This spring semester, many Stags have embarked on their semester abroad. With variation in scheduling between programs, some students have begun their studies abroad, while others are set to depart soon.
Fairfield students in the Madrid, Spain program are beginning to settle into their new routine, having started their studies on Jan. 24.
Junior Amy Knott is enjoying the program so far.
“I have never been so far away, essentially by myself, before, but, it’s been super awesome living in a different place and experiencing a different culture and different types of people,” she said.
Knott continued, “The country itself is so beautiful and Madrid is a fun city. I’ve loved being able to explore it.”
Knott recounted the change of plans her program underwent.
“The Madrid program isn’t at the typical school students attend because of a problem with Covid, so we are in a small program, around 25 students total, with other college students from Gonzaga University, University of South Carolina and Southern Methodist University,” Knott said.
With that said, Knott is enjoying her time abroad regardless of the circumstances.
Knott gives this advice to students considering studying abroad, “I would highly recommend for everyone to study abroad because I know I’m going to come out of this experience so grateful and fulfilled even though I was hesitant.”
While some students have left for their studies abroad, many are still preparing for their departure.
Junior Lily Carnicelli is going to study abroad in Florence, Italy this semester. The program is scheduled to begin on Feb. 15.
Carnicelli is eagerly awaiting the trip.
“I have always known I wanted to study abroad and Fairfield provided many great options,” Carnicelli said. “I’m definitely a little nervous but excited, and the program staff have been extremely helpful in answering questions.”
Broadly speaking, Carnicelli is “looking forward to immersing [herself] in a different culture, taking fun classes, exploring different cities, and meeting more students from Fairfield.”
Junior Rebecca Walsh, also in the Florence program, feels similarly.
She stated, “I’m really excited to explore Florence, and Italy as a whole.”
While Walsh is in Italy she will have an internship.
“I will be interning at NYU Florence with their Office of Student Life planning events to help students acclimate to life in Italy,” she said. “It seems similar to stuff I’ve done with the Office of Student Engagement here, so I think it will be a lot of fun.”
As she prepares for this unique experience, Walsh claimed, “the closer it gets to our departure date the more excited I am becoming.”
As many students are either currently abroad or anticipating their travels for this semester, the University has recently released decision letters for those interested in studying abroad next academic year.
While many students have received finalized decisions about studying abroad during the fall semester of next year, some are still unsure of their plans.
Some students with plans to study abroad in the Spring 2023 Semester recently received news that their decisions would be pushed back until later in the semester, raising concerns about students’ plans for the housing lottery, which takes place in March.
Sophomore Zach Vargas ran into this issue.
“I hope to study abroad in the spring of 2023 in London. I received an email the evening of [Jan. 31] saying my decision was delayed and that if I wanted to pursue other opportunities I could withdraw my application,” Vargas said. “There was no new date given, and I have learned other people have received their decisions.”
Another sophomore, Annie Mackey, looking to study biology in Ireland was frustrated with a similar situation.
She stated, “they canceled the [spring] study abroad program for biology majors, letting us know the day the decisions were supposed to be released, and they suggest going for [the fall semester].”
She summarized that, “now there’s no study abroad options for biology majors in the spring,” and “they didn’t give us our deposit back, or any money back.”
Information about next year’s programs are available through Global Fairfield.