Academics > Academic Divisions & Departments > World Languages and Cultures > Study Abroad > Participant Testimonials

Participant Comments

Veronica Terrana, Florence, Italy, Fall 2013

"My study abroad experience was overall amazing and life changing. I learned and discovered a part of me that I never thought I had. Words can't describe the places and people I've met. Firenze is a breathtaking city with its history, art, culture and most importantly, it's people. Florence, you stole my heart!"

Tiffany Loney, London, England, Summer 2012  

"I have never traveled alone or ever even been as far as Florida so to me travelling all the way to London by myself is a major accomplishment I am proud to say I have been able to achieve. The experience I got is indescribable and no one will be able to relate to it unless they have experienced it as well. The summer I had has been one of the greatest summers of my life. I got to learn so much about a new country that I knew little to nothing about and I got to learn about different cultures outside of American culture as well. I even learned a lot about myself as a individual that I feel I may not have been able to anywhere else. I grew as a person socially and mentally thanks to this wonderful experience. As well as a learning experience you get to make relationships you weren't given the opportunity before. I have met so many different people both English and from around America. I have been able to create life long friendships thanks to this program and that in itself should be a reason to study abroad. I can now say that I lived in England, traveled in London on my own and have seen things like the Rosetta stone that people can only imagine. If you have the chance to study abroad no matter where you should take full advantage. The thought of travelling to an unknown place scares a lot of people out of doing this but believe me it is the best decision anyone could make and you would be glad you did. I loved my experience and desperately wish I could go back. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about my experience and time in London. No matter where you decide to go, do not be afraid! Take the jump and leave your comfort zone because I guarantee you will not regret it !"

Joseph Cupoli, Tuscania, Italy, Summer 2012

"Tuscania has been the most I have ever been to. This little town really gives you the feel for Italian culture. Lorenzo Di Midici is a world tiny school which offers a lot of great free field trips to the beach and volcanic lakes. It also has the nicest staff always reaching out to give you great advice and guide you along the way. The apartment I stayed in was beautiful and is only about five minutes away from the school. The locals are so friendly here you can just about walk up to anyone and say hello. LDM also provides meal vouchers in which you can get one free meal any day of the week, you get a total of four per week. The teachers are nice to some classes you will find you must work harder than others like the Italian classes but its worth it in the end. Transportation is easy to other cities because you can take a bus to a nearby town and then a train to major cities. I have made great friends here and memories that will last a lifetime. I won't ever forget Tuscania and I hope someday I can return to this town in the future. I would recommend this place to every student wanting to study abroad because it truly is a life changing experience, you learn so much about your self and others and how to live on your for a month or semester. "

Niambi Mercado, San Jose, Costa Rica, Spring 2012

(Benjamin Gilman Scholarship Recipient)"Many Bergen Community College students have just graduated high school or are looking for a second chance. In either case the common string that connects them together is the need to do something better or at least different with their lives. Flying thousands of miles away to live in a country radically different from your own, will change your life. It is a must to leave one’s comfort zone in order to experience the world around you. Studying abroad is a great way to explore the world and learn at the same time. This opportunity taught me about myself and showed me what I am missing. I think anyone who truly wants to change their lives should look into studying abroad. Even if you’re on a budget there are ways to fund your trip such as the Gilman Scholarship or financial aid. I loved every minute of it and I cannot wait to do it again."

Mauricio Urtubia, Annecy, France, Spring 2009

"Just as any student of my age, I was always curious about studying abroad. The desire to learn another language, experience foreign cultures and visit important sites sounded really exciting to me but it also sounded really hard to accomplish. Without knowing my chances, I approached the Dean of Arts and Humanities Ms. Amparo Codding, who is in charge of the Studies Abroad Program of Bergen Community College. MS. Codding was the first one to support my dream of studying abroad. She guided me in how to collect all requirements necessary to apply for the program and yet helped me to correctly file my financial aid application which it had covert the total expenses of my classes abroad. With no inconveniences, my classes, my accommodations, student visa, and health insurance were appropriately settled before my arrival in France. The school that I attended was great. Every week we had different cultural activities. We had competent teachers who devoted themselves to educate us in an efficient and diverse manner. I had classmates from all around the world with the opportunity to build life long relationships and to expand my network. The different and convenient ways of getting around Europe helped me to accomplish my dream of going to places like Rome, Athens, Istanbul, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, and many others extraordinary places.

