Fall Study Abroad Fair!

The Fall Study Abroad Fair will be held Thursday, Nov. 1st from 10:00 – 2:00 & 4:00-6:00, in Phoenix Rooms B/C.

Students will have the opportunity to attend the Fall Study Abroad Fair and learn about all of the domestic and international study programs available.

Study abroad advisors and program representatives as well as various campus & community resources will be on site to answer questions and assists students in learning about these amazing opportunities!  Whether you wish to study abroad for a few weeks, a semester, or a full year we have a program that will fit your needs.  Also, we have new, exciting programs to CHILE, & LONDON beginning this fall semester – come check it out!

Visit the Study Abroad Fair and find out more about how YOU can study abroad!

Scholarships and Grants Available for Study Abroad

There are a lot of opportunities to help fund your study abroad experience!

Please visit the website: http://www.uwgb.edu/international/studyabroad/financialaid.asp  to learn more about the options offered by both the OIE and other campus departments.  Some scholarships or grants include:

Travel Grant

Wochinske Scholarship

Global Citizen Scholarship

Arendt Family Scholarship

Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant

and MANY more!!

Look to see which ones you are eligible for and apply now!  Deadlines are coming up quickly!

 

 

 

A Semester in Germany!

Alberts Frankfurt

 

Name: Alexander Alberts

Majors: Accounting, Finance, German

Year in School: Senior

Program: Goethe Universitaet – Frankfurt am Main, Germany

 

 

Why did you choose to study abroad?

Improvement of my language ability in German was definitely the main reason why I chose to study abroad. I initially went to Germany being very fluent in the language, and left with even better abilities than before. It was a great opportunity to put my language skills to the test, and really use them in a daily setting.

 

Why did you choose to go where you did?Alberts Frankfurt2

I was always very interested in German culture and history. Many tumultuous events took place in Germany over the last hundred years, and it was fascinating to see these locations first hand. As stated above, I am also a fluent German speaker, so I wanted to spend my time abroad in a country where German was spoken and where I had the opportunity to use the language every day. Germany is also in my opinion the most beautiful country in the world!

 

What’s the best part about studying abroad? Favorite experience?

The best part about studying abroad is definitely the people who you will come in contact with, and the friendships you will make. Traveling was really great, but my fondest memories from my time in Germany were definitely made just spending time with my friends in Frankfurt. I had the opportunity to become friends with people from all over Europe, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Finland for example. The cultural exchange we had was incredible. We could chat about any topic in such a constructive way, and bring so many perspectives to the table, it was fantastic! We went on many trips together, and had such an amazing time taking in what Frankfurt and Germany have to offer. My favorite memory from abroad was definitely a trip I took with my friends to Europapark in Rust, Germany, where we spent the entire day in the beating sun riding roller coasters. The park is definitely a recommendation for anyone planning on visiting Germany!

What did you struggle with? How have you overcome it?

The bureaucratic system in Germany definitely caught me by surprise. Germany in general is known to have a lot of very strict rules, that are enforced with no room for exceptions. I do not think this could be more true than when looking at their school system or registration system. For example, there was a single 30 minute time slot weekly where you were able to pick up your university ID, which was required to take public transportation, do laundry, and buy food. If you missed that time slot for some reason, you had to wait an entire week to get your card. I also found there to be a lack of customer service, not just in restaurants, but also in almost all consumer settings. It just seemed like they did not have a desire to satisfy you as a consumer, and rather you were at the full mercy of the service provider. These are definitely things I missed about the United States while abroad. The school system is also intense! You only take one exam at the end of the semester, so intensive studying is a must. Most of the tests are designed for students to either barely pass or fail, while our tests in the US tend to be more oriented at allowing students who strive to get a good grade, the ability to do so. This means yours grades will most likely be lower during your semester in Germany, but that does not mean you did anything incorrectly. It simply mirrors the differences in the two school systems. This definitely proved to be a challenge for me, but you always have to remind yourself that your time abroad is not just about your studies, but also about the many experiences you have that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Alberts Frankfurt3What advice do you have for those who want to study abroad?

