Jessica: Summer in Rio de Janeiro

Jessica Valdes is a University of Florida student studying abroad for Summer B 2016 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  To learn more about her program, click here: UF in Rio – Language and Culture.

VALDES, JESSICA

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    I am a rising junior studying Political Science with a concentration in Latin American Studies and Portuguese.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    I have had the experience of living in different countries. I was born and raised in the island of Cuba, and later I lived in Santiago, Chile with my family for three years. I have also visited Mexico and Panama.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    I have never studied abroad before.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I am studying abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I chose to study in Brazil because I believe Brazil is indeed the country of the future. Brazil´s economic power and vibrant culture has always captured my attention. I am invested in fully understanding the Brazilian culture and becoming fluent in Portuguese. As a future international law attorney, I will represent clients from all over Latin America and the Caribbean, especially from Brazil. Understanding the Brazilian culture and language will allow me to serve my clients better.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    I am looking forward to immersing myself in the Brazilian culture by enjoying the food, folklore and history of the country and its people. Of course, I am looking forward to seeing your typical tourist sites such as Christ the Redeemer, Ipanema Beach and living in the famous neighborhood of Copacabana. I also want to work hard in my classes so that I can better communicate and write in Portuguese.  Overall, I want to experience what it is like to live in the “cidade maravilhosa” or marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    I am interested in International Relations, politics, the arts, traveling and foreign languages. As for my hobbies, I enjoy a trip to the beach or swimming in the pool, dancing, music and reading books and articles.

Lauren: Summer in London

Lauren Wittine is a University of Florida student studying abroad for Summer C 2016 in London, England.  To learn more about her program, click here: USAC – London.

WITTINE, LAUREN

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    I’m a sophomore double majoring in Music (Organ Performance—yes, that’s a real thing) and English.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    My grandmother loves to travel and I’ve been lucky enough to go on several trips with her including to Europe and the Bahamas.  This will be my first study abroad experience, though.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    London.  This was one of the places I visited on my previous Europe trip.  We only spent 5 days there and I knew after the first few hours that I had to go back.  Their history has always fascinated me, not to mention their music, culture (yay English TV) and their fish and chips.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    One of my classes is theater-based so I’ll be seeing plays every week.  It will be great to take in the culture and get to discuss it with other students who are equally excited.  I’m also hoping to venture out of the city and see what else the country has to offer.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    Much of my life is centered on music (choir rehearsals, organ practice, etc) and I love it.  I’m also a big Disney nerd, cat lover, and a total food snob.

Thanks for coming on this adventure with me!

Teal: Summer in Barcelona

Teal Garth is a University of Florida student studying abroad for Summer B 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  To learn more about her program, click here: ISA – Barcelona (Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona International Studies, Business, & Culture).

GARTH, TEAL

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    Year: rising junior, Major: journalism, Outside concentration/minor: undecided.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    As a graduation present for me/50th birthday present for my mom, my family traveled to Europe for three weeks a couple years ago. We went to the Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    Nope, first time!
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I am studying in Barcelona for several reasons. First, because I have never been to Spain so I wanted the chance to experience a new culture and explore new places. Secondly, I have met quite a few people that have studied abroad in or visited Barcelona and everyone goes on and on about how much they loved it. Lastly, I love that it’s a big city with a lot to offer, which is really exciting, and it’s on the coast and the beach, whatever continent it may be on, is my favorite place in the world to be.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    I’m literally looking forward to everything about it so this is kind of hard. If I had to narrow it down I would have to say definitely being in Europe again because I had so much fun last time, meeting new people and experiencing new places, and emerging myself in the culture (AKA eating tons of food).
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    My hobbies mostly consist of online shopping, binge watching Netflix, and spending an obscene amount of money on pizza that my body really doesn’t need. Sometimes I do real things like write for the Odyssey or this blog or, worst case scenario, my classes. On a more serious note, learning about other cultures is something I’ve realized I’m actually very interested in (I’m not just in this to make my friends jealous with all my stories when I come back for fall semester). I’m in the process of pursuing a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication and I’m thinking about doing my outside concentration in Spanish, so maybe this trip will help lock down some of those decisions for me!

