|Notable:||Semester Abroad, Fall 2010|
" My study abroad experience has allowed me to appreciate the world outside of the United States. I wake up every morning in my lovely accommodation, look outside and realize I am very far from home. I used to think that this might be frightening being outside of my comfort zone, but now I see it as an opportunity to continue to grow and adapt to the outside world.
I chose to study in the Czech Republic because of my heritage. My ancestors journeyed to America from Czechoslovakia at the time of the Prussian takeover, and settled in Protivin, Iowa. My grandmother, Cecilia Stika Rolfes, was born into this community and has always expressed the importance of her Czech heritage to her grandchildren. My grandmother's stories are the true reason why I am now currently in Brno, Czech Republic.
I have always been interested in how people interact at all stages of life. I think back to my first few weeks at Edgewood College, and am reminded about how quickly I was able to adapt to my surroundings. After being in here in Brno for less than week, I already felt settled in. My favorite place to go in Brno is a small cafÃ© that a few friends and I have found. At " The Liberty,â€ we sit with our delicious coffee and pancakes, and chat about whatever is on our minds. I cannot explain how empowering it is to be in a room of individuals who represent the entire world. I always feel that I have something to give as a representative of the United States and this is something I will hold dear for the rest of my life.
The best thing about studying in the Czech Republic is that it is centrally-located in Europe, which gives me the opportunity to travel to many places. I have already been to Ireland to visit a few international students from Edgewood College. I've been hiking in the Slovak Mountains. I also plan to see Poland, Scotland, Hungary and other areas within the Czech Republic.
Asking questions about your life, purpose, and ideas is the best thing any person can do. This experience so far is developing these questions, and helping me find my answers. If any student has a chance to study abroad take the opportunity. It is a time to feel free and explore yourself in ways you can't even comprehend.