Adventures Abroad

September 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to travel the world, experience new things, and find yourself. Every year, students from IARc and across other disciplines choose to take advantage of this great opportunity that UNCG has to offer. There are a number of IARc students who will be studying abroad this coming semester (spring 2013), as well as some who have recently returned from this great experience. I talked to some of the individuals who are leaving about where they are planning to study abroad, what they are most looking forward to, and why they chose to study abroad. I also talked to Audra Volpi, who spent this past spring semester studying abroad, about some of her experiences as well as any tips that she has for anyone who is planning to study abroad.

Dajana Nedic, [4th] year, is planning to study abroad at Linnaeus University in Vaxjo, Sweden. She chose to study abroad because she thinks that Scandinavian design is extremely influential, and from what she has discovered about Linnaeus University, she feels that it is the perfect place to study such influences. What she is most looking forward to is the experience of living abroad and being taken out of her comfort zone. She will be studying abroad in the last semester of her undergraduate education and is hoping that the trip will help her to develop her voice as a designer and prepare her for the “real” world.

Kelsey Walker, [3rd] year, is planning to study abroad in Hong Kong, China. She wants to broaden her knowledge and have the opportunity to travel. She is excited about studying in China because Eastern design has always been an interesting subject for her, and this opportunity will give her the chance to experience it firsthand. Her goal is to meet peer designers in China who share similar beliefs, and to bring back knowledge that will help her as a designer.

Alex Pokas, [3rd] year, plans to study abroad in Florence, Italy, where she will be attending classes at Lorenzo de’Medici. She chose to study abroad because it is a great opportunity to become truly immersed in a culture different from one’s own for an extended period of time. Alex is excited about the many new opportunities for further study of architecture and design as well as the chance to gain a whole new perspective on both. She thinks it will be interesting to see how different the Italian culture is from our own and is excited to explore the country as well as others.

Amber Wineman, [3rd] year, is planning to study abroad in Australia. She is hoping to attend school in either Sydney or Melbourne. What she is looking forward to most is getting to know the people and learning about their culture; she wants to be able to see the country through their eyes. Amber is looking forward to seeing the sights, but beyond that, she really wants to be fully immersed in the culture. She says that she wants to study abroad because, “after going on a mission trip this past spring, I realized that my heart’s desire is for those in other countries and I couldn’t think of any better way to spend a semester.”

Paige Hohlt, [3rd] year, will be studying abroad in Sweden. The thing that she is looking forward to most is being exposed to the Scandinavian architecture, which she says is her favorite. Plus, she is also looking forward to gaining a new perspective on what design is. Her response to why she wants to study abroad: “I think it’s valuable, as a designer, to be exposed to new ideas.” The city where her host school is located in Sweden is also the greenest city in Europe, so she will be taking classes on sustainability and bringing this new insight back to the States. Paige is most excited about getting to see the northern lights and traveling around Europe. She says she chose to study abroad so that she could be exposed to new cultures, form new friendships, experience new things, and hopefully open doors to future jobs and/or internships.

Photo by Audra Volpi, [4th] year

Audra Volpi, [4th] year, studied abroad in Scotland during this past semester (spring 2012). She says that the experience gave her a chance to get involved politically as well as to do a lot of traveling. One thing that she recommends for people who are planning to study abroad is that they keep a blog or a journal/diary of their adventures. Audra explains, “I did that from the moment that I found out that I was doing a semester abroad, and after I was done with the experience, I went through it and was reminded of all of the amazing things I had done.”

Photo by Audra Volpi, [4th] year

For more information on UNCG’s study abroad program, visit

Contributed by Katie Moyer, [3rd] year.



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