Carnegie Mellon University

In Their Own Words

Quotes From CMU Students Who Studied Abroad

"Studying abroad was a unique opportunity to learn about a new culture as well as teach others about my own. It was a learning experience about respect, confidence, challenges, and independence. I’m so glad I had this opportunity and would do it again in a second."

Katherine Pukinskis, CFA, Music Composition
Bristol, England
Butler University

"It’s still difficult for me to wrap my head around my experiences…People ask how China was, and the first thing I can say is 'crowded'. The China we think of here in the US is mostly 100 years gone. In addition to the language I gained it was useful for me to see what things are really like right now."

Sara Bobo, H&SS, German/International Relations
Shanghai, China

"Study abroad was one of the greatest, eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had. I most enjoyed seeing all the nature, world heritage, and animals that were in Australia and New Zealand. I gained a greater appreciation for nature and the beautiful wonders of the world. With my travels, I also met people from all over the world and gained a greater understanding of different cultures."

Kelly Koser, MCS, Mathematical Sciences
Direct Enrollment

"Being in Spain was an eye-opening experience. It made me much more aware of how much cultures differ and gave me a new perspective on the world."

Jamie Boschan, H&SS, International Systems
Madrid, Spain

"Being with a host family opened my eyes to a dimension of the French culture and lifestyle that I would have missed out on otherwise. To be immersed in the culture in the center of the capital of France made me face and be able to accurately judge social and cultural stereotypes. The independence of living with a family, yet still without the comfort of my real family and home environment, helped me learn more about my abilities to handle new situations."

Jessica Len, Tepper, Business Administration
Paris, France

"Australia was hard to adjust to at first… I was homesick being so far away but I gained confidence, cultural awareness, lifelong friends, and had a great experience in general."

Nicoletta Karvelas, CFA, Art
UNSW Exchange

"[Studying Abroad was] one of the greatest experiences of my life. I learned about the culture of a city with Spanish, Mediterranean, and its own Catalan influences and how to enjoy life for the moment. "Live and enjoy each day of your life" is one of the greatest lessons I took back with me."

Manuel Monasi, CIT, Civil Engineering
Barcelona, Spain

"South America is fun, lovable, and real… Everyone [in Colombia] is so kind and easily approachable. The spiritual presence there is strong… and while the people may have been poor, they are thankful and embracing of foreigners."

Nathan Frank, Tepper/H&SS, Business/Spanish

"… if you’re in a Mexican cab driving through the city, even if you don’t believe in God, you understand why they all have a string of rosary beads in the window. It was always an adventure."

Aftyn Giles, CFA, Architecture & International Relations

"I went to Germany hoping to learn the German language and culture, but what I got was a lesson in world culture. From the elderly Japanese woman sitting next to me, to the Mexican guy at the other end of the table, to the Polish sisters across the room, my classroom experience was a valuable lesson in not only German, but also all the values of everyone in the room."

Stephanie Sharick, CIT, MSE, MBE
Schwäbisch Hall, Germany
(4 weeks)
Goethe Institute

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but in the end, I’ve grown up and become wiser for it."

David Lettieri, H&SS, Japanese & International Relations
Tokyo, Japan
Exchange w/Keio University

"This study abroad experience was the best time of my life. I learned a lot about myself and how to be more independent. I also learned how to be more understanding and respectful of other cultures and people. I absolutely loved the culture, the people, and the experience I had. I’m very thankful to have had the experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world."

Victoriya Kovalchuk, BHA, Creative Writing & Modern Language
Aix-en-Provence, France

"My favorite part of studying abroad this summer was the confidence I gained from throwing my cares to the wind and fully taking advantage of the opportunities available. I’m realizing how incredibly lucky I was to just spend time being in another place."

Nicole Hallinen, SHS & H&SS, Psychology & French

"To be able to wake up each morning and see the Uffizi, The Palazzo Vecchio, the Ponte Vecchio, and Santa Croce from my apartment windows was something that never ceased to amaze me. And by the end of the two months, my apartment mates and I came to think of such important monuments of history as 'ours'."

Anita Shih, SHS & H&SS, Psychology
Florence, Italy

"I plan to live in Rome someday, simply put."

Anthony Falleroni, H&SS, History
Rome, Italy
Richmond in Rome (AIFS)

"Studying abroad has motivated me to keep traveling."

