There are so many reasons why you should study abroad! For starters, you’re going to be in another country and that’s awesome! Second, you’re going to be able to immerse yourself in that country and language and you’ll get to see what living in another country is like!
There are so many locations that you could pick to study and live, as well as universities that can help assist you in studying abroad. In my opinion, you should pick one of Harding University’s study abroad programs! Harding University’s International Programs is dedicated to helping students study abroad. Their goal is to give students the opportunity to live in a new country while learning about the world around them. As the Dean of the International Programs, Dr. Jeffrey Hopper, says, “Make the world your classroom”. Their goal is to give students the best experience abroad by teaching them about the city and letting them explore the world around them. They also want their students to understand the culture and take part in it. Currently, about forty-eight percent of students at Harding participate in an overseas program. The classes that are offered will depend on the onsite faculty that travel with the students, but they tend to be classes that all of the students can take such as general studies classes.
Harding offers 7 semester-long international programs that students can choose from and each program is unique and special in their own ways. They offer programs in Florence, Paris, Australia, Greece, Latin America, Zambia, and England. Each program lasts 3 months and while they are exploring the world around them, they will be taking classes to further their knowledge about what they are seeing and visiting. Through traveling, students get to dive deep into a new culture and travel to the places that they talk about in class. They will come back with a new understanding of the world around them, new friends, and experiences that they will remember for a lifetime.
If you’re interested in signing up or want more information about the programs offered, then you can click on the links above and follow them on social media with @HUintl! I suggest following their Instagram page because they post pictures of students’ experiences as well as have pictures and videos in their Instagram story of some of the different programs that are offered. You can also follow their Twitter page and Facebook page to get more information!
Side Note: I participated in 2 overseas programs with Harding University’s International Programs and both were unique and special in their own ways. The second program that I participated in is allowing me to graduate early!
HIP (Harding in Paris) | Spring of 2016 | The first program that I went on was HIP. The program started with 3 weeks in Spain. In Spain, we traveled to Madrid, Granada, Barcelona, and the Canary Islands. We spent one full week in both Barcelona and the Canary Islands. This was the first time that the HIP program included Spain and they plan on doing that in the future because it was such a big hit! If you asked my group which city they liked more in Spain you would hear them say the Canary Islands. We enjoyed the Canary Islands because we got to stay in our own little beach house for a week! We also got to explore the islands and hike a mountain! There was one day where we were able to go to the monkey park and we enjoyed feeding them and letting them climb on us!
After our time in Spain had ended, we were off to Paris! What I loved about the HIP program was the freedom that we were given. We lived in little apartments right next to the Louvre and in my opinion this was the perfect location because right outside our apartment was a tram stop that gave us easy access to explore the city. In our apartments we were given the opportunity to cook for ourselves and we had fun cooking meals. I enjoyed living in the apartments because I was able to have my own space and it felt like I was actually living in Paris. During HIP, we got to go on short trips to places such as Normandy, Southern France, and day trips to different places. I enjoyed learning about each place in class and then being able to actually visit those places!
I could honestly go on and on about my time in Paris because it was my favorite. For the most part, classes would meet during the week and on the weekends we were given the freedom to explore Paris on our own! During the weekends, we would shop at the local markets and visit some of the famous sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Shakespeare and Company, the Catacombs, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Musee D’Orsay.
HUF (Harding in Florence) | Summer of 2017 | The second program that I was able to participate in was HUF. My experience this time was different because I wasn’t taking the same classes as those who were having their first experience abroad. Instead, I was independently studying with professors who were either visiting Florence with our group or professors back in the states.
The HUF program is located in the hills of Tuscany in a little town called Scandicci. Students who come to HUF stay in a villa run by the director and his staff. There are a lot of places that students travel within the program such as trips to the Casentino, Rome, Southern Italy, Pisa, Lucca, and Sicily. Classes are typically during the week and after classes end we were able to take a tram into Florence and explore the city! In Florence there is so much you can do! We would walk around and shop until we got tired. Then we would find a nice place to eat and enjoy a meal talking about random topics.
Two of the places that we went to as a group that were my favorite were Rome and Southern Italy. For starters, anyone who travels to Italy is probably going to go to Rome for the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. I loved visiting those sites, but when we were given free time I loved just exploring the city on my own. By walking through the streets of Rome I found delicious restaurants to try and cute shops to browse through. In Southern Italy, we stayed in Sorrento and then on our free day I got to travel to Capri and Anacapri. In Sorrento, I loved walking through the streets, exploring all that the city had to offer, and seeing the sun set. In Anacapri, I enjoyed going to the top and riding a chairlift to see the great views of the island. Unfortunately, there was a lot of cloud coverage and we weren’t able to see the city. However, once we got to Capri, the clouds from the morning had disappeared and we were able to see the beautiful island of Capri.
Each program that Harding’s International Program offers are unique, but what makes them so special are the memories that the students make together and separately. The memories that I made on both of these trips are going to be different than my peers that participated in that trip. This is what is so exciting about traveling because everyone’s experiences are unique.
*All photos taken by Le Petit Traveler