A young female in front of a building with the German flag.

My experience was stress-free because of the expertise and planning of the advisors and behind-the-scenes people who planned the trip.

Melanie Paonessa

  • Student
Nursing | Study Abroad
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Study Abroad

Melanie is a pre-nursing major. She attended the Honors Europe program in Summer 2022.

A Conversation with Melanie

Why did you chose study abroad?

When accepting to be a part of the Regents Scholars program here at TAMUC, one of the highlights to look forward to towards the end of your four years was a study abroad trip to places in western Europe. While the trip abroad was not required, it's such a unique experience, so how could I pass it up? Within our program, we are required to take a certain amount of global classes, which help expand students' mindset on the class topic to outside the United States. Personally, these classes ( Music History, Theatre, Philosophy, etc.) wanted me to visit Europe even more after learning about significant places, people, and events that took place across the world. Besides the preparation for the trip, I chose to go on this program because the advisors were people who I had known since being a Freshman four years ago and who had helped me become who I am now. Being with them abroad was the cherry on top of finishing my time here at TAMUC, where they've been there every step.

Why surprised you the most about study abroad?

What surprised me the most was how easy-going the trip was. It's as if all that planning and all those forms the school has you do has a purpose, haha. Jokes aside, my experience was stress-free because of the expertise and planning of the advisors and behind-the-scenes people who planned the trip. I'm confident that this abroad trip will be the most stress-free trip to different European countries, both planning-wise and financially, that I will experience.

Why was your favorite part about study abroad?

My favorite part about being overseas was the difference in culture and architecture.
Visiting historically significant buildings, cathedrals, memorials, and landscapes was beautiful. No picture can amount to what you see or feel when seeing the detail, color, and height of these places in person. Especially if you plan to educate yourself about why these places are significant, the appreciation for them grows more profound. I also enjoyed doing new things such as public transportation (there is a learning curve!) with the help of peers who have done them before, new foods, and visits to new places.

Why advice would you give to students considering study abroad?

Of all the people who I have talked to about the abroad trip (and other abroad trips that I was not a part of), every single one of them loved the experience. To those students who want to: if you can, do it! When is the next time you can take a trip like this with such great resources? If you already know that you can go and plan on going on the trip, my advice is to start planning your free time and where you want to visit! You'll have more free time than you think to explore the area around you, and with public transportation, there is always somewhere beautiful nearby to explore or visit. Lastly, be prepared to branch out and meet new people. Branching out and talking to everyone opens up endless possibilities of ideas and memories; remember that everyone is there to enjoy their time and probably wants a group to do this trip with!

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