Student Standpoint: Traveling Testimonials

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Daryl Stephens – Florence University of the Arts

“I am currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I live in an apartment with four other students and if you were to walk out of my front door to the left, you’d hit the Arno river; to the right, Piazza della Republica and Florence’s famous Duomo. I take classes three days a week, which leaves plenty of time for me to travel and explore Florence (even though the city is extremely small). So far I’ve been all over Italy and also to France, Monaco, the Czech Republic, Ireland, and Greece. I’m headed to Munich in two weeks, and I might even be planning a trip back to Ireland before I come back home! Although I love traveling and seeing new places, it always feels great when my train or bus comes rolling back into Florence on Sunday nights. I fell in love with this city so quickly, and I know it is a place I want my family to see and experience at some point. I’m headed back to the states in less than four weeks, and I know that it is going to be hard adjusting since there is such a big cultural gap. I know it’s cheesy and every one who studies abroad says it, but I really have grown so much and learned so much more about Italy, America, and just people in general. I have made great friends and learned so much about myself and our own society by meeting other American students going through this same experience. It has been a great journey, and I’d give just about anything to comeback and do it again someday!”

- Daryl Stephens, Junior Psychology Major

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P. Brennen Reynolds – Fudan University

“From the moment I landed in Beijing, I knew this was going to be a fantastic semester. After a week of touring the Great Wall, Tian’anmen Square and The Forbidden City, I flew to Shanghai to begin classes at Fudan University. It’s amazing from both an academic and social perspective! Ranked third in China, Fudan offers numerous classes taught in English about China’s society and economic development. My favorites are Western Culture from an Eastern Perspective and Financial Development in China. In the first couple of months I have made friends from all over the world and planned a trip to Nha Trang, Vietnam with them for the end of April. Everyone should study abroad. This is my second semester abroad and I can honestly say that it is a priceless experience!”

- Peter Brennen Reynolds, Senior Business Administration Major

So What Exactly is the Lasallian Consortium?

Lasallian consortiumThe Lasallian Consortium was designed to continue the over three hundred year old practice of the Christian Brothers to prepare young people for leadership roles in a global society by offering courses that are both academically and culturally enriching through learning and caring for others in the Lasallian tradition.

Starting out as a novice program by offering one-week walking classroom trips to Rome, Italy and Madrid, Spain, numerous students and alumni discovered the importance and excitement of not only learning skills but also developing an intercultural perspective.

Christian Brothers University has been a member of the Lasallian International Programs Consortium, allowing students to participate in the multitude of programs offered. The Lasallian International Programs Consortium is a cooperative group composed of the seven United States Lasallian colleges and universities for the purpose of creating and managing high quality educational programs throughout the world for students and faculty of member institutions for semester study abroad opportunities.

In collaboration with Lasallian Consortium, CBU is able to span the globe and include intensive language as well as content courses. Additionally, CBU encourages engaging instruction by promoting living, service, and internship opportunities abroad.

CBU offers Lasallian Consortium Semester Programs in the following locations:

  • Shanghi, China
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Sydney Australia
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Cuernavaca, Mexico
  • Rome, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Corboda, Argentina
  • Aix en Provence, France
  • Montpellier, France
  • London, England
  • Oxford, England
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Seville, Spain
  • Alicante, Spain

It’s a wonderful time to be Lasallian, isn’t it?

Click here to view more information about the various programs.

-Melanie Horne, Psychology ’14

Editor’s Note

301754_10151781049475363_993205704_nAs a rising senior, I have recently been asked one particular question on multiple occasions, “Knowing what you know now, what would be your advice for incoming freshmen?” While I would not change anything about my wonderful college experience, I can certainly think of some things I wish I would have known sooner. As a world traveler myself, here are some travel tips that would have made my first journeys that much easier:

1. Never wait until the night before to pack. I don’t care how many times you tell yourself you will “start packing tomorrow”, you won’t. Save yourself the headache; as soon as you think to pack something, do it…item by item.

2. If at all possible, limit your luggage to one bag and one carry on. If you can’t limit it to these two, reduce what you’re packing. I’m always amazed by these sturdy business men adorned in their tailored suits, followed by the smallest suitcase possible. I imagine it’s something out of Mary Poppins; as soon as you open it there is infinite space for everything one could possibly need.

3. Really like those Vera Bradley or Nike Duffels? You won’t anymore after having to lug it through various airports and security checkpoints. Bags with wheels are so much more beneficial than they are given credit for. A wise man once said, “How could we send a man to space before having invented a suitcase with wheels?”

4. Speaking of airport security, I don’t care how tired you are or how early or late your flight is, be friendly to officials. Border control officers do not get sarcasm. Your journey can go so much more smoothly if you just smile and show them a little of that “southern hospitality.”

5. Plan your time. The key is knowing your airports. For example, I cannot tell you how many times I have been told to arrive 2-3 hours early for an international flight. While 2 hours is about the time it takes to get from the ticket counter to a gate at Washington Dulles, Memphis airport is about the size of Mud Island in comparison. So, while I’m not saying to arrive at the last minute, I advise to not be too conservative with your time (unless you want to browse Twitter for hours waiting for your boarding call).

5. Always check-in online, print your boarding pass, and choose your seat in advance. (Window seats are the best sleepers; aisle seats have the best leg room). I cannot stress how much of a time saver this is the day of your flight.

6. Whatever you are doing, wherever you are, bring snacks. If you love food as much as I do, nothing can go wrong with this precaution.

7. In regards to food, please for the love of everything diverse, do not set foot into a McDonalds or any fast food joint for that matter when traveling. Always hit up a local café or restaurant. “But Melanie, I am a college student. The cheaper the better!” I understand, I really do. In Cambodia, my dinner cost all of $2; while in Europe, one can get a decent culturally acceptable breakfast for as little as 5 euros. Be creative. Your beloved Spicy McChicken will still be here to greet you upon your return.

8. It is inevitable that you will forget to pack something. Just take a moment to accept this reality now and move on. Let’s just pray it isn’t your medication.

9. ALWAYS attempt to speak the local language. Neither I nor the locals will care how much you butcher it; they will most likely be amused at your efforts. You would be surprised how many people don’t even try to immerse themselves into the culture in which THEY are the visitors. Long story short, manners are universal. Use them. Plus your mother would be SO proud.

10. Just like you would research to write that ten page paper, research your top sights you want to see, or that local restaurant that received rave reviews on Trip Advisor. However, if you aren’t feeling quite that motivated, I promise there will be some “hole-in-the-wall” treasures you will stumble upon when abroad. Just don’t be afraid to be a tourist in your first weeks. (That’s the reason you’re even traveling, right?!)

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While these don’t cover everything, I’ll leave you with the most basic, applicable advice I can possibly think of…Be open-minded,flexible, and fearless. When abroad, you can be whomever you want to be.

- Melanie Horne, Psychology ’14