Student Testimonials

From our Students

See what our students loved about their time in the FYSA program!

Ajani Harrison

“In France, I learned more about how I present myself and the ways its perception differs across cultures. I also learned about the power of language and being able to communicate with others effectively. Because of my nationality and native language, I began to see how much easier it is for someone like me to travel than someone who doesn’t share those same identities. Through this process, I also gained more empathy for people and appreciation for those in the U.S. who are navigating new and unfamiliar environments. Spending my first semester in new countries and environments was an unforgettable experience that will have a lasting impact well into the future.”

Anthony El-Khoury

“By immersing myself with different cultures in Metz and learning about the importance of democracy in today’s society in France, I feel more motivated to keep pursuing my business major. Learning about other people’s cultures can help me understand and work well with the diverse students at Georgia Tech and with my coworkers at my future job. Additionally, the tour guide at the Assembly National planted a seed within me because the role of democracy plays a huge role in my business major; democracy allows transactions and ideas to move freely and initiate innovation and entrepreneurship. I am so glad I joined the FYFA program to have an extra edge in my education by being exposed to cultures and the ideas of democracy.”

Sarah Eidiazadeh & Emma Menzies

“During our fall break trip to Brussels, we had the opportunity to broaden our perspectives and worldviews. This chance was presented to us in many different instances: learning about the inner workings of the European Union from inside the EU Commission building, living with a Belgian host family, and traveling independently to Amsterdam, Bruges, and Ghent. These experiences helped us not only further our worldview, but it also introduced us to the warm heart of our host family, the liveliness of Brussels, and the gorgeous canals of Amsterdam and Bruges. Through our experiences over fall break, we can wholeheartedly say that both of our lives have been enriched because of it.”

Sebastian Jakowski

“I have come out of this study abroad experience more mature, more well-rounded, and more prepared to take on the world than any regular first semester in the US could have made me.”

Kevin Lin

“The environment, the food, and the people have opened my eyes to the adventures the world has to offer and have left me hungry to study abroad again—next time, maybe in Shenzhen, Singapore, or Japan. I am excited to return home, share my stories with my friends and families, and become a more mindful, driven individual that intends to improve themselves and better the lives of those around them.”

Sankaet Cheemalamarri

“This term here in Metz as a First Year Semester Abroad student has been one of the best 4 months of my life. I have had such an enjoyable experience and developed a great deal as a person. This program has facilitated my development as a Georgia Tech student, but also as an individual by giving me the opportunity to experience so many new things with such a fascinating group of people.”

Florin Brunner

“The fall break trip to Nice was particularly rewarding, as it required me to step out of my comfort zone and use my French wherever possible. I especially benefitted from living with a bilingual host family while staying in Nice, as this allowed me to ask for translations of words and phrases that I previously did not know about. As a result, I was not only able to substantially broaden my vocabulary, but I also became more relaxed and confident while having conversations in French.”

Jelena Clement

“Throughout the FYSA program, I have learned various important skills and information. There was always something new in every trip that made us think more about the world around us. The trip to Berlin is just one of those memories that was representative of the whole FYSA experience where we learned about the European Union and current issues, gained insight about various STEM-related industries, and acquired some unique facts about Europe to share later.”

Brooke Jameson

“I really enjoyed this experience and would highly recommend it to future freshmen. I was able to go outside of my element and undergo massive amounts of growth and changes in perspective. If I were to give any advice for future first-years, it would be to not be afraid to put yourself out there and go explore the world.”

Kathleen York

“When I saw it as an opportunity, it immediately spoke to me. FYSA is a chance to start your college career thinking globally. There’s so many companies and organizations that are forced to think globally. Here, we have the chance to get a head start, we have a chance to begin our careers thinking about that. It’s good to become aware that we are a part of a global ecosystem. I think that’s really valuable. I saw it and I was like; I get to go to France for how long? At the beginning of my college career, at the beginning of my education. Part of it was I didn’t necessarily want to be in Atlanta because I grew up there. I wanted the chance to go somewhere else and this is a compromise. It’s cool conceptually and it was perfect for me. Thinking about language, what better way to learn a language and to go be there. What better way to learn culture than to experience it firsthand? I saw it and was like, that program looks like it was made for me.”