JUNIOR ARI BERMAN EXPLORING MADRID, SPAIN WHILE STUDYING ABROAD LAST SPRING.
PHOTO CREDIT: ARI BERMAN
By Olivia Siegel
You won’t find good Mexican food in Italy. Junior Ari Berman can assure you of that.
Gearing up to leave the country for four months can be stressful, nerve-racking, and most of all exciting. Leaving the comforts of Chapman is no easy feat, especially when many students feel as if there is an innumerable list of things to do before they leave.
Before embarking on one of the most life changing experiences, there are a few things you have to cross off your Chapman Bucket List.
Berman spent last spring semester abroad in three different cities within Italy, none of which housed any Mexican cuisine as satisfactory as Chipotle.
Chapman provides one of the best study abroad programs, allowing over 400 students to travel abroad each year.
Berman suggests that anyone who is about to go abroad must take advantage of a few things on campus, including the friends that won’t be going with you.
“Sit on the Argyros Forum balcony and study there for finals, go to the beach more often, and make set plans with friends about when you can Skype each week and truly stick to those schedules,” she said.
No matter how much you adjust to the foreign country’s food, you will most likely miss your favorites from back home. Berman was lucky enough to find a tiny Mexican restaurant in Italy.
“I ate there as often as I would have Chipotle because it reminded me of home. Eat enough of your favorite food before you go because they will not have it,” she said.
Chapman’s study abroad program has hundreds of destinations that will vary in weather conditions, yet nowhere will provide a sunshine bubble quite like Orange County’s. Some of the best advice would be to embrace the weather here before you’re stuck in a rainstorm and five layers still doesn’t keep you warm enough. Berman can attest to the FOMO she felt because of the weather while in Italy.
“Sun and warm weather make me happier, more social, and more adventurous. I found myself not wanting to go explore if it was too cold or rainy, and that’s something I regret more now as I look back on my experience,” Berman said. “But in the moment, I couldn’t seem to shake the fact that I was wearing three puffy jackets and my friends were all taking pictures at the beach.”
SEMESTER AT SEA IS A POPULAR STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS WHO WANT TO SEE AS MANY COUNTRIES AS POSSIBLE.
ARTIST: BIANCA ADAMO
Sophomore and documentary film major Hailey Millar is gearing up for her Semester at Sea this coming spring. Anxious for what this next semester will bring, she prepares for her visit to 12 countries and 16 cities within Africa and Asia.
Before she leaves, she knows one of the most important places to go – In-N-Out. While floating in the middle of the Atlantic, Millar knows she’ll be seriously missing animal fries; that and “being able to cook my own food. Having access to my own kitchen is something I'm really going to miss next semester,” said Millar.
ARTIST: BIANCA ADAMO
Both Berman and Millar agree that it’s impossible not to miss the amenities that Chapman provides while being off campus.
For Millar, a completely different learning environment awaits her on the boat. She already knows she will miss the library and the art program most about Chapman.
“I’m an art student, and unfortunately, I know I won’t be doing much of it next semester. I go to the library a few times a week and am always able to get my work done there. I’m hoping I can find a place just as peaceful on the boat,” she said.
Not only does Chapman provide one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses, it also houses some pretty amazing students.
“I really missed the actual Chapman campus. I don’t think that can necessarily even be compared to international schools,” said Berman. “Chapman’s campus is so gorgeous and I like it more than most other college campuses I’ve seen. Also, the people here are seriously one of a kind. I found myself feeling competitive and stressed out when dealing with group projects while I was abroad, but at Chapman, I feel very supported and non-competitive with my peers and classmates. I love that about Chapman and it definitely makes me a more successful student.”
Bettina Mueller-Tuescher, peer advisor at the study abroad center, agreed with Berman on the strong level of community on Chapman’s campus.
“Chapman has a closer-knit community in terms of on campus activities when compared with the university I attended abroad. The way many of the classes are structured inherently involves discussion and group work, and the density of the campus facilitates regular interactions among students,” she said.
Clearly, Chapman provides an amazing on-campus college experience, filled with traits that are longed for while students study abroad. It proves to be one of the most life changing experiences for Chapman students, to gear up for the change, don’t forget to pack in everything about SoCal that you won’t find overseas.