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This project is a work in progress; we will add material to it as it is received from our students. The views and opinions expressed in the following posts do not necessarily represent those of Learning Abroad and are strictly those of the individual authors.

If you would like to contribute, please submit material to Please note that we may not be able to publish all submissions.

Student Blog Posts

February 14, 2018

Lupita V. 

Communications Major

UH Faculty-Led summer program to Angers, France

When going abroad, there are various housing options.  It has come to my attention that many would rather choose to live in an apartment or a student dorm as opposed to staying with a host family. I know, living with an unknown family for X amount of time may have you feeling a little bit apprehensive, but I am here to tell you, it was a delightful experience. 

I was assigned a host family prior to going to France on a faculty-led program. I decided to pair up with a friend that was also going on the program, just so that i would feel a little more comfortable knowing i would have a roommate.  

However, one of my biggest concerns came true. 

My original housing situation did not go well at the beginning of the program. My primary host family, unfortunately, wasn't adequate in what was necessary for this specific program. Not that they were bad people, but they just weren't as communicative and involved with us as our professor wanted from a host family for UH students. After all, the focus of this program was to be fully immersed in the culture. We needed a family that was willing to dedicate their time to us. Our professor stepped in, and my roommate and I were switched to a different family, which turned out to be the better decision. 

Our 2nd host family was an elderly couple that lived about 15 minutes from Angers, in a small town called Bouchemaine. I'm so grateful that they took us into open arms after having endured an unfortunate situation with the prior family. They were very punctual and knew exactly what they had to do in order to make us feel comfortable. Living with a French family really reveals you to the customs of French culture, which includes 3-course meals, eating a baguette with pretty much everything, limiting the hours of the day you can take a shower, recycling and utilising a food compost, and, unfortunately, having to survive without air-conditioning.

All in all, living with a host family gave me that taste of Francophone customs, and this could really go for any country. Being in the home of a native truly opens up your mind. I left France with knowledge of not just the language, but also a true sense of the culture.

France home stay house

France home stay back yard

February 7, 2018

Janki P. 

Biology Major

Kukulkan Language School, Cuernavaca, Mexico

"Studying abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico was one of the best experiences of my life. My Spanish not only improved significantly, but I also learned about the culture, the people, and got to travel to nearby cities and participate in so many of their traditions. I did have some concerns about safety at first, but once I was there I never felt unsafe at any point. My teachers and host family were incredibly welcoming and practicing my Spanish with them was more fun than I could have imagined. I would recommend the Kukulcan Study Abroad to anyone who wants to learn Spanish or even just learn more about the culture and gain more experience."

Janki P in Cuernavaca


Janki P in Mexico


June 19, 2017

Wendy C. 

MSW Candidate, Graduate College of Social Work

GHSI Student Service Learning Program: Athens & Lesvos, Greece

"Too often in our well-intentioned zeal for wanting to positively impact the world, service organizations focus on where to go and what to do, neglecting to observe the reality of these situations prior to acting. Taking the time to listen and understand the stories of those in traumatic situations can be just as important as treating illnesses or providing material support." Continue reading

June 12, 2017

Pietro Antonio C.

Biology Major

GHSI Student Service Learning Program: Athens & Lesvos, Greece


"Roars erupted from the assembly as we looked on quietly. The members of the Greek Parliament, discussing the ethics of a bill passed by the governing party in the nation, were as enthusiastic in delivering their speeches as they were passionate about their party. We were graciously allowed to look onto their session as a group of students from the University of Houston who wished to understand the migrant crisis and the health policies that revolved around the issue." Continue reading

June 2, 2017

Shreya S.

Human Resource Development Major

Swansea University: Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom


"15 days remaining in a place that I called home for the last 4 months. It’s sad to think about leaving this place so soon. Most of my roommates have already moved out and reality is setting in that I will have to go back to my ordinary life in the states. I have adjusted so well here in Swansea and truly made the most of my experience. These past couple weeks since coming back from spring break has been a blur with constant studying, farewell parties and bonfires, and of course last minute traveling, time is really speeding by. As the days get closer to leaving I find new things to enjoy about Swansea and Europe in general and it is getting harder and harder for me to admit to myself that I have to leave soon." Continue reading


May 5, 2017

Claire S.

Psychology Major

Swansea University: Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom


"One thing that so many people that live in Europe seem to take for granted is the ease with which you can just leave the country. Living in America, if you want to leave, it’s more than likely to be crazy expensive, hours of traveling and takes loads of planning. With our three-week holiday coming up, it was the perfect opportunity to just go to England & France for a week or so." Continue Reading

May 1, 2017

Erika P.

Pre-Psychology Major 

Swansea University: Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom


"Well here we are, at the end of our semester abroad. We have one week of lectures left, revision week, and then finals commence. After having just about a month off for Easter break (yes we get a month off) I’m finally back in Swansea ready to take over finals. The past month has been full of adventures, sightseeing and unforgettable memories with some unforgettable people." Continue Reading

April 16, 2017

Ahad A.

Honors Biomedical Sciences Major

Swansea University: Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom

"Here, it was my turn to talk about life. I spoke to her about my family. I told her about the accolade and success my father, sister, uncles, and cousins have all earned in their fields of medicine. I told her about my lack of this accolade and success coupled with the pressure of achieving something that would help me stand amongst my family members. I told her about my childhood of being raised an American Muslim in Post-9/11 Texas. Joy had a unique skill of being able to listen. Truly listen. She nodded her head, she maintained meaningful eye contact, she interjected and observed at the perfect moments. After speaking with a woman facing death, I felt more alive. Joy advised me to live in ways that she could no longer live." Continue Reading

March 1, 2017

Lorelee G.

English and Political Science Double Major

Swansea University: Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom


"First Part: NO luggage. It is as bad as it sounds. Our luggage was tragically held back, so with the clothes I had on and the blanket I bought for the plane to sleep in. An adventure within itself to say the least." Continue reading