By: Lily Raso ’20
Last semester, I studied abroad on the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia. Since I’ve been back, I can’t help but talk about it. I easily bring it up in conversation at least twice a day; it was the best four months of my life, so it is very hard to avoid bringing it up! Although people are fed up with me talking about it constantly and often say: “Wait, you went to Australia?” in a sarcastic tone, I don’t care. I share my stories because I want other people to be inspired to do the same – to travel the world!
When people say that the one thing they regret not doing in college is going abroad, I understand why. At Assumption, we have a handful of different abroad opportunities to choose from. For example, you can study at our sister campus in Rome for either a semester, six weeks in the summer, or for ten days with the SOPHIA program. I was fortunate enough to be able to go with SOPHIA my sophomore year, and I loved every minute of it. Not only did we get a personal tour of Rome by our own awesome president, President Cesareo, we also had the chance to bond with our group as a whole, and that made the trip even more special. This trip inspired me to take a step further out of my comfort zone and go somewhere for a longer period of time.
Besides Rome, you can go to any of our global locations through one of Assumption’s partnered programs, the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) Butler or the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS). I chose to go through IFSA because they offered a school that I was looking at in Australia, but both of the programs are extremely similar. Applying through a program means that you are submitting one application through their site that can be used for any of the schools that they offer. The application takes very little time and a mentor is assigned to you for any questions that you may have. After the application is completed, they will look it over and let you know if you have been accepted. Once accepted, you are given a list of things to do: apply for a student visa, purchase your flights, find the courses you would like to take, etc. This process is also very simple, and it gets you excited for the next step towards your trip.
I am writing this article because I think anyone could benefit from going abroad. It is truly an experience that I can’t put into words. You will become an independent person with an urge to see all of the world. You will also do things that you never thought you would do or that you didn’t know existed. For example, I used to say you would never catch me jumping out of a plane when I was 18 and now at 21 I can say that I did it over one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia (it was definitely worth risking my life for). When you leave, you will bring home a lifetime’s worth of memories and stories to share. The friends that I made there are some of the greatest people I have ever met, and I still keep in touch with them all the time. This experience helped me become more independent as a person and has taught me how many amazing places there are to see outside of our little hometowns in the United States.