Meet Hailie S., an alumni of CISabroad’s 2015 Summer in the British Isles Program. Learn why Summer in the British Isles was the perfect study abroad opportunity for Hailie, and why it might be right for you as well.
- What is your home University, and what do you study?
I study Journalism and English at Northern Illinois University.
- Why did you decide to do the Summer in the British Isles Program, and what made you choose CISabroad?
I have always been an avid reader and researcher, which provided me a way to learn about many different places in the world, and wonder what those places were like in person. It is because of all my reading that I have always wanted to travel and experience different people, cultures, and languages. When I finally decided on studying abroad, I knew I wanted to participate in a program that provided me the opportunity to go to multiple places. Thinking of my personal preferences I came up with several study abroad programs that were of interest to me. I had narrowed my decision down to two programs, CISabroad Summer in the British Isles, and one other program. The deciding factors were which program would allow me to get the most out of my experience traveling, had courses that would go toward my degree, and had an itinerary that offered not only a plethora of places to go, but also allowed me time on my own to travel independently. CISabroad’s Summer in the British Isles fit all of my preferences and more.
- What is the most memorable experience from your time abroad?
I arrived late at the first destination (Galway, Ireland) missing the first two days of excursions. However, on my second day abroad in Ireland, I went with my group to Inishmore of the Aran Islands where we climbed to Dun Aonghasa. As a typical day in Ireland, it was cold, foggy, and rainy. To make matters worse, because I arrived late and my luggage was lost, I was definitely not dressed for the weather of Ireland. I ended up purchasing a sweatshirt and other necessities just to keep warm. Instead of being a miserable day, I met two students that would end up being my best friends for the next six weeks. The three of us and the other students climbed this hill in the rain; and it was incredible. At the top of Dun Aonghasa, I was able to see the other two Aran Islands (or the hint of them) and down to the sea and rocks. A day that could have easily been terrible turned into one of my favorite memories of my study abroad experience, because of the people surrounding me and the atmosphere created on the island.
- What was the biggest challenge you faced while studying abroad?
Overcoming my shyness. When first meeting people I tend to be on the shy side and though this changes as I get to know people, being shy was a challenge I had to overcome while studying abroad. So I pushed myself from day one to introduce myself to others, to get involved with the British Isles group, and eventually it became easier to be myself quicker.
- What was the most surprising experience you had while abroad?
The most surprising thing for me would be the ease with which I adapted to the foreign surrounding. I thought, being in a place that was unknown to me would be scary and intimidating, that I would have a difficult time getting adjusted to my time abroad. I had a high expectation of culture shock or of not being comfortable in my surroundings. However, I welcomed my surroundings when I arrived; it was shocking, to say the least, but I adapted quite quickly and enjoyed my surroundings.
- What advice do you have for students thinking of doing a Summer in the British Isles?
The advice I would give to any student that is thinking of going on CISabroad British Isles is research where you are going, before the start of your study abroad. Knowing about the location and what else is around that area will help you see more of each location while you are there. I did this a little, but not enough. CISabroad’s Summer in the British Isles offers a unique chance to visit multiple destinations and you should take full advantage of that by getting the most out of the experience.
Are you ready for a summer that will change your life? Learn more about CISabroad’s affordable multi-country summer programs on our our website. Each program includes tuition & fees, airport pick up and drop-off, orientation to each country, excursions, health and accident insurance, official transcript, transportation between countries, carbon offset of air travel.