Stu­dents who vis­ited the Curry Stu­dent Center Indoor Quad on Thursday found them­selves immersed in a sea of global learning oppor­tu­ni­ties at the Study Abroad Fair.

This semester, 245 stu­dents are doing study abroad in 40 coun­tries. In fact, for the first time North­eastern stu­dents are doing study abroad in Fin­land, Kazak­stan, Lithuania, and Norway.

Here, five stu­dents who vol­un­teered to share their own global expe­ri­ences at the fair explain why those expe­ri­ences were so meaningful—and why other stu­dents should con­sider study abroad.

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Photo by Matthew Modoono/​Northeastern University

Mollie Scott, E’20
Major: Civil and envi­ron­mental engi­neering
Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions loca­tion: Seville and Barcelona, Spain

Scott’s dia­logue trip focused on Spanish lan­guage and cul­ture. “I wanted to study abroad as quickly as pos­sible,” she said, adding that the expe­ri­ence not only aligned with her minor in Spanish and pro­vided an oppor­tu­nity to prac­tice the lan­guage beyond the class­room, but also fit well into her schedule studying engi­neering on campus.

What did she take from the expe­ri­ence? “I think that there’s so much you can learn out­side of the class­room … that you have to learn from get­ting out of your com­fort zone and immersing your­self in a cul­ture dif­ferent from your own. That was the big part of the reason I chose North­eastern, because (the uni­ver­sity) makes study abroad and global oppor­tu­ni­ties more acces­sible than any other school I could find.”

It’s an invalu­able expe­ri­ence, said Scott, who is now aggres­sively looking for oppor­tu­ni­ties to enhance her North­eastern expe­ri­ence through global co-​​op, dia­logue, and study abroad.

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Photo by Matthew Modoono/​Northeastern University

Aziz Mondeh, SSH’17
Com­bined major: inter­na­tional affairs and polit­ical sci­ence
Study abroad loca­tion: Hansard Society Scholars, London, U.K.

Mondeh took classes in British pol­i­tics and public policy. He studied in London pre-​​Brexit, from Jan­uary to May, and became, as he put it, a “British pol­i­tics junkie.” He had the oppor­tu­nity to examine British pol­i­tics and gauge the emo­tions of politi­cians and workers during this his­toric time in U.K. history.

The pro­gram increased my acumen for under­standing inter­na­tional pol­i­tics from a com­par­a­tive per­spec­tive,” said Mondeh, who wants to work in the For­eign Ser­vice after grad­u­a­tion. “One of the major tenets of an inter­na­tional affairs major is being able to com­pare dif­ferent sys­tems and contexts.”

He added: “In a glob­al­ized society it’s impor­tant to have at least a sliver of inter­na­tional experience.”

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Photo by Matthew Modoono/​Northeastern University

Danielle Shoulman, AMD’17
Major: Music industry
Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions loca­tion: Salzburg Col­lege, Salzburg, Austria

Shoulman studied clas­sical music and busi­ness. “It was amazing to study clas­sical music in the city where Mozart was born,” she said. “There’s no better place to study that. It gives you a whole new per­spec­tive, seeing the dif­ferent ensem­bles of orches­tras there playing music that is from that same place from such a long time ago.”

Going abroad, she said, helped her get out of her com­fort zone. “It opens your mind to oppor­tu­ni­ties that you didn’t think you’d have.”

Living with a host family was one of the greatest expe­ri­ences of my life,” Shoulman added, explaining that this aspect allowed her to immerse her­self deeply in the country’s cul­ture and people. The expe­ri­ence left such an impact that she trav­eled with her own family back to Salzburg the fol­lowing year to see her host family.

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Photo by Matthew Modoono/​Northeastern University

Amy Romanello, S’18
Major: Behav­ioral neu­ro­science
Study abroad loca­tion: Charles Uni­ver­sity, Prague, Czech Republic

Romanello took courses in psy­chology, lit­er­a­ture, and pho­tog­raphy. One in par­tic­ular that stood out was a sem­inar on phi­los­ophy of psy­chi­atry, which allowed her to explore the dis­ci­pline from an ethics perspective.

Why would she rec­om­mend study abroad? “You get out of your shell,” she says, adding that living and studying abroad pro­vides a rich oppor­tu­nity to expand your per­spec­tive and open your eyes to new ways of seeing people and the world. She found this from trav­eling across Europe during study abroad and talking to people from as many dif­ferent places and back­grounds as she could.

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Photo by Matthew Modoono/​Northeastern University

James Phelan, SSH’19
Com­bined major: Eco­nomics and polit­ical sci­ence
Study abroad loca­tion: Uni­ver­sity of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Phelan took classes in eco­nomics and pol­i­tics, and learning about these topics in another cul­ture gave him a more global per­spec­tive on them. “Aus­tralia isn’t too dif­ferent from the United States, but as an inter­na­tional stu­dent you’re in a melting pot of dif­ferent people and cul­tures,” he said. The oppor­tu­nity to immerse your­self in a new cul­ture, he said, is a huge ben­efit of study abroad. It also changed his career out­look. He’d intended to work on Capitol Hill as a “policy guy,” but now he’s con­sid­ering the idea of working for the World Bank or a non-​​governmental organization.