My advice to students who would like to study abroad is definitely to take the risk and spend an entire year abroad, and not just a semester. They always told us at various study abroad events that that was the one regret of almost all returning students, that they did not spend more time abroad, and it could not be more than true. Once I returned to the United States, I almost instantly missed my life in Germany. You will definitely not regret spending the extra time in a foreign country. I also would advise future study abroad students to avoid American students during their time abroad. One of the best parts of my study abroad experience was coming in contact with German and International students, and fostering such a strong intercultural exchange. Sure it is tempting to spend time with people who speak perfect English, but your time abroad will be so much more fulfilling when you go the extra mile to avoid English, and speak the native language of your respective country instead. The really cool part is when you return to the United States and you can barely speak English, that is when you know you had a great time abroad!

How has studying abroad personally helped you?

Studying abroad has helped me tremendously to develop my organizational and interpersonal skills, as well as my confidence. Organization was key to surviving the semester at the Goethe Uni in Frankfurt. With 48,000 students, it was hard to find resources that would help you to succeed, so you really needed to learn to rely on your own personal ability to remain organized and keep deadlines in check. Interpersonal skills were also very important. You needed to learn how to communicate ideas in a new way, as language presented itself often as a barrier, rather than an effective communication method. You also needed to pay attention to the fact that everyone comes from a different background, and that you needed to remain open to new ideas and ways of looking at things. My confidence definitely improved drastically while abroad as well. I was often challenged to overcome demanding tasks in German, such as setting up a bank account, buying health insurance, and registering at the foreign office. All of which required the confidence to delve into a challenging conversation in a foreign language and still be able to leave having completed the task at hand. I also acquired the confidence necessary to reach out to fellow students and peers to explore Frankfurt. Germans are typically very cold and not so friendly, and often I needed to be the one to take the first steps in building a relationship with other people. This is much different than what I was used to in the United States. You also acquire the courage to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. I left the United States with a fear of rollercoasters, and after a trip to Europapark in Rust, Germany, I left a complete thrill seeker.  Sometimes you will discover things you love, such as Doener Kebab (one of the best things you will ever eat) and other times you may realize a popular food item or activity is not for you, in my case sushi. The most important thing is to keep an open mind, and to try and do things that you would never do at home.

What are the differences between your home country and the country you are studying in?

Germans in general do not tend to question the system. It is common in the United States to look at things critically, for example, why are our drinking laws so strict when it comes to drinking in public? Germans on the other hand tend to take things how they are, and do not seem to have a desire to question why things are the way they are. They seem apprehensive when it comes to perhaps breaking a rule, even if the rule seems senseless.

Alberts Frankfurt4

In Germany, time is looked at very differently. It seemed like everyone was always looking on their subways apps for connections, and what time different trains arrived. I feel that Germans are always on the go, and planning out their routes way in advance, even if a train travels every three minutes.

 

Germany has an interesting mix of security and personal freedom. For example, Germans enjoy a very laid back drinking culture, while at the same time banning certain forms of what we would see as free speech, such as some internet streaming services. They also have a plethora of state institutions that play a role in almost all facets of life. This is much different than in the United States, where we tend to put more emphasis on personal freedoms and personal responsibility, rather than relying on government to provide security to us.

Public transportation plays a larger role in Germany than in the United States. In order to get to school everyday, I had to take the U-Bahn, which is the German subway. It was definitely quite a bit different, and a lot more interesting than driving a car.

7 Months in Europe: Brigitta Kaiser

Brigitta France 1   Name: Brigitta Kaiser

   Majors: French, History

   Minors: German, Education

   Year in School: Super Senior

  Programs: Spring Semester in Pau, France (with USAC) and International  Summer University in Kassel, Germany (through UWGB)

 

 

 

 

Why did you choose to study abroad?

I have always been a bit of a travel bug and culture nut, so studying abroad was always on my list of things to do in college. I really wanted to immerse myself in a new culture and get a taste of what it was like to live like the people in those countries do. I had already been to Europe a few times before, once for a choir trip and the second for a semester study abroad in Scotland, and I was dying to get to see more of Europe and get to know France and Germany better. I also studied abroad to improve my foreign language skills.

 

Why did you choose to go where you did?

Brigitta France 2My reasons for choosing France and Germany were because I study both French and German, so I naturally wanted to spend time in those countries immersing myself in the languages. I’ve studied French for almost eight years, and love the language and culture, so I was dying to actually spend time in France and experience everything the country had to offer for myself. I chose Germany because I also love the language and culture, but also because Germany is also a very important country for me. My family comes from there (my grandmother was German and my mom was born there), and I also have several close friends from Germany. The summer program in Germany was a great opportunity for me to get to know this country a bit better and also get to see friends and family. I also designed my seven months in Europe (four months in France, two months of travel, one month in Germany) so that I also had to opportunity to explore the rest of Europe and visit friends.

