Indiana University Overseas Study

We are pleased to introduce our new student bloggers for the Fall 2011 semester:

Psychology and Jewish Studies major Matthew Bikoff will spend the fall in Rome, and knows he can’t predict everything that will happen. He hopes to leave the beaten path and integrate with local culture, making Italy his true home and giving readers insight into his new and exciting experiences.

Journalism major Colleen Dobry is off to Dublin for the fall semester. She hopes studying abroad will help her gain independence, travel experience and knowledge of Irish history and culture. Because not everyone has the ability or desire to travel, Colleen would like her entries to provide a window to her experiences and inspire others to travel and study abroad.

Monica Gregory will spend an academic year in Aix-en-Provence. As an anthropology major, she’s interested in learning about local culture both inside and outside the university setting while honing her spoken French. She hopes to provide blog readers with useful information and interesting stories about travel, adjusting to culture shock, and what it’s really like to live in another culture.

The daughter of a journalist and editor, Jane Hall grew up with an enthusiasm for the written word that she hopes to bring to our blog. Jane will study in Nanjing this year, and wants to explore and steer away from the “American bubble,” as she calls it. She plans to help readers understand that while East Asian culture is vastly different, it is also beautiful, and show how learning outside your major (Chinese and international studies, in Jane’s case) can also be interesting.

The only way to become truly fluent, Spanish major Tiffany Hogan says, is to be fully immersed in the language. She hopes to convey in her blog posts how truly life-changing her year in Lima will be as she learns to be a more independent, confident individual. She looks forward to not only improving her everyday communication skills, but also learning about the lifestyles of Peruvians—from their cooking and eating habits to their superstitions.

Brea Johnson has been both a photographer and writer for the Indiana Daily Student as an undergraduate. This year she’ll be interning at Vogue Italia, which will give her invaluable experience in the world of fashion. While studying in Bologna for the year, she hopes to become fluent in speaking, reading and writing Italian. She hopes that her year abroad will help give her and our blog readers a better understanding of the culture and what life is really like in Italy.

Creative writing major Alison Martin will step out of her comfort zone to go overseas for the first time, for a year program in Canterbury. She hopes to serve as a kind of advice columnist for readers, showing that it’s not always easy to travel, but the adventure is worth it. She invites blog readers to learn along with her as she learns the best way to get around Europe, how to order from a menu you can’t read, and what to do if you find yourself in a not-so-nice place.

Brian McConnell, a major in archaeology and classical studies, will spend the fall semester in Cairo. He hopes to report to our blog readers on not only his studies and his work at an Egyptian museum, but also on what it feels like to eat like a college student in Cairo. Because Brian will be abroad during Egypt’s national elections, he also hopes to observe political action in the area.

Learning a brand new language in a strange place is a challenge, but it’s one that Kasi Schulz is willing to undertake. She hopes to expand her worldview by immersing herself in the culture of the Czech Republic during her year in Prague. As a sociology major, she’s interested in gaining a sense of the impact the former totalitarian government had on current social life in the region, and will be taking both sociology and political science courses.

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