 2015. During her four months abroad, she was immersed in the Italian passion for food, wine and art, and she traveled to different European countries on the weekends. Anna studied the Italian culture and language, and she had the opportunity to teach English in a fourth grade class, where she was able to utilize what she learned in her child development classes and observe the Italian educational system. She says, “I highly recommend taking time to study abroad during your time at Cal Poly. All the classes heavily practiced what we know best: Learn by Doing. During class, we would walk to the Gucci museum to follow the fashion trends of Italy, to the market to learn how to communicate with local vendors, to the Academia to be mesmerized by the David, to cheese and wine tastings to be more appreciative of quality products, and so much more. Florence was my home away from home, and I’m hoping I’ll be back there in no time!”
Ashlyn Reth, child development senior, spent fall of 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She calls the four months the best of her life. “I wanted to challenge myself and studying abroad in a place as exotic as Southeast Asia seemed like the perfect fit,” she says. “From visiting temples and spending days at the beach, to eating bugs and riding elephants, Thailand was such an amazing experience, and it taught me things I never could have learned in the traditional classroom setting. I would highly recommend studying abroad to everyone.”
Mary (Molly) Menotti, psychology senior, studied abroad in Florence, Italy, during fall quarter of 2014. She shares that studying abroad was truly a life-changing experience, “I gained many amazing memories and learned so much about myself and the world around me. It made my college experience at Cal Poly that much more valuable and opened my eyes to new perspectives, new people and new passions.” She has since become a study abroad peer advisor in the international center, and she loves promoting international study for students.
Sophie Richman, child development junior, studied in Valladolid, Spain through Cal Poly Global Programs in the summer of 2015. She learned about the culture, history and societies of Spain. She also learned more about the language and got more comfortable with her speaking skills. Sophie says, “I had a lot of fun studying by the beach eating paella, gelato and tapas!”
Victoria Valjean Viksne, psychology senior, traveled to Valladolid, Spain during fall quarter of 2014. She says, “I loved everything about my experience in Spain. From my host family, to my program group, to the food, dancing and culture, it was all an amazing adventure. Two of my favorite memories are surfing in San Sebastian with the locals and dancing until 6 a.m. at the discotecas.”