Study Abroad Spotlight: Grace Babcock

Grace Babcock sits in front of a body of water. A boat passes by in the background.

Grace Babcock.

Program and Location:

French Language and Culture in Lille, Paris & Normandy; Lille, France

Why did you choose to study abroad?

Studying abroad was something I always knew I wanted to do! The decision was made when I started to look at the different programs offered through NC State. The program I went with had a study tour the first weekend through many different cities in France before we landed in Lille. This trip allowed me to visit more cities than I could ever imagine in France!

What did you learn about yourself?

I’ve definitely become more independent. I got to know myself so well on this study abroad trip. Traveling on your own, especially in a foreign country, allows you to get to know yourself in times of excitement as well as during the natural stress of traveling! I truly believe I’m a better, more well-rounded person because of it!

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

Visiting Étretat on the first weekend was such a welcome surprise! I had no idea what to expect and it completely exceeded any and all of my expectations. Additionally, having Jeff Allen as our advisor was fantastic. He is, by far, the coolest prof at NC State!!!

What advice do you have to future study abroad students?

It pushes you out of your comfort zone, but just embrace that! It’s the experience of a lifetime!

How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?

While abroad I had the opportunity to take a European Politics course taught by a french attorney! We learned about the European Union in a way that no American classroom will ever amount to. This class has peaked my interest in International Affairs and I believe my future career may reflect that as a result.

How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at NC State? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?

The intensive french course helped SO much with my understanding of the language. Within the program, every Wednesday we took a field trip to a different city in Belgium. This program embraced the idea that learning can and should be done outside of the classroom!

Would you do it again?

100% ABSOLUTELY!

This post was originally published in Study Abroad.