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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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Study Abroad – Broadening Horizons and Building Memories

Brittany+Fentress+posing+in+front+of+a+castle+during+her+time+studying+abroad+in+Segovia%2C+Spain+around+2005.+%28Photo+Credit%3A+Brittany+Fentress%29

Brittany Fentress posing in front of a castle during her time studying abroad in Segovia, Spain around 2005. (Photo Credit: Brittany Fentress)

CSU Stanislaus allows students to study abroad from a wide selection of places through our Extended and International Education program. There are multiple programs, scholarships, and resources that students can apply to and use.
Brittany Fentress, the Director of Study Abroad, helps students through the process of getting into the international program.
Fentress talked about this process, which consists of first going to an information session to receive general details. This is so that the students can get a feel for where they might be best suited to study abroad at.
Fentress also helps these students with any other help they may need during the application process, as well as with questions they may have about the program.
Fentress has studied abroad in China, Spain, and England. She said that studying abroad is the best thing to have happened to her.
“Just do it! It will change your life!” Fentress said.
Emily Ros (Junior, Psychology), a Study Abroad Student Assistant who works alongside Fentress, helps out students during the process of studying internationally as well.
Ros advises students to study abroad while they are completing general education, as their options are limited once they become seniors.
She also shared her experience studying abroad in South Korea. Her favorite things about studying abroad are getting to meet new people, getting to know more about the culture, and being able to try new foods.
“When you first arrive you experience a culture shock and when you come back you experience a reverse culture shock,” Ros said.
Ros further explained that this is because people who leave will not come back the same. They have been taught things about themselves, as well as many more new and different things.
“Nobody has ever regretted studying abroad. If anything, I get more people telling me ‘I regret not studying abroad,’” Ros said.
Oscar Montana (Senior, Business), who is a part of the Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity, also talked about his experiences studying abroad in Toulouse, France.
He gave credit to Fentress, who he said made the process of getting into the international program much easier.
He said that studying abroad has benefitted him and his experience as a college student by allowing him to get out of his comfort zone.
He talked about how he is not the same person that he was before he left for France.
“I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot of valuable lessons, and I definitely grew as a person,” Montana said.
Montana also shared a fun memory of attending the World Cup while in France. He raved about how there were so many people gathered together to watch the game.
“The very last game was between Argentina and France, and I thought it was really amazing experiencing the World Cup in the country of France just because they made it to the finals, like the very last game, and it was a really good game,” he shared.
He talked about how everyone was jam packed together watching the game and how France was losing. Then the French attendees erupted in cheers when France scored two goals within minutes. There were so many people that the city had to be shut down. Even though France lost, he remembers the match fondly.
“I’m just there, just experiencing the whole thing, and I’m just so happy to be there,” Montana said.
Montana wants to study abroad hopefully in either Toulouse, France again or Barcelona, Spain.
Sasha Thompson (Senior, Art History), who is part of the Phi Mu Sorority, shared her experiences as she has been studying abroad in Florence, Italy for almost a year now.
She talked about how her experience with the process of getting into the Study Abroad program was stressful for her, but ultimately very rewarding.
Thompson said that the most difficult part is being patient, as there are both internal and external factors affecting the process.
Thompson talked about how studying abroad can be very overwhelming, and so it was important for her to establish a place she can go to to be alone.
To this end, Thompson got an apartment to act as a comfortable and safe place amid the unfamiliar culture and scenery.
“As long as your mental health is good, then everything else is good. You can study properly, you get good night rest, you feel energized, you can talk to people, you can socialize, and once you take care of yourself and invest in that, I would say make sure that your space feels like home,” Thompson said.
Thompson shared that she wanted to study abroad in Italy because she wanted to learn Italian, and also that she loves their history and architecture.
“As soon as I step outside, I’m walking on history,” Thompson said.
She praises how well buildings have been preserved and how wonderful it is to see them firsthand.
Fentress, Ros, Montana, and Thompson all collectively encourage students who are considering study abroad to take the chance.
For more information about the Extended and International Education program for study abroad students, check out their instagram @stanstatestudyabroad, their blog, and their podcast, where students talk about their experiences studying abroad.
According to Fentress, the podcast can be found on other platforms as well, such as Apple Music.

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Study Abroad – Broadening Horizons and Building Memories