My name is Jess Martin and I studied Abroad in Wales during the spring 2014 semester. I decided to go to Wales partly because one of my sorority sisters, Emma, would be there with me and partly because the Welsh countryside was the topic of my Undergraduate Graduation Research Thesis. One of my primary focuses as a history major is Tudor-Stuart era Europe and I was able to explore many of the places that I had previously only read about. I learned a lot about Welsh history, including how Henry VII of England incorporated Wales into the United Kingdom.
Personally, I think going abroad afforded me a great deal of personal growth. I really had to learn how to budget, plan my own transportation (like planning a 3 week-long tour of France, Monaco, Italy, and the Vatican), and how to cope with people of a different cultural opinion. I really would encourage collegiate study abroad. Not only do you learn a lot about yourself, but you learn a lot about the world around you and in today’s Global Economy that is a very valuable commodity; it got me an internship with the United States’ State Department’s Bureau of European Affairs for the summer where I worked in an Eastern European Embassy. I am the first person in my family to have left the Americas in memory. I am very grateful for all of their support and assistance. They are all living vicariously through me and I have learned valuable life skills that I may not have learned without this sort of sink or swim experience.