December 5, 2020

Capital students share their study abroad experiences

One of the many opportunities available to Capital students is the study abroad program, and with the deadline to apply for the spring programs approaching, it is important for students to decide whether or not they’d like to participate.

Marcie Blandford, senior, spent the spring semester of 2017 in Paris, France. While she was there, she studied the French language and culture, and took classes such as French cinema and theatre.

According to Blandford, France’s culture is very similar to that of the United States, so culture shock was not a huge issue.

“There are small differences, like turning the shower off to wash your hair so you don’t waste hot water,” Blandford said. “The French people are a little more stand-offish in general, until you get to know them and they open up.”

Blandford also said that the study abroad program was absolutely worth it.

“…My overall experience was incredible,” Blandford said. “My program was welcoming, the classes and professors were amazing, my friends were warm, and I was able to visit seven different countries while I was there, including Morocco.”

Blandford was definitely nervous before traveling to France, but she advises students interested in studying abroad to not let fear hold them back.

“Being nervous is horrendously normal,” Blandford said. “It is terrifying, but you will never regret studying abroad—it is one of the most enriching things you can do.”

Samuel Gracida, senior, spent his spring semester of 2017 in Dresden, Germany. Gracida studied at the Conservatory of Music Carl Maria von Weber.

“I took guitar lessons with two professors and participated in ensembles, along with some music history classes,” Gracida said. He also took an intensive course in German during his first month there.

He also mentioned that although the people were different there than here in the United States, he managed to find a group of people who made him feel welcome.

“The group of Catholic students I found there really became like a family to me,” Gracida said.

For Gracida, studying abroad was an overall worthwhile experience.

“It was a really pleasant experience,” Gracida said. “I got to meet new people and to experience new things! I also grew musically and as a person.”

Rebecca Mix, senior, studied in Kecskemét, Hungary, in the fall semester of 2016. Mix studied music courses such as advanced music theory, music history, and chamber ensemble.

“It was surprising to me how different and difficult the language barrier was outside the walls of the institute, and overall it was a more relaxed but efficient lifestyle,” Mix said.

Mix said that studying abroad was the experience of a lifetime and urges any interested students to apply.

“The people were amazing,” Mix said. “We all shared a passion for music-making, and we all shared in the thirst for more knowledge.”

In order to participate in studying abroad, students must have a GPA of 2.5 or above, completion of at least one semester at Capital, and a good disciplinary record. Students must also travel to a country that is not listed on the U.S. Department of State’s warning list.

The deadline to submit the study abroad course approval form and the budget worksheet for the spring programs is Nov. 1, and April 1 for summer and fall programs.

For more information regarding the process of applying, students can email Jennifer Adams at or Jeni Cooke at to set up an appointment.

  • Sydney was the managing editor at the Chimes for her junior and senior years after working as a staff reporter during her first year at Capital in 2017. Sydney graduated in 2020 with a degree in professional writing and journalism. Some of her favorite things are cold brew, books about dragons, horror films, and her cat, Sterling.

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