Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Final Thoughts

1.      How have you changed as a person after studying abroad?
I don’t think I’ve changed too much after studying abroad.  I feel that I’m the same person I was before I left.  My favorite part about studying abroad was being able to live in such old cities, with old buildings much different from how modern everything looks here.
2.      What self-discovery surprised you?
It was very interesting that 8 complete strangers became great friends from our trip.  We all relied on each other and were able to have a rewarding experience together.
3.      If you took courses in your major; how has studying abroad impacted your understanding of your major?
I was able to see firsthand, the nursing profession in France and Germany.  I was able to visit hospitals and also learn about the educational systems they have to become a nurse.
4.      Single greatest benefit of studying abroad?
Being able to speak French in public was very rewarding, after studying it for so many years.  It was a great experience to speak with nursing students to learn about their studies and lives as well.
5.      How did your life goals change?
I don’t think my life goals have really changed that much.  I hope to be able to work/volunteer abroad as a nurse in third world countries for periods of my life.
6.      What was your favorite experience?
My favorite experience was going to the nude spas in Baden-Baden, Germany.  It was really a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something a bit out of the ordinary. 
7.      Any advice for future participants?
Do as much as you can while abroad, spend time exploring with your groups.  Many students spent a lot of time sleeping since they were tired from their flights-don’t make that mistake.
8.      Would you study abroad again?   Why?
I would study abroad again in a heartbeat.  Having the experience to be somewhere else, eat different foods and be in a totally different place is very thrilling and fun.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

After spending two nights in beautiful Geneva, we headed to Strasbourg, France which is right on the boarder of Germany.  We're staying in an old Chateau that is magnificant.  We vistied a public hospital in Strasbourg and got to talk to nursing students-which was awesome.  They were very much like us and were interested in our lives as Americans.  I can't believe how different the nursing profession is in Europe- unfortuantely it isnt highly respected by the public and the education is much different too.  Besides the "studying" part, we went on wine tour, had a spa day in Baden Baden, went to a castle, and on a bike ride today.  We have been constantly going and going.  Tmrw morning we leave for Heidelburg Germany for the day to visit a psych hospital and pharmacy museum and then its back to the home front on Wednesday.  The group as a whole is ready to go home.  It's been such an awesome time but we're all exhaused.  Its funny that the thing we miss most is ICE, strangely enough.  Here, they drink room temperature water and juices.  You never get ice in your water at a restaurant and its been driving us crazy.  One thing I've though about is how I am really fortunate for all of the French classes I've had from 2nd to 12th grade-it has helped me so much and I'm so thankful for that.  No one else in our group can remotely speak it and here the locals really appreciate if you try.  The German and French students here can speak about 3-4 languages and it almost makes me feel dumb as an American-since they don't push the foreign language programs in the states.  Coming to other countries its really embarassing if you "scream America" by how loud you are and how you dress.  Its made me really appreciate other cultures and respect them.  Ive had an incredible time, see you in America!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Im currently at the World Health Organization using one of their computers in the cybercafe.  We arrived in Geneva on the TGV from Paris last night around 6pm. Talk about culture shock-Paris was such a different city.  The people are so much more at ease, not in a rush, not constantly texting on their cell phones. They dont smile and laugh as much as Americans and they certainly arent as loud.  I really enjouyed my time there-went to Versailles, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the public pediatric hospital at Trousseau, and a hospital museum.  The food was absolutely amazing.  Eating for Europeans is a time to relax and enjoy oneself.  Comparing and contrasting the Europeans and Americans is so incredibly interesting.  Im also experiencing another kind of culture shock since everyone on the trip is from Memphis, Tennessee.  Theyre teaching me how to talk with a southern drawl lol  Im having such a wonderful time

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Leaving tomorrow!

I can't believe that I'm leaving tomorrow for Paris.  I'm excited to arrive in a new place and begin a new journey.  I'm starting to get nervous about the flight since I don't really enjoy flying.  I'm meeting a girl from the program at the airport in Pittsburgh and we will be flying together so that should ease some of my nerves.  We will have the whole day to explore Paris before the program offically starts.  I'm not sure what to expect but I'm going to keep an open mind.  We will be in Paris for 3 days then off to Geneva.  Lets hope for the best!