St. Norbert College
St. Norbert College
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Kristen Susienka
      Kristen Susienka

Hometown: Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Program: University of Stirling
Location: Stirling, Scotland
Semester Abroad: Fall 2008
Major: English
Memorable Experience:

Definitely overcoming the language barrier. Despite speaking English, the Scottish accent is quite thick, and at first is very difficult to adjust to, especially given that there are many different dialects based on where in Scotland a person is from. I remember the cottage I stayed in had a cleaner come every week to clean the kitchen and bathroom. She used words like "ken" and "hen," and as to this day I can't recall understanding what she asked or said to me. After a while, the accent does become easy to decipher, but it takes a while and just requires some patience and listening.

Benefits of Studying Abroad:
Studying abroad was without a doubt the best experience of my undergraduate career. Benefits of studying abroad include learning about a different culture, increasing global awareness, traveling, and meeting new people. Studying abroad has impacted me in many ways. Personally, it presented new opportunities to learn about myself and about others, to gain independence, and to make lasting friendships with those I encountered. Academically, studying abroad had such an impression on me that I decided to apply to graduate school in Edinburgh, Scotland; I begin my studies there in September 2010. And professionally, studying abroad increased my understanding of global societies, deepened my interest in international studies, and enhanced my communication, writing, and critical thinking skills. Overall, it was an experience that influenced my entire life and shaped me into who I am today.

Advice & Tips:
Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Of course, be sensible if safety is an issue, but don't be afraid to embrace your time abroad as a learning experience and one of the best times of your life. Learn from every new experience. Write about your experience, because before you know it, the months abroad will have come to an end. You'll want to remember what you were going through and how you were feeling during those months in another country. Above all, be excited! At times it might be a bit scary, but every new experience comes with worries, and chances are you'll look back on times you were hesitant or scared and say to yourself, "That wasn't scary at all."

Study Abroad Office

Phone: (920) 403-4068
Fax: (920) 403-4083

St. Norbert College • 100 Grant Street • De Pere, WI 54115-2099 • 920-337-3181