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Study Abroad Spotlight: Meet Michelle Lohberg

Michelle in Spain

Michelle in Alicante, Spain

February 2014

Name: Michelle Lohberg
Hometown: Dubuque, IA
Majors: Biology & Spanish
Where did you study abroad? Oviedo and Alicante, Spain
How long were you there? I spent 6 weeks in Oviedo and 3 months in Alicante.

Why did you choose to study in Spain?
The first time I chose to study abroad in Spain because it is a requirement for my Spanish Major to study in a Spanish speaking country. I went back to Spain because there is just no comparison between taking Spanish courses abroad verses here; Spanish acquisition increases so much faster there.

What is your favorite memory?
Waking up everyday and knowing its going to be at least 73 degrees and sunny. We never worried about rain and we spent countless hours at the beach, playing sand volleyball, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, and meeting people from all over the world.

How did your experience abroad impact you as a person?
Studying abroad shows you how independent you can be, because being independent is the only choice you have. Especially when traveling- every country has a different language, different transportation system, different currency, and an overall different lifestyle, so we had to re-learn how to live and interact every time we went to a new country. I've learned that stereotypes are extremely inaccurate and the only way to know is to visit and open yourself to meeting new people and trying new things.

What advice would you give to other students thinking about studying abroad?
Just GO. 6 weeks isn't long enough. Go somewhere where you can travel. If weather is important to you make sure to choose a location that fits you. The first week will be a rough adjustment, but you will not regret the amazing experiences that follow. Stay with a host family if you can; it gives you a chance to get first-hand experience into the native cuisine and family lifestyle. There's plenty of time to see your friends and family when you get back, and you'll quickly realize your time is flying by so make the most of it and live your dreams.


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