Skip to main content

Student Voices

students at the Kaap Die Goeie Hoop

Photo credit: Cape Town Program Consortium Photo Archives (spring 2015)

Curious to know what studying abroad is really  like? No better way than hearing from students themselves! Here you'll find stories, videos, reflections, photos and OCS evaluations from students who have recently returned from studying abroad. 

"In an Instant" by Colin Donahue '22

Colin Donahue '22 (Spain, NYU Madrid, spring 2020) created a beautiful cinematographic reflection on his study abroad experience in Madrid - and how COVID-19 crudely steered that experience in a different direction.

"133 seconds abroad" by Nhung Hoang '19

Nhung Hoang '19 (Hungary, AIT Budapest, spring 2018) edited an amazing video-document of her study abroad experience at AIT in Budapest, Hungary by splicing together 1-second fragments of videos she took every day during her time abroad. 

"Reflections" by Emma Ricci-De Lucca '21

"Every day presented me with exciting challenges and these experiences helped me grow and learn. I am so incredibly grateful for the time that I had in France, even if it was cut short, and I hope to be able to visit again soon."

Read more

"My Time in Mérida" by Louisa Carman '21

"The network of host families in Mérida was truly incredible. This photo was taken during my first week, when one of the other host families invited a couple students over for breakfast. I felt warmly welcomed into everyone's house and still keep in touch with my host family."

Read more

"Interning at the Museum of nonconformist art" by Bellara Huang '21

"My experience abroad really informs my career and academic interests—after working at the Museum of nonconformist art, I hope to pursue a career in museums or cultural institutions. Along with my classes and the city, my internship was by far my favorite part of my study abroad experience."

Read more

"Studying in Mexico as a Heritage Student" by Maria Valadez Ingersoll '20

"For my entire life, I have struggled with connecting to my ethnic identity. [...] I hoped to find in Mexico the answers to some of my unspoken questions, and the relief of finally understanding who I was."

Read more

Math in Budapest

"Choosing to study abroad at the Budapest Semester in Mathematics (BSM) is one of the best decisions I have made at Swarthmore. At first, I was on the fence: there were so many classes I wished to take, so many clubs I wanted to join at Swarthmore — leaving that familiarity behind was daunting to me. How wrong I was! BSM offers everything I wanted: rigorous academics, opportunities to meet like-minded peers, cultural exploration, among others. Thanks to these opportunities, I have gained a better understanding of what I value (for instance, rather than taking everything so seriously, allow myself to try random things). I highly recommend everyone to seriously consider study abroad."

Text and photo credit: Peem Lerdputtipongporn '21 (Hungary, BSM, spring 2020)

Student PeemLerdputtipongporn in Hungary

Nusaybah in the Rose Gardens, Sydney

"One of my favorite things to do while abroad was to spend time at the Centennial Park, where the photo of this virtual background was taken. In the middle of Sydney, it was the perfect escape to nature and a quick walk from the university campus. Even as academics kicked up I always found myself visiting the park to skateboard, watch the horses and ducks or watch the sunsets in the beautiful rose gardens." 

Text and photo: Nusaybah Estes '21 (Australia, UNSW, spring 2020)


Nusaybah Estes with a virtual background of a photo taken in Sydney

OCS Student Evaluations

Upon return, you will complete an evaluation of your program(s) and reflect on your experience abroad. Many past participants have agreed to share their evaluations with prospective students. 

You are encouraged to contact previous study abroad participants as well as international students from the country or countries you are interested in. Here is a list of students who have recently studied abroad and agreed to be contacted by prospective off-campus study participants. If there are no recent participants from Swarthmore for the program you are considering, you should contact the program directly to  to be put in touch with recent participants from other institutions.