Kelly: Summer in Spain and Southern France

Kelly Hatton is a University of Florida student studying abroad for Summer A 2016 in Spain and Southern France.  To learn more about her program, click here: UF in Spain and Southern France – Journalism.

HATTON, KELLY

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    I am a rising junior studying telecommunications with a minor in English.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    I have travelled abroad before. I’ve been to England, France, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Greece and China for both educational trips and for fun.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    I have never studied abroad before.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I am studying abroad because I love to travel and the College of Journalism and Communications offers such amazing programs. I have never been to Spain, so I wanted to explore a new place.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    I am most looking forward to meeting new people and seeing such unique places.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    I love to write, travel, workout and find cute coffee shops.

Emma: Summer in Cairns and Suva

Emma Stetter is a University of Florida student studying abroad for Summer A 2016 in Cairns, Australia and Suva, Fiji.  To learn more about her program, click here: UF in North Queensland and Fiji – Sustaining Humans and Their Environment.

STETTER, EMMA

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    I am finishing up my second year here at the University of Florida majoring in Telecommunications with a concentration in production and a minor in innovation.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    This study abroad trip will be my fifth time abroad. The first time I left the country I was 16 and I did a three week foreign exchange in Böblingen, Germany. I got to live with an amazing German family and see so many wonderful things. One of my favorite memories of the trip, besides the family I stayed with, was when I climbed part of the Alps in Oberstdorf. The following summer I had the opportunity to go back to Europe with my sister’s choir. We went on an Alpine tour through Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria where the choir sang on the streets, in cathedrals, and in beautiful hotels. This year I traveled with one of my best friends to Málaga, Spain for spring break. One of my favorite parts was riding a donkey through the small town of Mijas.  We got to see cathedrals, castles, Roman ruins, and so much more. Spain was absolutely breathtaking.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    I had the amazing opportunity to spend my first semester at UF studying abroad through the Innovation Academy. I got to spend six weeks in Maynooth, Ireland where we took an Irish Culture and History course with a local professor, as well as an Analytical Writing and Thinking course with a focus in entrepreneurship and innovation. We lived in what looked like a castle and got to visit businesses such as Google. Along with our studies, we got to travel to Belfast to see the Titanic museum, see the Cliffs of Moher, visit the Connemara National Park, and kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I am studying abroad in North Queensland, Australia and Fiji, where we will be learning about sustainability and the environment. I am always ready for an adventure and I chose to study in Australia and Fiji because they are both on my list of places I have never been. I am intrigued by the idea of experiential learning, which is a major part of this program. I love that class will be held outdoors- rather than in a lecture hall- with field guides where we can truly experience what we are learning.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    I am most looking forward to all of the adventures this program offers. We will be snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, camping in the Outback, hiking through the rainforest, working on a farm, and living with locals. I am excited to meet new people and explore new places while learning and practicing sustainability.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    My interests and hobbies include traveling and sharing my travel experiences through blogs and photos. I blogged about my Spain trip and found it very exciting to sit down at the end of each day and share my adventures with family and friends back home. I also love listening to music and reading.

Elizabeth: Summer in Moscow

Elizabeth Vlasyuk is a University of Florida student studying abroad for Summer A 2016 in Moscow, Russia.  To learn more about her program, click here: UF in Moscow – Language and Culture.

VLASYUK, ELIZABETH

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    I am third-year and am Majoring in English, Minoring in Russian.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    I have never travelled abroad before. This will be my first time.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    I’ve never had the opportunity to study abroad before until now.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I’ll be studying in Moscow, Russia. I’ll be studying Russian to finish my minor and summer study requirements.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    Besides refining the language, I’m excited to experience life with a whole new cultural view.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    Some of my interests and hobbies include soccer, football, volleyball, snowboarding, writing poetry, ceramics, singing, and playing the piano. Anything that allows me to express my creative side, really.

