American Farm School, Perrotis College in Thessaloniki, Greece
I absolutely would recommend studying abroad to any fellow student, regardless of major or college they are a part of. The opportunity to travel like you can during a study abroad trip is really a once-in-a-lifetime thing and it is something I think everyone should experience at least once.
- Why did you choose to study abroad?
- I chose to study abroad because I have a deeply-rooted love for traveling. The opportunity to not only travel but also continue my education seemed like a no-brainer to me. Even before Iowa State, I knew I wanted to study abroad, which is inevitably what lead me to come here. The study abroad programs available and overall support for studying abroad is unmatched. As I finish up my education here at Iowa State and reflect on my choice to study abroad, I am more than thankful for that opportunity and the doors it has opened for me.
- What have you learned from studying abroad?
- Studying abroad taught me a wide array of things. Firstly, I went to Greece with very little knowledge of the culture or country itself. That quickly changed as the weeks and even days went on. The Greek cultural class I took along with just living their lifestyle and interacting with the fellow Greek students, quickly opened my eyes up to how beautiful their culture is. In addition to that, I had the opportunity to continue my education, which was incredible to do in a different country. I have always had a strong passion for the agriculture industry, so to see it from a totally different perspective was incredible. Not once in my life did I think I would visit a water buffalo farm in the mountains of Greece, but that is something I can check off my bucket list. Along with the knowledge I gained academically and culturally, I learned a lot about myself on this trip. I learned how to slow down and take time to appreciate the things around me and do those things on my own. That being said, it also pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to adjust to a whole new life and get out there and do things and make new friends.
- Do you think your experience will benefit you personally, professionally, or educationally when you return?
- As I continue to reflect on my experience and how it has benefitted me, I can think of endless reasons and ways it has. Professionally, my experience has helped me stand out tremendously to prospective employers. When it comes to introductions and overviews of my education, one of the first things noted is my study abroad experience. Which in many cases, has led to lengthy discussions about my experience and how what I learned can be incorporated into a professional role. Personally, my study abroad experience entirely changed me as a person and the way I view life and the world around me. I now have a greater appreciation for the things around me and notice the beauty in smaller, more simple things. In addition to that, I picked up and adapted the Greek way of life, which is much more relaxed and slowed down compared to the American lifestyle. As I reflect on how my experience impacted me academically, there are a variety of ways as I did continue my education while abroad, but one of the most prominent being that I got to expand my knowledge of agriculture. I grew up and learned agriculture from a very different perspective, so seeing it in a totally different way enlightened me on so many things and made me think of and view agriculture on a global level in a totally different way.
- Would you recommend studying abroad to fellow students?
- I absolutely would recommend studying abroad to any fellow student, regardless of major or college they are a part of. The opportunity to travel like you can during a study abroad trip is really a once-in-a-lifetime thing and it is something I think everyone should experience at least once. I am a firm believer that there is so much more out there in the world besides what we know here and it is incredibly important to explore it as much as possible.