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im they happiest girl in the world !!!!! <3
Congratulations and welcome to the Hokie family!
Written by PRISM Communication Member Erica Wiles
Going into college I knew without a doubt that I would be studying abroad. Skip to August of my sophomore year: I completed the study abroad application for Pamplin’s semester long Lugano Program and was accepted the following October. The year since crept up on me and before I knew it, it was time to board the plane at Dulles International Airport bound for Switzerland.
I said my goodbyes to my family and anxiously made my way through security and to the terminal we’d be departing from. My stomach was feeling a strange mixture of anxiety, nerves and pure excitement.
I’ve been in Lugano 24 days now and I can talk for hours about how this is going to be the one experience in my life that will change me forever. Every day I find myself doing something different: experiencing new foods, hiking up mountains, walking through small towns that resemble movie sets and seeing views I will never forget. I still have 80 more days here (I have the countdown app on my phone) and I can’t begin to imagine what still lies ahead of me for the next few months.
I’ve been to three countries in the first 17 days I was here and plan on going to many more already. I’m travelling to Africa to work for an NGO and visit two countries there. I’m taking 18 credits and I’ve already had two midterms. Studying abroad for a semester is an all-around consuming experience but I’m enjoying every second of it. All of the moments I’m experiencing here I know I would never have the chance to have if I didn’t study abroad, and my time here is already flying by.
For anyone considering studying abroad—go! And if you aren’t thinking about it then start thinking! Every day is different and I’ve had so many amazing experiences in Switzerland and all over Europe already. Studying abroad is the trip of a lifetime.
Erica gives a great first-hand report of her study abroad experience. For many, to study abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ll remember and cherish always.
It’s also why donors like Winston and Marilyn Samuels, both Virginia Tech alumni, give generously to Virginia Tech’s study abroad scholarship program.
“Our commitment is to give to Virginia Tech such that students will go out and then be able to bring back,” said Winston Samuels. “They need to go to Africa, Brazil, Katmandu, Canada, and see what’s going on out there, because the world is big and we cannot see the world from Blacksburg.”
Have you studied abroad as a Virginia Tech student on scholarship? We’d love to share your story and see photos!