Peer Advisors

KristenKristen Roenfanz

Major: Counseling: Clinical Mental Health 

Minor: N/A

Year in School: First Year Graduate Student

Email: kroenfanz1@niu.edu

Study Abroad Program: AIFS Salamanca, Spain (Academic Year)

Other Countries you have visited: England, Morocco, Czech Republic, Portugal, France, and Peru

Favorite memory from studying abroad:

I went on a weekend excursion with my program to Portugal.  We visited several coastal towns and spent a lot of time on the beach.  We weren’t a very large group, maybe a dozen or so, and we really got to know each other on that trip.  We sat on the beach in Nazare and talked about our life in the States, what we wanted to do after studying abroad, and a lot of other things.  I met some of my best friends while studying abroad, and that weekend is a great example.  You build an amazing bond with those people.

Any tips you have for students interested in studying abroad?

Do it!  Studying abroad is well-worth the time, effort, money, and initial anxiety.  It was the defining year of college for me and really shaped who I am and who I want to be.  Other than that, these are my tips:  Pack light, live like a local, try new food, deal with homesickness but then move on, get off of your computer or smartphone and embrace the culture, and finally, document your experiences through photos or blogging.