Studying abroad can be thought of as a glamorous experience, from the time the plane leaves to the moment the student arrives home. Point Loma Nazarene University has been sending students abroad with LoveWorks since 1998 and established a study abroad program in 1998, according to Director of International Ministries and Study Abroad Brian Becker.
Before students are sent to different countries, the program prepares them for the transition into a new culture. However, transitioning back into San Diego after a semester abroad is as big of a step for many students.
Students ranging from first-years to fourth-years went abroad last spring to a variety of countries, each experiencing different things while they were away. Third-year students Anna Young and Allie Cline are among the students returning to San Diego from a semester abroad.
Young spent her time abroad in London, visiting Ireland frequently, where her family is originally from.
Cline studied abroad in Spain, specifically in Barcelona, and traveled most weekends around Europe. Cline looks back on her time abroad with only good things to say.
“Anyone and everyone should go abroad … it was such an amazing experience where I met so many cool people and went to so many beautiful places,” said Cline. “Classes have felt different because my abroad course was mainly tests and no homework. The class load back on campus is definitely different.”
Young, who now works as a study abroad student ambassador for PLNU, had similar feelings as Cline about the adjustment back onto campus.
“Being back on campus has definitely been a mix of emotions,” said Young. “I am happy to be back in a familiar area, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I missed London. Getting back in the swing of things has been somewhat difficult, having to adjust back to the differences in the cultures.”
Young’s involvement in the study abroad program inspired her to join the team that aided her through it.
“I had such a positive experience not only studying abroad but also in the pre-departure part that the Study Abroad office planned,” said Young. “Everyone on the team was so eager to help, so I really wanted to be a part of that”.
Reflecting on the transition from abroad to PLNU, Cline noted noticeable growth in her peers as she was away.
“It feels like people have developed and grown as I was away, which is really cool to see and makes me happy,” said Cline.
Young shared how going abroad changed her view of San Diego and her outlook on her own life.
“I think my mentality has changed a lot. I am eager to get around San Diego and see more things in the place I live in” said Young.
PLNU’s Study Abroad Office (SAO) offers programs for students in every region of the world.
Students interested in studying abroad can consult the SAO, found on the third floor of Nicholson Commons.Young and other ambassadors like her hold informational meetings Monday through Friday at 12 p.m. in the SAO.