Study Abroad Day: Students Studying in Ireland and England
February 27 is Study Abroad Day, and a chance to bring awareness to enriching experiences where students immerse themselves in other cultures.
Anderson University students Tanna Steverson and Caitlyn Wilde are studying abroad during the Spring 2023 Semester. Steverson is in Oxford, England, and Wilde is in Dublin, Ireland.
“I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm,” Tanna Steverson admits. “I discovered classics at a very young age and a lot of them took place in England… Over time I really just fell in love with Europe as a whole and I wanted to experience this firsthand if I can, and then Oxford kind of fell into my lap.”
Steverson, a junior clinical psychology major from Fort Mill, South Carolina, is studying at Oxford University in England through SCIO (Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford).
“Right now I’m taking a cognition course and pretty much an abnormal psychology course. I’m writing around an essay a week—sometimes two,” Steverson said. “It’s a lot of reading and a lot of writing.” Steverson commented that in her studies she gets to spend quality time discussing course topics with her professors. Steverson also shares student housing with five other girls from across the U.S.
Steverson is enjoying the atmosphere, history and culture of Oxford.
“Sometimes I’ll take day trips to places around and near Oxford. There’s this really cool manor house that I’m trying to get to. There are a bunch of bookshops, so we’ll go to bookshops and get coffee and explore the city while we can,” she said.
Steverson looks forward to traveling to new places before she returns home in April. Although in England folks are known for being a bit reserved, Steverson has enjoyed making friends with her British classmates.
“They’re fun in a different way from us,” she said.
A visit to the Netherlands through a Rotary short-term exchange program while in high school was life-changing for Caitlyn Wilde. A student in the College of Arts and Sciences, she found a study program in Dublin, Ireland, from CAPA, the Global Education Network.
Wilde, who is a digital media communication major from near Asheville, North Carolina, is taking classes in international marketing, international business and analyzing Dublin from a global perspective. Her classes are small and tend to run longer; they also are more discussion than lecture.
Making friends has come easy for Wilde.
“I live in a townhome with five other girls, and we've all gotten really close. We just go out and do stuff together... We all learn together, which is really nice,” Wilde said.
About adjusting to life in Dublin, Wilde commented, “I love being in the mountains and in the farmlands, so I never thought the city would be good for me, but I think the sense of accomplishment from finally figuring out where I can go and how to take the buses—because I don't normally take public transit—being able to go out and do that on my own without being stressed out, and knowing exactly where to go, what time I need to be there, it’s so invigorating and I just love it.”
In addition to exploring Dublin, Wilde and her classmates experienced the rugged beauty of the Aran Islands, just off the Irish coast.
Wilde also received a TikTokker grant through CAPA and is producing TikTok videos for the organization.
Anderson University Director of the Center for Global Engagement Ann Themistocleous feels that an education abroad experience has become essential to students’ future career success, given the increasingly global nature of our economy.
“In order to become globally competent, students need to appreciate other people’s cultural norms and be able to work with a diverse range of groups,” Themistocleous said. “A study abroad experience allows a student to gain the broad range of experiences required to prepare them for that diversity. It also allows them to excel professionally by gaining unique skill sets such as adaptability, flexibility, diplomacy and resiliency. Therefore, it not only promotes them academically and professionally, but helps them develop personally.”
Anderson University offers over 50 different study abroad programs in 25 different countries. Programs are available for a semester, summer, or short-term. The Center for Global Engagement advises students and assists with program selection, financial aid, cost estimates for programs, and helps guide students throughout their study abroad application process. For more information on Study Abroad programs, contact the Anderson University Center for Global Engagement.