Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your college career. But studying abroad twice - that can be the opportunity of a lifetime. Ester Fang, a senior in Political Science, took this unique opportunity last year to study abroad in Amman, Jordan and Vienna, Austria in the same academic year.
When preparing to study abroad, Ester was at first overwhelmed by the study abroad application process. In reality, it wasn’t as stressful as she anticipated. “Once it was all completed, I realized that I had worried about my application too much and in the end, I was just excited about going.”
During her time abroad, Ester not only got the opportunity to travel all over Europe, but to the Middle East as well. Berlin was by far her favorite city. “It’s such a hip place to be where there’s just so much innovation yet it’s still filled with so much history.” In the Middle East, her favorite city was Cairo. “I never ran out of things to do in Cairo and felt welcomed by all the people I met.”
Ester had many great experiences while she was abroad, but her favorite part was the people she met. “I liked getting to practice my Arabic while also getting the chance to meet new people that were interested in the same things that I was interested in.”
"Getting the chance to talk with people from a different country that shared my passions was so rewarding."
Along with the numerous positive experiences Ester had while abroad, there were also some adjustments that she had to make while living in other countries. “Hearing about what friends and family were doing back home was difficult at times.” In the end, however, Ester had no regrets about deciding to study abroad.
While abroad, Ester was surprised at just how easily she was able to travel and explore other countries. One of the most important things she learned while abroad was to prioritize. “I really wanted to see an Opera, so I made sure to buy a ticket while I was in Austria. I knew I probably wouldn’t get the opportunity to do that again.”
Looking back on her entire study abroad experience, the one piece of advice Ester would give other students looking to study abroad is to save as much money as you can. “There’s no shame in being cheap! The money you’ll save by staying in hostels and taking public transportation will allow you to spend money on things that really matter. Also remember that some of the best food you’ll find in a different country is usually the cheapest!”