Ruth Hogan, H&SS, Logic & Computation

"What has most changed about me is my perspective on business and the environment. Seeing where our clothes are made and the abuses people incur because of the capitalist system really changed my view of what kind of profession and system I want to be a part of. I was already environmentally conscious before going abroad, but seeing the immediate effects of pollution and environmental degradation (i.e. garbage in the river, not in the landfill) has made me even more aware and active in protecting the environment."

Abby McUmber, H&SS, Psychology
Dominican Republic

"Even with the many challenges I faced, my study abroad experience was by far the best time of my life. I learned how much I can truly accomplish on my own and came back with much more confidence in myself."

Michelle Forkosh, CFA, Communication Design
Florence, Italy
Direct Enrollment

"Chinese has no alphabet. Study extensively before you go and get a language partner over there. Teach! Pack light! Haggle over every price!"

Alex Kalke, H&SS, Policy & Management
Beijing, China

"Through and through best four months of my life. Magical and opening, my semester abroad has made me more aware of my environment as well as myself as a person and how I fit into that environment. ...[I] am now comfortable in calling myself 'international' (and actually believing it)."

Daria Maximov, H&SS, Economics and Decision Science
Milan, Italy
Direct Enrollment

"My semester in London was definitely a huge shift from CMU. As a huge fan of British music and art, being able to actually live in London was a fulfillment of one of my big-time dreams. I really enjoyed having nothing but unstructured painting time and being able to explore London and the rest of the country on my own. I only wish I had stayed a full year at St. Martins, and I’m already starting to consider moving to England after finishing my last couple semesters at Carnegie Mellon."

Mollie Echevernia, CFA, BHA Art/History
London, UK
Direct Enrollment

"Even with the many challenges I faced, my study abroad experience was by far the best time of my life. I learned how much I can truly accomplish on my own and came back with much more confidence in myself."

Michelle Forkosh, CFA, Communication Design
Florence, Italy
Direct Enrollment

"Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience, if I hadn’t made use of the opportunity, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life."

Ritu Saksena, CIT, ECE
Sydney, Australia
University Sponsored

"Challenge yourself by getting out of your comfort zone. Meet different kinds of people and immerse yourself in the language and culture. That’s the best advice I have and what I found most valuable."

Maria D’Aliesio, Tepper, Business Administration
Florence, Italy
Study Abroad Italy

"Let go of expectations - your society of study abroad is NOT America."

Michele Anthony, MCS, Chemistry
Paris, France
Cultural Experiences Abroad - Sorbonne University

"When I first left for Denmark, I wasn’t sure what to expect for the next 4 months. I assumed my life would change, that I would grow, make friends and then I would come back home. I never realized the friends I made and the ways I grew would make leaving Denmark one of the hardest things I have ever done."

Megan Shinn, Tepper, Marketing

"Dublin is the best city in the world. No where else can you find a population as friendly and loud as Americans, which allowed me to really submerge myself in their amazing society."

Katie White, Tepper, Business Administration
Dublin, Ireland

"Studying abroad has been the most amazing and challenging experiences of my life."

Bryan Arsham, H&SS, Policy and Management
Melbourne, Australia
University Sponsored

"I loved Denmark, the country and seeing a different way of life. With a population of only 5.4 million, it is a small nation. Its charm and beauty is not spectacular or grand, but all the little tings add up to one beautiful place and people."

Emily Giacomarra, CFA, BHA

"Studying in New Zealand really was like living in a parallel universe. But even with all the differences, more important similarities came across. Now I feel like I have a second home in the south pacific."

Andrea Irwin, CFA/SCS, Industrial Design & HCI
Wellington, New Zealand
Direct Enrollment

"Get over yourself - human beings do more or less the same thing regardless of location. People get too caught up in external differences to notice that a Frenchman will cry the same way as an American when punched in the stomach."

Shingai Samudzi, CMU, Policy Management

"Don’t expect too much, just enough to get to where you’re going to live... Get out there, do something new and definitely don’t isolate yourself from incredible experiences that will change you forever."

Lauren Feierstein, H&SS, Psychology
Barcelona, Spain

"Go abroad – go anywhere or anytime…just go!"

Christina Maksymiuk, MSC, Chemistry
Rome, Italy
Temple Rome

"Being abroad presents an array of new and unique opportunities one would not encounter while at home. The personal, interpersonal and academic growth that occurs is truly invaluable. It really challenges how and why one thinks the way one does!"

Jen Johnson, H&SS, Anthropology and History
Rome, Italy
Siena, Italy
Lexia Rome and Siena School for the Liberal Arts