 

What’s the best part about studying abroad? Favorite experience?

Brigitta Germany 1It is honestly so difficult to pick what is the best part about studying abroad. My seven month stay in Europe was such an amazing and life changing experience, and I definitely did a lot in those seven months. I guess I would say that the best thing about being in Europe in particular is the opportunity to travel to many different countries since many of the countries are relatively close. In total, I was able to travel to eleven different countries with relative ease and for relatively cheap. It was amazing to see how different neighboring countries in Europe can be from each other.

 

However, despite all the traveling I did, my favorite experience was actually just the time I got to spend with my international friends. I hadn’t seen some of these friends in one or two years, so it was such an amazing experience to just have the opportunity to hang out with them in their own country, since we had mostly only seen each other in the US. It also gave me the opportunity to go to places I might not have gone to, such as Finland and the Hague in the Netherlands, which I visited because my friends live there.

 

 

What did you struggle with? How did you overcome it?

Brigitta Germany 3I think that I struggled the most with being confident and willing to put myself out there, especially when I wanted to practice the languages I was in Europe to study. With a group of friends I can be the life of the party, but once I am put into a situation where I don’t know anyone, or where I need to approach someone I don’t know and talk to them, I get really shy. I think that I could have improved my language skills a lot more if I had been more confident and willing to go and talk to people. The key to learning a new language is practicing it and being confident in your ability to speak that language. You can’t get caught up in what words you don’t know, you just have to make the best of what you do know. Though I still could improve my confidence, my study abroad experience helped me to start getting over my fear of talking to people I don’t know.

My advice is just to go for it and be confident in yourself and your abilities. I was so surprised by the positive feedback I received from native speakers when I pushed myself to speak the language. When studying foreign languages, you are often better than you think you are. Once I pushed myself to try to only speak in French and German (which was easier in France because less people are fluent in English than in Germany, including the young people), I saw myself improve so much more and my confidence grew, because I saw that I really could communicate fairly well with the natives than I thought I could. The key was just putting myself out there and going for it.

 

What advice do you have for those who want to study abroad?

Just go for it! Don’t hold yourself back from anything and be ready to take a chance on something new. It’s going to be challenging and you’re going to have to go outside of your comfort zone, but it will all be worth it in the end. The time you spend abroad may be some of the most difficult months abroad, but it will also be among the best months of your life. The friends you will make and the experiences you will have will be worth the cost. So just don’t be afraid to make that leap! Get out there and explore what the world has to offer! One of my regrets is just sitting in my room when I could have been out exploring the city, trying new food, practicing my language skills, and generally just experiencing new things. So don’t let the fear of getting out of your comfort zone hold you back from a life changing experience.

 

 

How has studying abroad personally helped you?

Brigitta Germany 2The time I spent in Europe helped me in so many ways. First, it helped me to improve my language skills. Though I didn’t improve as much as I wanted to, my ability to speak French and German definitely improved much better than it would have at home. Second, it really helped me to build my self-confidence and made me more responsible for myself. I often had to face challenges by myself and had to learn to put myself out of my comfort zone. It pushed me to try new things which I may not have done before, such as going on a three week long, seven city, three country trip all by myself. I really had to learn how to be confident in myself and my language abilities, which will be a huge asset to me in the future.

 

 

 

What are the differences between your home country and the country you are studying in?

