Jacks around the globe

LAURA SCHMIT, Human development and family studies

WHERE: Dublin, Ireland   •  DURATION: 8 weeks

Why did you study abroad?

I had always wanted to study abroad, I finally just decided my college career is almost over, so it was time to finally take the leap of faith and go. 

What did study abroad teach you?

Outside of the classroom, studying abroad gave me the confidence to travel independently. I could tell by the end of my trip that I had stepped out of my comfort zone and taken risks that I would not have before studying abroad.

Cost estimate:

For the entire two months, I would estimate around $9,000 including program fees, meals and all spending money. Obviously it depends on your personal spending habits. 

SHANIA MEIER, Business Economics

WHERE: CIEE Global Institute, Berlin, Germany   •  DURATION: 5 months

WHERE: Goethe Institute, Mannheim, Germany   •  DURATION: 5 weeks

What were the focuses of your studies?

The Mannheim, Germany trip was a faculty-led program through the Goethe Institute where we focused on learning the German language. On the Berlin trip I went to the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) global institute and studied international business and German.

What was your favorite experience?

When I was in Berlin, I met some of the most amazing people and they are some of my best friends today. One night we were sitting around (it was after midnight) and someone mentioned going to the Brandenburg Gate, which is probably like a 30-minute ride away and they shut down at 2 a.m., but when it comes to saying ‘no’ in study abroad, you just don’t do it — always say yes — it’s so important. So we all literally ran to the Brandenburg Gate, had like a mini photo shoot and then ran back to the institute. Take advantage of the moment you are in because you never know when you’ll be in that city or with those people again.

Cost estimate:

The program cost plus the plane ticket was about $6,000 for Mannheim. I got a huge scholarship for the Berlin trip so it was a flat cost of $5,000 and my plane ticket was $1,200. If I didn’t have the scholarship, this program costs about $18,000.

SETH FLEMMER, History – teaching

WHERE: Kinding, Germany   •  DURATION: 21 days

Who did you travel with?

I went on a faculty-led trip through SDSU led by German professor Eckhard Rölz. We were all SDSU students that attended this trip. We were split up into groups and sent to different locations. We went abroad to interact with the refugees Germany has been letting in from all over the world. The refugees we interacted with were all teenage boys from the surrounding villages of Kinding. I was sent to a house where there were no English speakers, due to my ability to speak enough German to get by. 

Where did you stay?

We stayed in an apartment complex in Kinding just one floor beneath where the refugees lived. The boys were so gracious that we were there, they would bring us meals and invite us up to listen to music, or attempt to talk about ourselves and United States’ culture.

What was your favorite thing that you saw?

My favorite thing was our weekend excursion to the Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich.

Cost estimate:

$3,000 to $4,000. If under 18 years old, each student receives a monthly stipend, free housing and free schooling.

JESSICA SEEHAFER, Pre-nursing

WHERE: London, UK   •  DURATION: 4 months

Why did you study abroad?

I have actually always wanted to travel since I was a kid, and found out about a scholarship from CIEE that was offered. I filled it out thinking nothing would come of it, and I didn’t even tell my parents until I got it. I didn’t know anyone else going, and this was not only my first time leaving the country, but it was my first time traveling alone. It was terrifying. 

What was your favorite experience?

My favorite experience was learning how to effectively and safely travel. It was so much fun just booking a trip to a random country for the weekend with friends.

Who did you travel with?

When I got there, there were about 40 to 50 other students from all over the country and only a handful of them knew someone in the group so it was really easy to make friends.

Cost estimate:

I spent way under my budget. Besides tuition, which was less than SDSU’s with the scholarship, I spent around $2,000 and that covered all food, travel and other activities.