For Jack DeLine, participating in a Study Away program wasn’t just a bonus of going to college; it was an essential.
He began his sophomore year studying at Spain’s University of Salamanca, intending to spend one semester there.
“I ended up staying all the way through June of 2017, and the Study Away staff were so helpful. It was the best year of my life.”
“From Spain, I traveled to many different countries and met new people. Now I have friends all over the world.” — Jack DeLine
Jack treasures even the tough moments that come with spending nearly a year abroad, like the inevitable need for a doctor.
“It taught me I could get through those things,” he says. “Even in a completely different country, I could navigate.”
These experiences were useful once he got back home, too.
“Many of the things I learned applied to my life here. It gave me more confidence in who I am as a person,” he says.
He also gained fresh perspective on managing day-to-day challenges and conflicts.
“I’m a pretty organized person,” Jack says, “and I used to be somewhat inflexible, always needing to stick to my plan. But in Spain, I saw people take a different approach. I learned not to take everything so seriously. Now, if things don’t go my way or if there’s something I can’t control, I’m much better at adjusting and moving forward.”
Continuing to practice
Back in the United States, Jack sought out ways to continue practicing his languages. He got involved with the Association of International Students, which allowed him to speak with people whose first language wasn’t English — a critical exercise, he says.
He became a regular participant in the modern and classical languages department’s Polyglot Hour, and he co-founded the Portuguese Club.
Faculty selected him for Languages Without Borders, a cultural exchange program that took him to Brazil. This not only gave him the chance to study abroad again, it also introduced a potential career path.
“We attended teaching conferences and spoke about our own experiences,” Jack says. “The entire experience made me realize that I want to become a teacher.”
Jack envisions his future living and teaching overseas. He knows he can do it, he says, because through his Study Away opportunities, he already has.
“It 100 percent gave me the courage to live abroad,” he says.