Study Abroad is a Defining Experience

Study Abroad is a Defining Experience

A question that every prospective college student asks themselves is about study abroad. Will I go? Can I go? Where should I go? You might have already asked these questions yourself, and more importantly you might already be considering some answers. First and foremost, if you have already written off studying abroad as a luxury you can’t afford due to your major, divisional requirements or your finances, take a step back and reconsider. 

Studying abroad was the single best experience I’ve had as a student at Wake Forest, and that’s because this university offers one-of-a-kind programs. Provided that travel bans get lifted in the next few years, studying abroad is the chance of a lifetime. Don’t let your expectations as a pre-med student or business school student dissuade you from the potential fun. 

Overall the Global Programs and Studies Office has enabled Wake Forest students to travel to over 70 countries, 29 of those being through Wake Forest programs. If you want to go somewhere, Wake Forest can make it happen, but more importantly they want to make it happen. Not only are there a variety of destinations, but within those places there are usually multiple programs. For example, I studied abroad in London, England, and while I did the Worrell House program, I had friends who studied through the program at Queen Mary University and another who did INSTEP London. There is no such thing as one perfect program, and you can find the best one to suit your needs as a student. 

While there are endless possibilities, I would like to take a minute to be selfish and plug the completely underrated WFU House programs. Wake Forest University has the unique advantage of owning properties across the world in incredible locations. Casa Artom is located on the Grand Canal in Venice. Flow House is nestled in the Austrian hills outside of Vienna, Austria. Finally, Worrell House (the best house, although I am entirely biased) sits on Primrose Hill just outside of central London. When I began my search for the perfect study abroad program I found that no one really talked about the WFU Houses, I hadn’t ever met anyone who had stayed at any of them. But now, dear reader, you know me and I will tell you of their merits. 

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Every semester a faculty member from Wake Forest travels with a group of students and one Resident Advisor to each of the houses. The students live together in the house, cook together in the communal kitchen and take classes together in the various learning spaces. Your classmates become your family for those months you share together. At the Worrell House, Dr. Barry Maine of the English Department traveled over with us and taught a class on American writers abroad and British novels on film. There were also three classes taught by three British professors who reside in London, full time. I have previously written an article on my whole Worrell House experience, which goes into much further detail, which can be found on the OGB website. 

I cannot recommend studying abroad enough, and I think anyone else who has done it would say the same. If you worry that you won’t be able to afford it, there are scholarships available, another plus to doing one of the WFU House programs is that cost is the same as if you were attending Wake Forest. Give the study abroad experience serious consideration, and if you go, I can promise you won’t regret it. 

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