Christine Bodenheimer, ISE Class of 2017

I participated in a study abroad program in the south of France with a third party organization called CEA Study Abroad. I learned about the program through multiple people at Tech who had been a part of study abroad programs with the organization in other locations. I had the opportunity to participate in a homestay with a French family during my two months in France. Through this, I was able to gain insight into the French culture that I would have missed out on had I been living with other Americans, from the food they ate and their mealtime traditions to the ins and outs of the daily life of the French. While this cultural immersion was by far one of the best parts of the experience and was one of the main reasons I chose the program, I also really enjoyed getting to be in classes with people from all over the world.

My class while I was in France consisted of ten Malaysians, two Syrians, a Puerto Rican, and a girl from the Netherlands. This range of students broadened my cultural experience so that I was not just learning about French culture, but also about other corners of the planet that I would never have dreamed I would learn about in coming to France. I would absolutely recommend studying abroad to any and every college student. CEA Study Abroad specifically has locations across Europe and on other continents, not just in France, so there are plenty of options out there. My main advice is just to start planning and researching programs as early as possible so if any conflicts arise, there’s plenty of time to smooth out all the details long before departing.