Robert Carolan

Year in School: Junior

Major: International Political Science and French Translation


Working Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9-10:30 a.m.  Tuesday and Thursday 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Study Abroad Program: AIFS St. Petersburg, Russia

Other countries you visited: France, Morocco, England, Poland, Serbia, Greece, Germany, Czech, Finland, Estonia

Why did you decide to study abroad?

I chose to study abroad because I have always had a certain wanderlust, especially when it came to countries who speak the languages I have studied. Russia, as Winston Churchill once said, is "...a question wrapped inside of a mystery and surrounded by an enigma." Add that and the fact I love learning Russian, and the choice was simple.

Why do you think it is important to study abroad?

I think studying abroad is important because it makes you understand the plight and beauty of other people and cultures. Once you become an immigrant in a foreign country, you appreciate the tenacity of immigrants who are living and studying in your own country; and once you learn the teaching methods, cultural practices, and various aspects of another country you are never the same. You are forever engrained with a duplicitous template in which to view and appreciate not only your home country, but the world.

Any tips you have for students interested in studying abroad?

Never be afraid to be bold! We spend so much time in the comfort of complacency at home, and even abroad. The familiar is great, but when you're out studying abroad and experiencing things people only dream of, go out there and enjoy every last bit. From concerts to old courthouses, museums to markets. Do it all!

Favorite excursion or adventure while abroad

It's hard to pinpoint one specific moment that encapsulated the mountainous assortment of inside jokes and laughs with friends backdropped by unforgettable and inspiring sights. One of my favorite day-today places was the Neva River and the imposing baroque buildings that spanned its banks, but my favorite excursion had to be a cold November morning in Red Square, waiting in line to see Lenin's tomb. We told jokes about Star Wars, needed out about old communist propaganda, and just reminisced about how far we had come and how much more we had to see.