  1. Public transportation. Most places in Europe have fantastic public transit systems. You really don’t need a car like you do in the US, and cities are so easy to navigate and get around with public transit compared to Green Bay. There are also amazing train and bus systems that make traveling around Europe so easy! However, Europeans also walk much, much more than we do in the U.S., so just be prepared to do a lot of walking in Europe!
  2. The social system. France and Germany are socialist societies, so while they are still democracies, they have a lot more social benefits for their citizens. They enjoy benefits such as universal healthcare and family support, which is very different from the U.S. European countries tend to be more communalistic and have systems that focus on the collective good than the U.S., which is a very individualistic society.
  3. Europe is generally a more relaxed society and they really value vacation and family time. Stores are often closed on Sundays and French and German people tend to get around six weeks or more of paid vacation. It was definitely a very different outlook from the U.S. Europeans are generally more “chill” about certain things, such as body culture and alcohol. For example, in Germany you can drink alcohol in public places, so expect to see people drinking in public parks or sitting on the curb with friends having a drink.
  4. Protesting in France. I thought that Americans liked to protest and complain about the government, but the French take it to a whole other level. The French are well known for their strikes, and I witnessed two large strikes while I was in France. The first was a student protest against education reform. There were several occasions where my class had to be held in a different building because the students had taken all the chairs and tables out of the classrooms and blockaded the building I normally had class in. The second was the nationwide railroad strikes. For three months you had to be careful what day you took the trains because the strikes often caused some or all of the trains to be cancelled. Thankfully they announced the days ahead of time, so you could plan your travel around the strike days, but it made travel difficult. I once had a train be over an hour late in leaving because workers were standing on the tracks in protest.
  5. You often have to pay for water in restaurants. In France you can often get a “carafe d’eau” for free, which is just a jug of water. Often that water is at room temperature. In Germany you cannot get this free water. Also, in Europe you generally do not get drinks with ice in them, and expect to pay for refills. I never knew how much I loved unlimited ice water and fountain drinks until I couldn’t get them in Europe.
  6. In France they do the whole kiss on the cheek thing, which for me is so weird because you will do it with people you don’t even know that well. However, if they recognize you are a foreigner, they often won’t do it. Depending on the region the number of kisses is different; sometimes it is two kisses or three, and usually they will start on a certain side of your face.
  7. In France lots of people have dogs and you will often see them being walked without a leash! Dogs tend to be more well trained in Europe, so don’t expect a friendly pup to walk up to you randomly. Also, in France people let their dogs go to the bathroom on the sidewalk and won’t clean it up, which was very frustrating. You always have to watch your step in France.
  8. Dinner time in France is often very late. My host family generally ate dinner at 8 pm, which was a shock for me when I first arrived because I was starving by 6 pm.
  9. Bathrooms/restrooms! The stalls in European restrooms are much more private. You will not see a European restroom with large gaps on the side and bottom of the door. It is even rare to see a stall with a gap at all, as most tend to be a completely closed off little room. In houses it is common that the toilet is separated from the shower. Most houses have a “toilet” or “WC” with just the toilet and a small sink, and then they have the actual “bathroom” which has a tub or shower.
  10. The friendliness of Europeans is very different from in the U.S. Americans tend to be generally more outgoing and friendly to strangers than Europeans, who are often very reserved. They aren’t necessarily unfriendly, but they aren’t going to chat with someone who they don’t know.
  11. Recycling in Germany is the absolute best. Germans will recycle everything. Their recycling bins are way bigger than the garbage, and they will put items in the recycling that we would generally consider trash, such as plastic wrap. Germany also has this great plastic and glass bottle recycling system. When you buy anything in a bottle, such as soda, you have to pay a “pfand”, which is a deposit of usually 25 cents. You can later take those bottles to a grocery store where they have a machine you feed the bottle in and get your deposit back. The amount you have to pay or get back can depend on the type of bottle, such as ones that are made of harder or softer plastic. This also serves as a sort of income for homeless or poor people. You will often see someone digging around in public trash cans to grab out bottles which they can turn into for money. Germans will often just set bottles, especially glass bottles, next to trash cans so that people don’t injure themselves when they are digging through the trash.
  12. There are definitely many more differences, but you will just have to go out and discover them for yourself in these amazing countries! ;)

Welcome Back & Travel Course Fair

Stop by during GB Week and learn about how YOU can study abroad this winter interim!  Meet our staff, find what programs are offered, & talk to program alumni!  Hope to see you there!

F18 travel course fair

 

Study Abroad Info Sessions

Want to learn more about certain programs?  Not sure if there is a program right for you?  Come find out more at one of our information sessions:

Winter Interim Programs

Wednesday, Sept. 12th @ 12:00pm

Office of International Education– CL 108

 

Spanish Immersion Programs

Date/Time TBD

Office of International Education– CL 108

 

Programs in Germany

Date/Time TBD

Office of International Education– CL 108

 

Political Science/Democracy & Justice Studies/Global Studies Programs

Date/Time TBD

Office of International Education– CL 108

Evening Advising Sessions

Want to know more about study abroad options but only on campus in the evening?  Have a busy class schedule?  Check out our Evening Advising Sessions!

 

Evening Advising Sessions

5:00-7:00pm in the OIE (CL 108)

Wednesday, September 12th

Thursday, September 13th

Wednesday, September 19th

Thursday, September 20th

 

NO appointment needed- just walk in!  Contact the OIE to confirm a time/date.

