Interview with Alyssa Erb, from Hollidaysburg, Pa., who recently studied abroad in England.
Where and for how long did you study abroad?
I studied at York St. John University in York, England for three months in the fall of 2008.
How did you decide on a destination?
I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go exactly, but I knew I wanted it to be some place in the UK. I went and talked to Jarmila Polte, who was then the head of study abroad, and told her I wanted to be part of theatre and thought I wanted to be somewhere in the UK. She suggested York St. John, and when I talked to Andy Belser, the head of the theatre department, he suggested there as well because we were trying to start a relationship with them.
What was the environment and culture like?
The environment and culture were somewhat similar to here, but I found people there were a lot more honest and blunt about things. People were also really fascinated by my being an American and the culture of America.
What was your favorite experience you had while there?
I think my favorite experience while I was there was being able to travel to so many places. I got to go all around England as well as Dublin, Edinburgh, Paris, and Barcelona. I also go to see a lot of great theatre in all of the countries I went to.
What was the most profound thing you learned?
The most profound thing I learned while I was there was just about being in a different place and how to deal with another culture and being by myself and learning how to really kind of be independent.
Do you have any advice for those considering a trip abroad?
The advice I have for anyone going abroad is just do it. I would recommend studying abroad to anyone and everyone. Be open to other cultures and learn as much as you can while you’re there.
-Samantha Stroup ’12, Juniata Online Journalist