Sophia: Summer in Pau

Sophia Semensky is a University of Florida student studying abroad during Summer B of 2017 in Pau, France.  To learn more about her program, click here: USAC – Pau.

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    I am a first-year student studying Environmental Science and Economics, with a minor in French.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    I have had the opportunity to travel to my home country of Ukraine, which is filled both with nature and historic cities. I have also enjoyed exploring Paris, Rome, and Barcelona with my family. My goal for those trips was to learn about art, culture, language, and tradition, and I am excited to see even more of Europe in the future. I have also had nature- and adventure-based trips in Costa Rica and Colombia.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    Nope! This summer is my first time studying in a different country.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    Prior to my trip to Paris last summer, I became immersed with French language and culture, reading memoirs, taking French classes, researching guide books, and singing along to French music. My time in Paris solidified my love of French, and I have decided to pursue a minor.

    This summer, I hope to increase my knowledge of language but also practice it, as well as form connections with other people and places. Pau, a town bordering Spain, has a rich cultural heritage but a less cosmopolitan structure than Paris; I hope to learn more about this region of France and practice my French speaking skills as much as possible!

  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    I am looking forward to wandering the streets of Pau, discovering little shops and speaking French. I love cities, and I hope to get to know Pau and its people as best I can!
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    I am passionate about environmental issues and sustainability, both by activism and being outside. I love reading and learning, I have taken free online courses on subjects ranging from Shakespeare to Architecture! I enjoy being active, hiking, and of course, traveling. Lately, I have been a bit obsessed with the New York Times, crossword puzzles, and gardening!
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