I have always wanted to travel to the East coast, but never really had a reason to until I heard about the National Student Exchange program from a former roommate. The idea sounded amazing to me - travel to another U.S. university and pay an amount similar to your home campus' tuition. One of my goals is to visit all 50 states, so having the opportunity to visit a new place while continuing to work toward my degree was a dream come true, to say the least. So, in the spring of 2016 I will be traveling to the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. As a California native, I love the warm Arizona winters, but I am looking forward to (and am a little nervous about) a snowy winter on the East coast and being able to witness the transition between seasons. UMass was one of my top picks not only because it offers my major and minor, but also because it is a geographic novelty to me and is in close proximity to major cities that I have always wanted to visit. In addition, the university is a part of what is called the Five College Consortium, meaning that I can take classes at Amherst as well as 4 other close, prestigious schools in the Pioneer Valley. I am very excited to go on exchange and to learn and grow in a new environment, both inside and outside of the classroom. I am looking forward to meeting new people in my field of study, with whom I can potentially form lasting, valuable connections. In more individual terms, I think that being in a different environment will challenge and stimulate me academically and socially, opening my mind to new ideas, building upon my education so far, and encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone to meet new people and have unique experiences.
Name: Eleanor Ferguson
Exchange Term: Spring 2016
Host Campus: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Major: Linguistics; Minor: Italian