Student Stories

Temple in Hong Kong

By being immersed in a new culture, I was forced to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I discovered that I belong in a global community. By studying abroad, I strengthened my communication skills and have begun building a network.

Paulina Babiak SEAS'19
Window view from room

The type of housing you select may have a significant impact on your experience abroad, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Kristen Wang, SEAS'18
Matthew Asada Berlin

My BCGS study abroad experience paved the way for my return the following summer to work as an EMGIP fellow in the German parliament and my graduate studies at the London School of Economics in European Politics.

Matthew Asada, University of Pennsylvania '02
Berlin sign

I am grateful to BCGS, as the year I spent in Berlin has academically and socially prepared my life after college.

Metin Turgut, Williams '16
sculpture in the city

It was BCGS that built my confidence to live and work in Germany permanently after graduation.

Rebecca Wei Yale '16
Kremlin building

"I think the most impactful experiences for me were those in which I didn’t just learn about a culture, a tradition, history, politics, or language, but actually encountered them and experienced them outside the classroom."

Seth Farkas CC'18
Building in Woodstock, UK

"Spending a year abroad at Oxford certainly taught me a lot not just about my major, but about myself and my identity."

Uju Enworom CC'18
Berlin East side gallery

BCGS was a challenge in all the best ways possible. We were pushed outside our comfort zones, but the triumph and sense of accomplishment we felt afterwards, was perhaps the most rewarding part of all.

Tiana Stute BC'15
Berlin Subway

If you want to make studying abroad a thought-provoking experience, I encourage you to keep track of every little culture shock as well!

Bingcong Zhu CC'16
Athens Dusk

Spending time in Athens, Nafplio, and the island of Syros, I was able to delve deeper into my academic passion of Art History, while also learning about other disciplines, and gaining new friendships and cultural understanding.

Owen Monroe CC'20
University of St. Andrews

"Only being there for a semester, I was prepared to do things I would have been too afraid of doing at Columbia."

Julia Zeh CC'18
wind turbines

Studying abroad allowed me to gain insights on issues that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise – through seeing things I that otherwise wouldn’t have.

Anant Krishnan CC'20
DaTong Night

Study abroad provided me with the mechanism to not only enrich my language learning experience, and my understanding of the world, but also to rediscover some of the hidden beauty in everyday life.

William Scott GS'20
Baboons at Dusk

What I study at Columbia is completely different than most of what I was studying in Kenya, but it didn’t matter.

Maia Berlow CC'18
Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong

My fears were replaced with pure excitement and anticipation of all that I would then see and do over the next six months.

Paulina Babiak SEAS'19

“One of the biggest reasons that I recommend studying in Berlin for a whole year is the way it allows you to immerse yourself in the culture during the first semester and really reap the benefits your second semester.”

Miranda Arakelian CC’17
Arches in Amman

...My favorite experiences abroad were made so meaningful simply because I engaged with the people around me.

Ellie Dominguez CC’17

“I came back realizing that these four years aren’t about becoming something great or discovering your destiny but about learning how to be a better person and how to be a member of a community, locally or globally.”

Elsbeth Kane CC’17