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Julia's Experience

Coming into college, Julia was eager to put her interest in travel planning to the test by immersing herself in European culture. When she arrived at Virginia Tech, she took full advantage of the study abroad opportunities offered to make the most of her time in college.

“Studying abroad through Pamplin was an eye-opening experience. Not only does it strengthen relationships with your peers and being able to work with others but it fosters personal growth on a large scale.” 

Julia explored the different options available and ended up going on two study abroad trips — a two-week program in Ireland and a semester-long program in Prague, Czech Republic. 

“After doing my first two-week study abroad course I knew that being in Europe and learning about other cultures and experiencing new things was something I wanted to build into my college career. From there the semester abroad just seemed too good to pass up! It was all planned out and easy to work with my class schedule even though the program wasn’t for my major.” 

Julia was also grateful for the advice she received from her fellow Hokies which helped her plan out her itinerary. 

“I had so much guidance from past students and brothers. After learning and hearing stories from several past students I was able to feel ready and capable of planning and executing my own trips. From recommendations and tips alone I was able to plan everything before even getting to Europe.”

Her favorite memories came from an excursion to Austria during her semester abroad.

“Every day was a new adventure. Even the little moments were incredible. My favorite memory from my semester abroad was taking the five-hour train ride to Austria. The train was like the one out of the Harry Potter movie and being with my 10 friends we had a blast hanging out in the train car. Being able to explore new places with my friends, some of whom I had met just at the beginning of the program, was the best memory by far.”  

Key Advice From Julia on Studying Abroad

“Studying abroad taught me how to advocate for myself, be my own tour-guide and develop my decision making skills when traveling. Being out in the world also teaches common sense. It was great to feel like I was a part of a world that is bigger than Virginia Tech and out of my comfort zone.”

“My biggest advice is to listen to your peers and take in all the knowledge you can get from students that have done the same program in the past. Another helpful tip is to develop saved places in your google maps app. When someone gave me a recommendation for something to do, see or eat in a country I would add it to my folder for that place. Then when you get there you can just see how far you are from those recommendations and have everything already there. Before going to Prague I had over 100 places saved in google maps so anywhere in the city I would pull out the app and see what good restaurants I was close to. Never go to the same restaurant twice, if you can help it. 

Julia hopes to work as an event planner in either New York City or London after she graduates from Virginia Tech.

Written by Ali Monahan

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