blog navigation

Illinois Abroad Student Stories Blog

blog posts

  • Discovering the Many Facets of Costa Rica

    “In my classes, I learned about all of Latin America, not just Costa Rica. I really enjoyed this broad curriculum because it complemented my out-of-classroom experiences. It was interesting to learn about migration as a global phenomenon in the context of prevalent economic migration to Costa Rica. Both my coursework and the conversations that I had with locals sparked an interest in this topic that I could see translating into my future career path.”

  • Learning Languages As A Vessel For Religious Exploration

    “I was raised a Reform Jew, but not really practicing. I learned and went through the motions but didn’t feel a strong connection. My freshman year of college, I converted to Catholicism and found myself feeling more at home. Being Jewish is still a part of who I am, even though my faith is Catholic. At times it is difficult to reconcile the two parts of my identity, but this experience in Israel helped me realize that I can embrace these parts of myself both separately and at the same time. It was really helpful to find the Hebrew Catholics while I was there, who assisted in me reconciling and accepting that I can be both Jewish and Catholic. Jerusalem will always be a special place for me because of the role it played in helping me connect to my identity.” - Maxine Katz, senior in religion & Spanish

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A Year in Hong Kong

    Not only does Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange offer programs during the semester, but we also offer students the opportunity to spend an academic year abroad on select programs. Anita Kwan, a senior studying East Asian Languages and Cultures as well as Economics, took this opportunity to study at the University of Hong Kong for the 2016-2017 academic term.

  • Host Families: The Best Housing in Bilbao

    Studying abroad is an experience that allows you to learn more about yourself as well as the different cultures you’ll interact with. But living with a host family during your time abroad, like Roberto Estrada Lobo did while studying at the Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao, allows you to be immersed in a culture each and every day.   

  • A Spring Spent at VU Amsterdam

    Many students would view an extra semester of school as disappointing, but Alejandro saw it as an opportunity to study abroad.

  • Gilman Scholarship: Victoria Pai at Yonsei U.

    Victoria was awarded the Gilman Scholarship—a grant for U.S. citizen undergraduate students to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing internships abroad—for her study abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea during the Academic Year of 2014-2015.