blog navigation

Illinois Abroad Student Stories Blog

Read about Illini, whose study abroad experiences enriched their global perspective.

blog posts

  • Creative Thesis Inspiration Found While Abroad

    “I spent my semester abroad in Perth, which is on the southwest coast of Australia. I grew up in Los Angeles on the southwest coast of the United States and spent a lot of time as a child around water. Being in that environment was quite inspirational to me. I had vague ideas about wanting to create a piece revolving around bodies of water and their parallels to the human body, but my concrete ideas formed and came to life during my time in Perth. I directed a video that serves as the first of three parts that make up my senior thesis in collaboration with composers and videographers who also attended the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts. We visited several national parks around Western Australia to film the video, so that was a great way to explore areas outside of Perth. I grew more confident in myself as an artist when creating this piece. It embodies a part of who I’ve always been, and a part of myself that I grew into throughout this experience.” -- Symone Sanz, senior in dance

  • Just Do the Thing: Learning in and Out of the Classroom

    “I stared back in awe at the undeniable beauty the Cathédrale Notre-Dame epitomized. I don’t know what it was about that day, April 14th to be exact, that compelled me to fixate on the monument. But I’m really glad that I did because the next day it was on fire. That seemingly normal taxi ride as we concluded our spring break in Paris is one I will never forget. Being close to such a sad event was a wake up call reminding me that every opportunity in life should be taken before it’s gone. Whether it’s holding onto one last look or embracing any experience that comes my way, it’s a reminder that life is oh-so-fragile. It’s a reminder to just do the thing. Because of this re-instilled urgency to live life to its fullest, I hiked Monte Brè in Switzerland, and it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.” -- Maddie Ehret, senior in journalism

  • How Study Abroad Prepared Me For Med School

    Arnold Oparanozie, a senior majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Global Studies with a minor in Chemistry, studied at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain to work on his Spanish language skills.

  • Interning in Ecuador

    Having previously traveled to South America, Clarita Sullivan, a Junior majoring in Political Science, knew she had to return back to the continent as her study abroad destination.

  • Living in The Lion City

    When asked if there was one place you would visit again, Jiayi Xu, a senior studying Mathematics and Statistics, replied without hesitation that she would visit her host university – The National University of Singapore – to catch up with old friends and to see the campus again.

  • Funding Your Study Abroad

    Cost can be one of the most important factors to consider while researching programs. This guide will help you with factors to consider during the planning process, financial aid/scholarships opportunities, and budgeting advice.

  • Returning from Spain with a Spanish Major

    Getting academic credit while studying abroad is one of the many advantages to studying in another country, and sometimes you’re even able to earn credit toward a course of study you had never anticipated. This is what happened to senior Paulina KocoĊ„ when she studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain on the Liberal Arts and Sciences’ S&P program during the Spring of 2016.

  • Achieving Professional Goals Abroad

    Studying abroad is an experience that allows you to learn about yourself as well as the world around you, but it also enables you to grow professionally and provides you with skills and experiences that will benefit you professionally.

  • Australia: Studying Abroad Oceans Away

    Studying abroad with people you are familiar with can make experiencing another country less intimidating. But Tom Hartney, a senior majoring in English and minoring in Business, felt that studying abroad in a country that had no familiar faces would be more beneficial to his experience.

  • Studying Abroad: Where to Start

    Studying abroad has the potential to be one of the most meaningful experiences of your college career. That being said, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. We’re here to guide you to some of the most helpful resources.