 

Questions? Contact the OIE at oie@uwgb.edu or visit www.uwgb.edu/studyabroad

Applications OPEN for Winter and Spring 2019 programs!

Start thinking about starting your application for a spring semester or winter 2018 study abroad program!  Begin your application right from our website – simply click on the individual program link and click “Apply Now”!

 

DEADLINES:

Denmark: SEPTEMBER 1st

International Student Teaching: SEPTEMBER 15th

Osaka (Japan): SEPTEMBER 15th

Spring Semester programs (see exceptions above): OCTOBER 1st

Winter Interim faculty-led programs (travel courses): OCTOBER 1st

Hessen International Winter University (IWU): OCTOBER 1st

 

But earlier is always better!)

**Make sure you look for our NEW programs in London & Chile as well as our NEW combined faculty-led (travel course) & student teaching in Cuernavaca!

http://uwgb.studioabroad.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ListAll

 

A Summer in Portugal: Leah Zorn

Leah EIA

Name: Leah Zorn

Major: Business (minor in Computer Science)

Year in School: Senior

Program: European Innovation Academy (Portugal)

 

 

 

Tell us about your program & experience abroad!

leah 2Being part of the world’s largest accelerator program not only taught me a lot about entrepreneurship but also introduced me to amazing peers and mentors from around the globe. At the European Innovation Academy, my team, PLUM, developed the business plans for a food delivery mobile application meant for homemade food. Our target audience is students in Qatar. Within the three weeks I served as a the Chief Design Officer. This involved prototyping our mobile application. Along the way, we, as a team, worked with mentors to pivot when needed and made sure our business was going down the right path.

 

 

leah 4The last day of the program served as “pitch day” where each team pitched to an investor, PLUM pitching to VP of Sales at Disney, Paul Holliman. With great feedback, we headed to the afternoon where we would find out who made the top ten. With much gratitude, we did make it to the top ten! This meant pitching on the “big stage.” In conclusion, we received an in-kind award for design mentorship.  As our Chief Mentor, Daniel Vila Boa said, “you resemble the very best of what is possible at the European Innovation Academy.

 

 

Were you able to travel during your free time?

barcelonaApart from EIA, I was able to explore more of Europe on my weekends there and decided to take short trips to both Paris and Barcelona. Overall, I am walking away from these three weeks with lifelong friends living on different continents, a full belly of European cuisine, and so many memories to share for years to come!

 

A Semester in Spain: Allison Loderbauer

28156470_572912659740040_2179368888205049856_n

Name: Allison Loderbauer

Majors: Elementary Education and Spanish

Program: Bilbao, Spain – Spring 2018

Why did you choose to study abroad?

One of my majors is Spanish and I knew the full Spanish immersion in Spain would really boost my Spanish skills. Studying abroad would allow me to experience a new culture for an entire semester while meeting new friends who also chose to study abroad. I was planning on studying abroad for just a few weeks during Interim or summer but I thought that studying abroad for an entire semester would give me a lot more opportunities.

Why did you choose to go where you did?

I really enjoy travelling and have had an interest in Spain since I began studying Spanish in middle school, so I knew that I always wanted to study abroad in Spain! I also knew that it would help with my Spanish skills since I am studying Spanish as a major and studying in Spain is complete Spanish immersion. All of my classes are taught in Spanish. Bilbao is a semester long program and the city has a lot of activities. I thought that Bilbao would be a better fit for me than the other programs in Spain that were offered.

What’s the best part about studying abroad? Favorite experience?

I really enjoy the opportunities for travelling that you have while studying abroad. Since Spain is in Europe,28154580_154084948610731_6795727465978265600_n travelling to other European countries is pretty cheap and I have been/will be able to visit many countries during my time abroad. You also meet a lot of great people who are also studying abroad that are willing to travel with you. Honestly, what’s better than travelling with a great group of friends? It really helps you bond with other students and make lifelong friends and memories!

What did you struggle with? How have you overcome it?

