Are you or is someone you know thinking about studying abroad this year? This #TravelTuesday hear from one of our returned student ambassadors to get the inside scoop on what it’s like before you go! Contact us to learn more about how you can participate in Aspect Programs Abroad.
Meet Olivia, an Aspect student who studied abroad in Norway in 2015. She couldn’t get enough of Norway and has gone back to visit friends each year since along with studying abroad three more times in college! Check out our Q&A with Olivia to hear more about how she caught the “travel bug” and how her experience abroad has shaped her life several years later in college!
Q: How do you feel your study abroad experience has benefitted you so far?
A: It has benefited me greatly! I feel that my experience was instrumental in getting me into college and while in college it really helped me to prepare to live away from home and be independent.
Q: How has your study abroad experience caused you to think differently about your future? Has it helped you with any decisions related to college, your personal life, or career interests?
A: Studying abroad was really the start of my passions. After studying abroad with Aspect I went on to major in International Relations at American University in Washington, DC and I studied abroad another three times (in Madrid, Brussels, Edinburgh, and Oslo). I developed an interest in Scandinavia from living in Norway and plan to get my masters in Scandinavian studies. I was able to use learning Norwegian for my language requirement for my major as well.
Q: How have you kept in touch with your host family or friends you made while abroad? Have you been back to visit or would you like to one day?
A: I talk to my friends from Norway every day. I’ve had friends come visit me in the US and I’ve gone back every summer and stayed with friends. I consider some of the people I met in Norway my closest friends and I am so lucky to have them in my life.
Q: Would you recommend studying abroad to other students? If so, do you have any advice for current high school students who are considering study abroad?
A: I would definitely recommend studying abroad in high school. I think Aspect gave me such a great experience and they were able to help me with everything. I would definitely recommend learning as much of the language as possible before you go. Even if it says that you aren’t required to learn a language it is so helpful. Not knowing Norwegian before I went or learning as much as possible was one of my biggest regrets and the biggest challenge I faced while abroad.
Q: Do you have any other insight, stories, or comments to share?
A: One of the things I remember most about my experience is how helpful Aspect was to me. I was able to talk to them anytime I had a question or concern. Once when I mentioned how much I missed being in a big city (I was living in a town of 20,000 people) Aspect Norway invited me to Oslo. They set me up living with a student in Norway and let me spend all weekend there. They even took me to a burger and milkshake place because I missed American food.
I am so grateful to everyone at Aspect, especially [Study Abroad Program Manager] Brianne and Rut [my coordinator in Norway.] Studying abroad in Norway was one of the best experiences of my life. I miss the friends I made there so much and it is always the highlight of my year when I get to go back to Norway. It is something that very few people get to experience, to find a place on the other side of the world where they feel at home and completely at peace.
To learn more about our study abroad programs or to get in touch with a student ambassador, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-228-8050.
There is still time to study abroad this summer or fall! View current programs here.
#TravelTuesday #AspectExchange #AspectFoundation #StudyAbroad #StudyinNorway