BEVERLY, Mass. — Endicott women's volleyball rising junior Alex Dippel (Fallston, Md.) recently studied abroad across the pond in England. Dippel, who is majoring in international business, caught up ECGulls on her trip to Birmingham and beyond.
ECGulls: Give us an overall description of your trip.
My study abroad program was at the University of Birmingham, in Birmingham, England. I stayed six and a half months from January to mid-June. From there I traveled to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Paris, and Bèziers.
ECGulls: Describe your overall study abroad experience.
It might sound cliché, but studying abroad is probably the greatest experience someone could have. Being college students, we won't really have the opportunity to live in another country until years down the road, but that usually doesn't happen. It's a great way to see and experience different countries, cultures, and people outside the Endicott bubble that is so comfortable and 'safe' to us. It really makes you open up, be more responsible, pushes your limits and, experience things you wouldn't at home.
ECGulls: Why would you recommend studying abroad to other students?
It's a great way to travel and experience different countries, food, cultures, languages. Plus, you can learn many new things about life and yourself.
ECGulls: What was the biggest lesson you learned?
I learned that it's okay to ask for and need help. When you're in a different country with only a few familiar faces and you can't find where you need to go, how to do something, or anything, in general, it's okay to need help and will be given if you ask for it. At the end of the day, someone probably doesn't know what they're doing either.
ECGulls: What was your favorite experience?
Probably seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. You see pictures and videos of it but it doesn't do it justice; probably one of the most surreal moments I've ever had.
ECGulls: Describe the educational side of the program.
Being in England, I took a lot of European Economics sorts of classes. Learning about Brexit, its effects on the EU, and a lot of business courses learning first-hand how the UK runs its economy.
ECGulls: Were there any funny stories from your trip?
I went to meet a friend that's about a couple hours outside of Birmingham, by train. I asked a conductor if I was on the right train and she said yes. Long story short, I went three hours the opposite direction, had to take that train three hours back into Birmingham, and then another three hours to get to my friend. (Make sure you get on the correct train people!)
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."
The Endicott Experience feature aims to highlight the entirety of the student-athletes' experiential learning journey throughout their academic careers. The student-athlete at Endicott is afforded the same opportunities as the general student population at the College as it relates to internships, study abroad, and postgraduate career pursuits. This philosophy mirrors the mission statement of the College which every student is encouraged to take intellectual risks, pursue scholarly and creative interests, contribute to the community, and explore diverse career paths. Read more Endicott Experience features by navigating the links below.
STUDY ABROAD: Studying Abroad as a Student-Athlete at Endicott | James Dwyer Focuses on Opportunities Abroad in Switzerland with Les Roches Global Hospitality | Endicott Student-Athletes Study Abroad in Asia | Holly Erbe Studies Abroad in London, Paris, Amsterdam | Andrea Courtemanche Gains New Perspectives Through Study Abroad Trip | Shelby Elwell Catches Travel Bug From Study Abroad Experiences | Erica Hadad Studies Abroad In Ireland
(Photo Credit - Alex Dippel)