Study Abroad In Retrospect: Part 1

The study abroad office is up and running post-COVID-19, with many students utilizing the domestic and international programs offered every semester. The Point interviewed two students who recently returned from studying abroad. Hear from Hannah Rodarte this week.

Rodarte is a third-year bio-chem major, who studied abroad in Scotland for the fall 2022 semester through the faculty-led science department program.  

The Point: Was the atmosphere abroad different than it is at PLNU?  

Hannah Rodarte: The atmosphere was different, but there were a lot of similarities that I didn’t expect. The culture is different in a lot of little aspects like the slang that they use in the UK, driving on different sides of the road, and social etiquette. Everyone was so kind and friendly in Scotland, which was really sweet.

TP: How did you get from place to place?

HR: We took the bus and walked everywhere we went. Our program provided us with bus cards, so when traveling further places, we rode on the buses. It was a learning experience for sure, but after you take the bus a few times and get familiar with the area it’s like clockwork. I walked SO much while I was abroad and I loved it. It really made me want to walk more coming back to the states. I made so many fun and funny memories with my friends by trying to get places and taking the wrong bus, or even just walking and having so much time to connect with each other more.

TP: How did you feel when coming back to PLNU??

HR: I had a crazy flight experience back, so there was a lot of relief to be back home. It was both a feeling of sadness that a chapter was ending, but so much excitement and gratitude for what I got to come home back to, like being with family, getting to come back to San Diego, seeing friends, and just being back in the comfort of home.

TP: Did you feel overwhelmed at all?

HR: I did feel somewhat overwhelmed. It was just such a quick snap back into the reality of being back in the US, but over time I’ve adjusted and honestly still am adjusting.

TP: If you had a choice, would you go and live abroad?

HR: I definitely would. I enjoyed every second of being abroad and the new experiences. I realized the similarities and differences of being somewhere else in comparison to the US and I really got to see and appreciate what I liked, what I didn’t like, and what I missed. I would probably settle down in the states, but I would love to live abroad for a few years of my life.

TP: What was your favorite part about studying abroad?

HR: My favorite part about studying abroad was probably the relationships I gained along the way. There were so many fun and new experiences in which I learned so much about myself and also got to experience other people. I am super grateful for my friends that I got to both go with and meet while I was there!

Written By: Alondra Kazzouh