The Return of Study Abroad
After a three-year hiatus, Brockport students returned to the streets of Spain, the bluffs of Ireland, and the monuments of Rome.
Rachel Rosenberg, a senior Spanish major, and Rebekka Fifield, a senior studying Journalism and Broadcasting, were two of approximately 20 students who embarked on study abroad trips this summer — the first Brockport abroad trips to occur since early 2020. Hear about their unique experiences in Spain and Dublin, and why they think every student should follow suit.
What study abroad program were you in, and why did you choose it?
I went to Spain, as part of the Universidad de Granada summer trip for the entire month of July. I’ve always wanted to go to Europe and further my Spanish language skills, and this was the perfect opportunity.
I was involved in the Dublin Summer Internship Program. I chose this program because it gave me exactly what I was looking for in a study abroad experience. I wasn’t looking to take too many classes while abroad but wanted real-life experiences. I was able to obtain all of that doing my internship, traveling as well as my Brockport class.
Tell us about a typical day as a student in Spain/Ireland:
Everyday (Monday - Friday) we had two two-hour classes. When we were not in class, we got to take advantage of different excursions to historical places and cities. We would have lunch and dinner and sometimes go out for tapas (a traditional Spanish late-night food).
A typical (work) day in Ireland consisted of me getting up at about 8 am so I could get ready for my day. I would then set out of my apartment at 9:20 am to get to the 9:30 am bus that left from UCD (University College Dublin) where I was staying. I would then start my internship work day at 10 am and go until 4 or 5 pm. My work day consisted of researching articles, trending topics, and social media accounts to write content about. After writing different articles, features, and “girltalk” posts, my day at the office would have concluded. From my office I would either go up to Center City (Grafton Street) to get a meal or a drink with friends, or I would go back down to campus. My friends and I would often catch a movie, explore the city, or run errands.
“It’s okay to not know everything and to figure things out for yourself. Taking on a big city alone is scary, but getting lost and finding your way out is how you learn.”
What’s your favorite part about your program? How has it furthered your personal and career goals?
My favorite part was the trip to Sevilla. It was absolutely gorgeous there. I gained a lot more confidence in my Spanish skills and was given so many opportunities to converse with locals.
My favorite part of the program was being able to meet so many different people. Not only life-long friends, but employers and co-workers that I know will be around if I happen to end up back in Ireland.
This program furthered my personal goals by showing me it’s okay to not know everything and to figure things out for yourself. Taking on a big city alone is scary, but getting lost and finding your way out is how you learn more about any situation you may be in. With my career goals, I know that I want to be working in journalism and this internship solidified that — however it did show me that I don’t want to be working in entertainment journalism. I enjoyed doing that for seven weeks but it just isn’t something I could do for the rest of my life, and I am so grateful that this internship showed me that!
What advice would you give to other Brockport students considering an experience abroad?
I would say: go. It’s so worth going. There are many financial aid options to help pay for it and the experience is one you’ll never forget. Everyone should go — even if they can only do a week or a short time.
Do it, do it, do it! In the weeks of applying, I went back and forth about whether I should or shouldn’t go — but I have never made a better choice in my life. Don’t listen to people that ask you “why?” or the people that say “well I would never do that, too scary” because that could hold you back from a lifetime of experiences. Studying abroad isn’t for everyone, but if this is something that you feel you want to do, do it. Throw yourself into every experience that it brings you. I definitely thought about the “FOMO” (fear of missing out) that I would have seeing what my friends would be doing back at home, but hello? I was in Ireland!
“I gained a lot more confidence in my Spanish skills and was given so many opportunities to converse with locals.”