Travel for credits

Daniel Leonard, Staff writer

Many students hope to be accepted into Mercyhurst’s study abroad program, or an affiliated program, which offers the opportunity to expand education beyond the gates of Mercyhurst to places around the world.

Destinations this year through Mercyhurst’s study abroad program include Italy, Greece, Argentina, Japan, Peru and Ireland, each offering students the opportunity to travel overseas, enhancing their undergraduate education through new cultural experiences.

The majority of the courses offered in the program aim to complete the required REACH curriculum, but many also serve the purpose of completing specific major and minor requirements.

In addition to the program offered by Mercyhurst, students have the option to study through six international programs, outside of Mercyhurst.

Through an affiliated program, the American Institute of Foreign Study, Alexandra Hagberg, sophomore Art Education major, studied abroad in Rome, Italy, during Fall 2017.

“I was really nervous because there was no one else from Mercyhurst going, but I was also really excited to meet new people and form friendships with people who shared the same yearning for adventure as I do,” Hagberg said.

When in Rome, Hagberg lived in an apartment with four other girls near Vatican City and attended classes in the city.

“It was hard to live in such a tiny apartment with so many girls, but it was so nice to live like a real Italian rather than in a dorm apartment,” said Hagberg. “We got to know our Italian neighbors, and it just made Rome feel even more like home.”

Hagberg’s independent experience may not be for everyone, especially those hesitant to travel in an unfamiliar area. Those students can take comfort in the fact that a professor goes on each trip offered by Mercyhurst.

“Whatever it takes, it will always be worth it,” said Hagberg. “I have learned so much through my experiences and once you travel once, the doorways for more traveling will open themselves up to you. Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone.”