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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away
Notes from Abroad: Maxwell in France
Maxwell Perlick ’20 is a Business major who has studied at the Universite Savoie Mont Blanc in France.
I am still enjoying my last few days abroad, but I cannot be more happy and grateful for the experience I’ve had over the past 4 months or so. I studied at Université Savoie Mont Blanc in Annecy-le-Vieux, France, where I took the International Industrial Business Management (IIBM) program which consisted of 10 courses throughout the semester on different aspects of business management. The courses were very interesting, and the classroom size/environment was very similar to one of Lake Forest College however I was the only American. Coming to France I knew I would live in a different culture I was not familiar to, but as time went on it became my new home. The diversity of friends I made was so special that I believe I could travel anywhere in Europe let alone the world and have a possible connection. Germany, The Netherlands and Finland for example as well as Mexico, Laos, Brazil and the Ukraine. The most important thing I kept in mind was not wasting a minute even a day when I could be doing so many cool activities in different areas. I will never forget the friends I made here and the unique experiences and memories we made while spending countless hours in the beautiful town of Annecy.
I was lucky enough to be able to travel to different regions of the country as well as a few new places I had never been before. France is such a wonderful country still living off the hype of winning the past World Cup this summer. There are so many things to do that a semester abroad is the perfect time to maybe get through half of the special events/places France has to offer. I spent time in Annecy, Chambéry, La Féclaz, Paris, Lille, Lyon and different parts of the Swiss/French Alps. Outside France I was in Verona, Budapest, Barcelona, Geneva and London. All these different cities were incredible and showed me new parts of the world that I did not know exist. The most important thing I experienced was learning about myself, becoming more independent and mature through the cultural perspective I had become familiar with. I will always remember the lifelong friends and connections I had made during my time here.
Honored does not even fully describe how I feel about being able to have this opportunity to study abroad, this was an experience I needed to have before moving into the real world after finishing my studies at Lake Forest College. This showed me how much bigger the world is than we normally imagine, let alone the life people live in a different continent of the world. If there is one thing you take from my story let it be this; do not hesitate or miss out on an opportunity to live in a different country as it will show you who you are outside the normal community we are accustom to, and truly the person you are and can become. There is more to life than the American culture we live and breathe every day.
Lastly, never be afraid to step out of your boundaries and do something new you would never have done before.