Rachel: Summer in Tel Aviv

Rachel Gurevich is a University of Florida student studying abroad for Summer C 2016 in Tel Aviv, Israel.  To learn more about her program, click here: Tel Aviv University.

GUREVICH, RACHEL

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    My major is Finance, with a minor in real estate.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    I have traveled before to Israel for a 5 week leadership in the summer of 2012. I also traveled to Italy my senior year of high school as part of learning trip for an art history class.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    I have never studied abroad before.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I am studying abroad in Tel Aviv, Israel this summer. On my previous trip to Israel, I fell in love with the culture and atmosphere of the country. Israel is an amazing combination of history and modern development, and I am so excited to experience life as a student there.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    I am looking most forward to living in Tel Aviv for the summer. Tel Aviv is a city right on the shore of the mediterranean sea and is extremely innovative and advanced. I am excited for all the opportunities of learning and growth that the city and its university will provide for me.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    My interests include rock climbing, going on beach trips, and traveling to see the world.

Caroline: Summer in Florence

Caroline Jinks is a University of Florida student studying abroad for Summer A 2016 in Florence, Italy.  To learn more about her program, click here: UF in Florence – Global Perspectives.

JINKS, CAROLINE

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    Advertising major with an outside concentration in art.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    I have never studied abroad before. In fact, this study abroad experience will be my first taste of Europe!
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I’m studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I took an art history class my freshman year and have been particularly interested in the Renaissance ever since – I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I also love gelato.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    I’m most looking forward to living within a culture with an amount of history I’ve only read about. It’s going to be an entirely new experience and I really don’t know what to expect – a true culture shock and I’m so about it.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    Some of my hobbies include painting, finding funky restaurants, and listening to records. I have a collection that dates back to when my dad was in college and some of my favorite artists include James Taylor, Billy Joel, The Eagles, and Carole King. So yes, I have the music taste of a 50-year-old man but I try to rock it – no pun intended.

Audrey: Summer in Madrid

Audrey Gonzalez is a University of Florida student studying abroad for Summer C 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  To learn more about her program, click here: UF in Madrid – Business.

GONZALEZ, AUDREY

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    I am a junior pursuing a Management major, Masters in International Business and minor in Spanish.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    I have traveled abroad before on family vacations. We have gone to many countries in Europe, including Spain where I have family in the northern area.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I am studying abroad in Madrid for a few reasons. I visited Spain years ago and fell in love with the culture, people and TAPAS. When I saw that UF had a program in Spain, I immediately decided to do whatever it takes to study in Madrid. In addition, the birthplace of the Spanish language seems like the best place to work on earning my minor.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    I am passionate about traveling and have been fortunate enough to visit many places around the world. However, staying in a city for a few days to see all the tourist hot spots is very different than what I am about to experience. I am most looking forward to actually living in another country for a few months and soaking up every bit of culture I can. I want to leave feeling like a madrileño and having a genuine taste of every day life there.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    I love cooking, running, music and traveling!

Victoria: Summer in Beijing

Victoria Suarez is a University of Florida student studying abroad for Summer C 2016 in Beijing, China.  To learn more about her program, click here: UF in Beijing – Internship (Chinese Commerce & Culture).

SUAREZ, VICTORIA

  • What is your year and academic concentration?
    I am a second year Information Systems major seeking a minor in Statistics.
  • Have you traveled abroad before? If so, where and for what purpose?
    Every winter break I go to Puerto Rico to visit my family for the holidays. I have also traveled to London, Paris, Venice, Rome, Spain, Canada, and Mexico for family vacations.
  • Have you studied abroad before? If so, where and what did you study?
    I have never studied abroad.
  • Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose to study there?
    I chose to intern abroad in Beijing, China because I liked what the UF in China program entailed and I have never traveled to any Asian country.
  • What are you most looking forward to during your study abroad program?
    While in Beijing, China, I am looking forward to immersing myself in a different culture and exploring a country I might of never had the opportunity to travel to.
  • What are some of your interests and hobbies?
    I am really interested in technology and data analytics, especially applied to consumer trends. Also, a hobby of mine is pottery and throwing clay.