Year after year, Auburn University students travel the world in search of adventure, art, culture, and...class credit. Why would Elizabeth Johnston take a strategic planning course in the classroom when she can take it in London? And who could resist earning a minor in international studies in Italy? Not Mary Ann Martin.
Whatever calls these students to the ends of the earth, one things is certain: these Tigers are having the time of their lives. From Italy to Turkey to Scotland, these are a few highlights of study abroad experiences in 2013.
- Santorini, Greece. "It was just like a town straight out of a movie," Martin says. (Or as for myself, a pin on Pinterest). Martin says the town was made of all white houses and overlooked the sea; it was her favorite city.
- Istanbul, Turkey. Anne Johnstone describes the city as "beautifully lively." Home to mouth-watering baklava, hot Turkish tea, the extraordinary Hagia Sophia and "every possible type of person all jammed in the same space," Istanbul sounds as "fresh and full of spices" as its food.
- Old Town Square, Prague. Its cobblestone streets, mammoth statues, and street vendors and performers made John Haier feel he was in medieval times.
- The Cliffs of Moher. "Hands down the best landmark I have ever been lucky enough to witness in real-life," Johnston says. They rendered her speechless. Why? Besides being breathtaking, these cliffs appeared in a Maroon Five music video and are what Dumbledore stands on as waves crash behind him in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Impressive.
- Petra in Jordan. Petra is one of the seven man made wonders of the world. Cari Smith was amazed that something so incredible was built by man over 2000 years ago. She also enjoyed eating meals with Jordanian families who were "overjoyed at the chance to welcome [them]."
- The Cathedral in Toledo, Spain. Kathryn Boswell says, "you look up and your jaw just drops." Boswell especially loved the handwritten pieces of music and the grandiose organ in the choir loft.
- 'The David' in Florence. And not just because it stole his name. "The scale and precision of it blew us all away," David Woods says. "We sat in front of it for over an hour. The veins on his arms, the detail of the knuckles on his oversize hands-it was the most skilled piece of art I had ever seen."
Amidst the historical sites and beautiful sights, these students agree they returned to Auburn with more than extraordinary memories. Each of them left with greater appreciation for other cultures and new-found independence. Caroline Givens learned how to enjoy life and be stress-free. Woods says your version of reality is put into perspective. Studying abroad opened the eyes and minds of these students to new and different worlds. For these things they are grateful.