It has been a month since I came back from studying abroad, and I realized that the six months that I spent in France were the most remarkable experience of my life. The opportunity to study abroad changed my life and my way of thinking. It helped me to clearly recognize my aspirations, my current identity and who I want to be.

Bonne chance a tout le monde dans leurs plans,


Alicia Raeburn - San Jose, Costa Rica, Spring 2008

"I signed up to go to Costa Rica without any idea about what I wanted to major in, or how I was going to spend the next few years of my life. I studied topics I had not thought about before, and talked to people with new, fresh ideas. Being immersed in a culture totally different than mine helped me to better understand others. I decided on a major and adapted to a much simpler and gentler life style than I had known previously. In order to learn and grow, we need to put ourselves out in the world and experience different things. Studying abroad helped me not only to better understand others and how they live, but myself and how I want to live."

Diego F. Lopez Seville, Spain, Spring 08

"Studying abroad in Seville, Spain has been and still is truly an unforgettable self developing experience - as cliche as that may sound it is true- and I am proof of that, as I'm sure the majority of students who go abroad are as well. Everything from taking classes at the breathtaking University of Seville (I highly recommend) or even at the institution there is one aspect that is shared and that is the enthusiasm within the classes of the professors and students all wanting to learn and yes even the professors are there to learn about our culture. After your classes you go to a local, humble or if you want a large cafe/bar and engage in a conversation with a local about everything from futbol to current events around the area -many time contrary to what many believe many of the local Spaniards want to converse with foreigners, so just go for it!- trust me, doing this is not only a boost for your confidence but a very valuable course in the infamous Universidad De la Vida (University of Life). Then there is the social scene at night which is incredible but takes time to get used to keeping up with the long hours, but incredible for sure as you will find out.

Finally, I know I can't even come close to write about everything I want to say about Seville in a paragraph, but one again it is an ideal time to truly grow up and culture yourself and not only motivation to perfect every aspect of the Spanish language and culture but also a push to study in other countries in the near future. Just as long as you take everything in with a learning state of mind and take advantage of everything the program has to offer, your time abroad will be one that will never leave your mind."

Larissa Wadden, Seville, Spain  Fall 07

"I'm doing great! better than great! Already dreading coming back to the US. My family is so sweet and I'm happy that I'm not with a residencia..." " I'm having such an enchanting time that no words could possibly do justice. One problem is getting ahold of a computer. They only have 2 in the school and they're usually occupied so sorry for this delay. Hope all is well in NJ."

"It's one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen. At night I sometimes believe I'm living in a jewelry box while looking at all the illuminated buildings and bridges. But all the precious stones in the world couldn't measure up to something as grand as Seville! I pinch myself at least once a day and so far I haven't woken up (Thank God!). And to be quite honest, I'm already dreading coming home.
Regards from Heaven."

Melissa Toscano, Rome, Fall 07

"I'm having a GREAT time!

My classes are very interesting and exciting. The Art of Rome class turned out to be lessons through excursions. Every Wed. we meet in the historic center at a different location. It is amazing how much the professor knows and can remember all at once as we walk through the city. She can explain all of the history before, leading up to, and during the construction of a particular building and explain the building material and how it reflects what the Roman Republic was trying to say to the people and neighboring nations through the architecture.

I've been able to do some traveling of my own too. I've visited Capri and Ischia. I like Ischia a bit more because there was more of a European, Italian feel to it then when in Capri with all the tourists. I did enjoy the stunning site of the Grotto Azzuro and Faraglioni, though in the sea off the coast of Capri. I've visited the Amalfi Coast and toured around Napoli as well. I've seen Florence Briefly, but plan to definitely return shortly and see the Uffizzi gallery, the Duomo and some other beautiful sites. I also plan to visit Venezia, Greece, and Paris.

I'm still in shock that I'm here and able to experience my dream!"