As students prepare for summer plans, many will seek opportunities abroad. Troy University’s Study Abroad program offers students and faculty the chance to gain international awareness as well as life-long memories. Several students who traveled in 2018 shared their stories and what the experience meant to them.
People keep asking me what my favorite part of my trip was, and I always tell them, “all of it!” From the moment we stepped into the airport in Atlanta, to the moment we picked up our baggage a week later, I enjoyed every second of it. The idea that I was surrounded by so many people that were from so many exotic places was constantly on my mind. I got to experience a completely different culture that I enjoyed very much. When I return to Ireland, I want to just rent a car and explore everything that’s out there. I want to stay in all of the old, beautiful B&Bs and become a native, if only for a little while.
This trip changed my life forever. I will never forget my first time out of the country and the wonderful experience that I had, and not just in Ireland but even here in Troy with the process leading up to departure. I made many new friends and will be going back to Ireland as soon as I can. I have already been telling everyone about my experience in Ireland, but I have also been recommending that they travel through our study abroad program. All I want to do for the rest of my life is travel and see the world, and I am so grateful that Troy helped me begin my adventure.
-Nathan Ward, Ireland, School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Sport Management
Katie Breland traveled with Troy University dance to Pietrasantra, Italy in the summer of 2018.
Never would I have ever dreamed that I would have the privilege and honor of traveling across the world and have the opportunity to dance while I was there. Studying abroad in Pietrasanta, Italy was one of the best experiences of my life. While the larger cities like Milan and Rome were absolutely breathtaking and full of art and history (and many tourists), I loved our time in Pietrasanta more than anything else. Pietrasanta was a fairly smaller part of Italy, so by the end of the 2.5 weeks, we felt like locals. Shop owners knew us by name, and we had discovered the best place to get a cheap sandwich or a scoop of gelato. The small city was full of culture, art, and beauty, and while our time was packed with rehearsals and classes, life just seemed simpler. The lack of cell service, every meal spent laughing with friends, and the basic living quarters made our days all about relationships and fellowship. I got to know so many students and created so many friendships that will last for a lifetime.
-Katie Breland, DAP Festival, Italy
My favorite part of the trip was the pediatric home health. We had the opportunity to go from door to door to give children vaccinations. We traveled by foot up and down steep hills seeking the parents out of their homes to vaccinate the children. The living situations of the homes were so shocking. Some of the homes were made with plywood and planks for floors. You could see through the floors. However, each home had electricity and each home had large flat screen televisions. The stairs to the home were made with several types of different materials including tin from roofs, cement, boxes, stacked and melted plastic. These were the happiest people I had met in quite some time. Regardless of their living conditions they were very content. They had a sense of community that those in the United States would dream of having. They helped one another and it was clear that helping your neighbor was second nature.
–Whitnee Brown, Costa Rica, School of Nursing
Alex Foxx visited China with the Confucius Institute in 2018.I want to take this opportunity to express my thankfulness to Troy University and Troy Abroad for awarding me with the Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness. This award made it possible for me to experience a part of the world that I never thought I would have the opportunity to see. This trip allowed me to experience the culture, the language, the architecture, the cuisine, and most importantly, the people of China. This adventure gave me memories that will last a lifetime. From start of each day to the end of each day it was clear that Troy University and the Confucius Institute had intentionally planned out every detail of our trip so that we make memories of a lifetime. I remember flying into Shanghai after 18 hours of travel and questioning whether I had made a good decision; whether I was going to regret embarking on this new adventure instead of resting and spending time with my family and friends in Montgomery. Although I was at times overwhelmed on the trip from the sensory overload of a new and foreign culture, I would not have wanted my last spring break in college to be spent in any other way.
-Alex Foxx, China, Confucius Institute