I am incredibly close with my family and so I became really homesick when I was about a month into my program. I also was sick during this time so I did not want to leave my room a lot which did not help. In order to overcome it, I made sure I kept busy. Once I started hanging out with other students, I became less and less homesick. Even if it was just going to a cafe or going for a walk, just getting out of my room so I wasn’t thinking about home really helped. Every student who is studying abroad is in a similar boat. They left everything (except a suitcase full of belongings) back home and flew across the world to study without knowing many, if any, other students. Everyone gets homesick at times, and talking about it with others really helps. My friends in Spain, my host family, and my friends and family back home were all very supportive of me and that was incredibly helpful. Another struggle of mine is that I miss a lot of things that I take for granted in the United States. Whether it was not having to pay for tap water at restaurants, being able to go to Target or a store I am familiar with to get items I need, or even just going to my favorite restaurant and eating my favorite foods, the things that I’m so used to back home aren’t always available in other cultures. I have done a lot of positive thinking and realize that all of those things will still be there when I go back home and that I have to enjoy the time that I am in Spain with the friends that I made here and make the most of it. I never realized how fast time goes until I only had a set amount of days to do something. 18 weeks abroad might seem long, but it goes by SO fast. I want to make the most of it.

What advice do you have for those who want to study abroad?

Take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad if you are able to, even if you think it is out of your comfort zone. Some people would love to be able to travel the world and study in a new country, but they don’t have the available resources for it. It is difficult at times, but it will be a life-changing experience. If you study abroad, make sure you make the most of it right from the beginning of the program. I am already almost halfway done with my program and I felt like I just arrived last week. Don’t tell yourself “Oh, I’ll just do that next week.” If you keep putting things off, you don’t know when or if you will ever have that experience again. Seize the moment! Even if you may not feel like going out because it is raining or gloomy outside wherever you study abroad, try and convince yourself to so that you don’t regret not experiencing as many things as you can. You will never regret going on too many adventures, just the adventures you didn’t take.

28154006_1634090433343516_9151310796389613568_nHow has studying abroad personally helped you?

Studying abroad has really put me out of my comfort zone, but it is really helping me with independence. Being over 4,000 miles away from everyone I am used to being around is really difficult, but I met people while studying abroad that have become my new friends and family. I made some of my best friends while studying abroad and I know that it will be difficult when I go back home and don’t seem them every day so I make sure to spend as much time as possible with them now. I already have so many memories with them that I will always cherish. I also have learned to appreciate the things back home that I miss so much while I am here, such as my friends and family, but that has not stopped me from having an amazing time with my new friends in Spain.

What are the differences between your home country and the country you are studying in? (Or states, if you are in the NSE program)

  • You have to pay for water in restaurants in Spain and you don’t tip waiters.
  • There is a TON of public transportation. I am so used to driving back home and in Bilbao, almost everyone walks or takes public transportation.
  • Obviously, the language is different. It takes a little bit to get used to hearing a different language constantly, but it really has helped me learn Spanish.
  • The cuisine is very different and even though it is very good, I sometimes crave foods that are only found in the United States.
  • They don’t have a lot of the same stores and restaurants as the United States so make sure to check different stores so you don’t overpay for certain things like groceries and basic essentials.
  • The different currencies are difficult to remember but you get used to it after a while!
  • They have a lot of different customs and traditions so make sure to research before you go! For example, to greet a person in Spain, you give them a kiss on each cheek. They don’t just shake hands like in the United States and that was a big change for me at first.
  • A lot of people in Spain live in apartments, especially in Bilbao, so the concept of everyone having their own house like most people in the United States do is different to them.
  • Being from the Midwest, I noticed that Midwesterns are way more friendly and willing to help more than in Bilbao. I have gotten some weird looks when I have stopped to help someone if they dropped something or gave up my seat for someone on the bus. It’s not a bad thing, I just don’t think the people in Bilbao are used to people stopping and helping them or smiling and saying hi to strangers as much as I am used to doing these things at home. (Don’t worry, not everyone is like that! Just make sure you look up their customs and mannerisms in whatever country you study.)
  • People in Bilbao, at least my host family, know a lot about the United States. A lot of nights in Spain, I watch the news with my host dad, and there are actually a lot of stories every day about the United States. You see how people all around the world take interest in other countries and when something major happens, it impacts them too, even if they don’t live in that country. I feel like the United States is more closed off to news of the rest of the world unless it is something super major, but even things that are minor in the U.S. make it on Spanish news sometimes and it is interesting to see how much the U.S. has an impact on other countries.
  • The weather is very different in Bilbao compared to Wisconsin. It’s not ever super cold, but if you do choose to study there, just remember a rain jacket and boots! :)
  • There are so many differences, but that just makes the experience more interesting! Yes, you will have culture shock at times, but it will also help you be grateful for the things you are used to and broaden your cultural mindset. If everything was the same as back home, you would have no reason to study abroad. Explore the world. It is worth it.