BEVERLY, Mass. – Earlier this May, Endicott women's ice hockey sophomore Holly Erbe (Woodbine, Md.) found a new passion for travel through her 10-day study abroad trip that took her to such places as London, Paris, and Amsterdam.
Erbe was also able to expand her knowledge in the academic discipline of psychology – despite being an exercise science major – and broaden her horizons in European food, culture, and the arts. Her trip to Europe was made possible through Endicott College's study abroad program and Education First College Study Tours.
"I absolutely loved studying abroad. Everything was scheduled by the EF study tours, so all I had to do was show up! I enjoyed having free time in each city, and I felt like I was traveling with my friends for a few hours, but still had that safe and secure feeling of having professors and tour guides to lead me around the cities," said Erbe. "I also adored how close everyone became after the first day or so. The 10-day study tour felt like the perfect amount of time for me to study abroad. As a winter student-athlete, I don't really have the option to study abroad in either semester without missing a huge chunk of my season, so this short-term summer study tour was the perfect fit for me. The best part is that I got three credits to travel around Europe and make new friends at Endicott!
Erbe's days were jam-packed with activities, learning, and experiences otherwise not afforded to her without studying abroad. Below is a breakdown of how each day went for Erbe.
Day 1: Arrived in London, had lunch at a little cafe before checking out the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. For dinner, we had our first real Fish and Chips!
Day 2: Travelled to the countryside to visit the Bethlem Mental Health Hospital Museum and the Darwin House and garden in Downe. Then we had our first night to explore a little bit on our own.
Day 3: Visited Freud's Museum and had a bus tour of the city or London.
Day 4: Early train to Paris followed by a visit to the Louvre and the Notre Dame Cathedral. After dinner, we explored the busy streets of Paris.
Day 5: Bus tour of Paris in the morning with our first stop at the Eiffel Tour! We had an afternoon lecture of psychology in France. Later we went on a relaxing boat cruise on the canal.
Day 6: We had the entire morning and early afternoon on our own, so I went shopping, of course. Then we met up and went up the hills to Montmartre.
Day 7: Early morning train ride to Amsterdam followed by a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. We got to see the huge "IAMSTERDAM" sign and I had the best seafood risotto of my life. We had free time after dinner and got to see the beautiful sites of Amsterdam.
Day 8: We toured the Anne Frank House in the morning and had some free time to roam around and eat and shop. Then we caught our last bus tour which ended at a cheese farm. We had dinner then got on another relaxing canal cruise.
When asked about recommending the study abroad program to other Endicott students/student-athletes Erbe couldn't have been more excited to get them to consider it.
"I would highly recommend studying abroad to any college student. College is a wonderful time to branch out and push the barriers of your comfort zone," said Erbe. "I decided to do the study tour because I wanted to become more comfortable with traveling to new places so that one day I could do it on my own or with a few close friends. I was slightly nervous before going on the trip because I barely knew anyone in the class, even though we met every Monday. Within the first day, I was already comfortable with most of the class! It's crazy how quickly people become friends when traveling. The memories I made with these 18 people will last me a lifetime."
MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE
"My favorite experience was when we had our first free time in Amsterdam," said Erbe. "A few of us were walking along the canal and stopped in one of the first restaurants we saw. We all ordered these elaborate seafood dishes that were undeniably delicious and fresh. Never ordering seafood risotto again because nothing will ever top the one I ate that day in Amsterdam."
"The topic of my class was European Psychology. As one of the few non-psychology majors on the trip, I wasn't sure if I would find that aspect interesting. But I did. We learned so much about the different perspectives that Freud and his daughter Anna Freud presented, Darwin's ideas of evolution, how mental health has been treated over the last three centuries at The Bethlem Hospital, and how mental disorders shaped Vincent van Gogh's art."
"We had a bus tour of each city that we were all so excited about. They each had their own tour guide, each with their own jokes and accents. The first five minutes of each bus tour were filled with laughter and 'oohing and ah-ing' at the sites. Within the first 10 minutes, everyone's heads were bobbing and their eyes were fighting to stay open," said Erbe. "By 15 minutes the whole bus would be silent as everyone fell asleep! Buses can be so relaxing. The best was when we all fell asleep in the city of Amsterdam and woke up at a cheese farm."
WHY STUDY ABROAD? – (ENDICOTT STUDY ABROAD WEBSITE)
Following the College's philosophy to "learn by doing" through experiential learning, the study abroad program & its international internships prepare students at Endicott for success by offering alternative academic understanding, social & cultural literacy and life-changing experiences. Through semester-long academic study, faculty-led trips, and/or 3-to-15 week internships abroad, students gain new confidence and self-awareness, and obtain the skills necessary for success in today's economy.
"Globalization is here to stay, and students who want to work in our interconnected global world should study or intern abroad.
Despite the inevitable increasing global competition for jobs, American graduates lack the international experience, language capabilities and cross-cultural communication skills necessary to succeed in the global economy.
Making education abroad a part of their college education is the most effective and accessible means for students to develop needed skills because it pushes a student to get out of her comfort zone to experience another culture, language, environment and education system. It teaches students to appreciate difference and diversity firsthand and enables them to recognize — and then dismiss — stereotypes they may have held about people they had never met.
Learning how to interact with people from other countries and cultures equips future leaders in all sectors to address urgent issues — from curing diseases and finding energy solutions, to fighting terrorism and hunger — shared across borders."
(Photos Credit - Holly Erbe)