Fun fact: 50% of Olin students study abroad at some point while at WashU.
Another fun fact? I was lucky enough to study abroad twice while at WashU — once the summer after my freshman year and once the spring semester of my junior year.
Instead of me just talking about my time abroad, I thought it would be more fun to show you my time abroad — starting with my summer in Israel on the Israel Summer Business Academy (ISBA).
SUMMER 2015 – ISBA
Okay, so a little explanation before jumping right into the pictures. The Israel Summer Business Academy is a six-week long summer study abroad program that allows students — from any university — to take two classes in entrepreneurship and venture creation at the IDC in Herzliya, Israel. We were all housed in apartments in Tel Aviv — mine happened to be about a 10-minute walk to the beach! It was an amazing experience — not only did I meet students from other universities, I also met Israeli students, and got to visit well-known companies and startups.
Descriptions (starting top left, clockwise):
- This is a picture of my group members and I on our presentation day. We were pitching our product — Web-It — which was a productivity app that helped members of organizations organize tasks (similar to Slack). Leading up to this presentation, we conducted a survey to gather information on our target market which we then used to create a MVP (minimum viable product) in the form of a website. Having never taken an entrepreneurship course, this was a great way to dip my toe into the world of venture creation.
- Remember how my apartment was just a 10-minute walk from the beach? This is the beach. With the temperature hovering around 80 degrees every day, why not walk to the beach and hang out?
- Besides learning, one of my favorite pastimes in Israel was eating. These chocolate chip pancakes were from one of my favorite restaurants, Benedict, that was just a short walk from my apartment in Tel Aviv. Not only was the food amazing, but it serves breakfast food 24-hours a day making it a great place to go even when it’s not technically time for a meal.
- The main lounging room of our apartment building in Tel Aviv. When my roommates and I stayed in and cooked (which happened on occasion), this is where we usually ate.
- One of the many planned excursions while on ISBA. We got to go on an off-roading Jeep trip while in the Golan Heights. If you can’t tell, this picture was taken before we started moving and before we realized how off-road we were actually going. This same day we also made chocolate at a chocolate factory!
- Another excursion through ISBA was visiting the Baha’i temple — one of only eight in the world. Strangely enough, I’ve been to two of them (one is in Illinois)! Although we did not get to go inside, just viewing it and its surroundings was beautiful!
SPRING SEMESTER 2017 – LONDON
My next study abroad experience was the spring semester of my junior year where I studied and interned at a startup in London for five months. I always knew I wanted to study abroad in London — not because they spoke English, but that definitely was a plus. I loved the culture, the afternoon tea, and the history. Even the grocery stores seemed to be housed in old, architecturally beautiful buildings. While London was beautiful, traveling all over Europe (as I had never been before) was even more amazing. Here’s just a few of my favorite pictures:
Descriptions (starting top left, clockwise):
- My brothers and I imitating The Beatles on the famous Abbey Road. If you plan on visiting, please beware this is a real road — cars and buses do not always slow down for tourists.
- One of the excursions planned by our program was a trip to Wimbledon. It was cool to see all the empty courts — I had no idea they were real grass! We also got to see the media room where all the tennis players go to talk to the press as well as get a tour of all the behind the scenes broadcasting rooms.
- One of my first experiences drinking afternoon tea in London! Fun fact: You are supposed to eat the food on the bottom first and work your way up. Also, as I learned from having tea with the dean — tea first, then milk!
- Moving on to some of my favorite pictures from the rest of Europe — this is me in a Stockholm subway stop. My cousin and I went on a subway art tour and this was one of the stops. This station, called Stadion, had art that commemorated the 1912 Olympics that took place in Stockholm. This subway station also had escalators lit up in a rainbow to go along with the theme.
- Any Game of Thrones fans reading this? If so, this location may look familiar as it was one of the filming locations of the show. While in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I went on a Game of Thrones tour hosted by a man who played an extra on the show (and he had the beard to prove it). I’ve been told I look like Sansa in this picture…
- One unique aspect of Olin’s Europe study abroad programs is the European Study Tour. Students are sent (in groups of two or three) to countries all over Europe to interview country officials, politicians, and Embassy members. We then take all the gathered information and present with other students in Brussels in a ModelUN type setting. This picture was from the three days I spent in Riga, Latvia. Having never been to Latvia, and knowing little about the culture, it was a great immersive experience that I would never have gotten if it weren’t for going on an Olin study abroad program.
Interested in learning more about other students’ experiences abroad? See the next page for a selection of Olin study abroad experiences from Europe and Asia!