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People of PC

Connor Behrend

By: Kelsey Yeager

When/Where did you study abroad with PC? Why did you choose those specific trips?

“Yeah, so I studied abroad two summers in a row. In 2015 I went to Greece, and in 2016 I went to France. The Greece trip was a Political Science trip, and I am a Political Science Major, and Pre-Law minor, so the two courses they were offering gave me credit to my Political Science major. Also, it was with three of my favorite professors: McAdams, Lance, and Ingram, and Greece just sounded amazing. The Mediterranean Sea, you can’t beat it. And I went to France because I kinda needed some more credits, and France was an option. I kinda have been in love with France since I was a child, so I wanted to go see how France was, and I learned some French. It was a good trip.”

What did you like most about your experiences on your study abroad trips?

“I liked most getting to interact with other students from other nations. A lot of the times it was English or Spanish students, but we would go out of the classrooms and you just meet so many different people from so many different countries, and backgrounds it really just bought a new perspective outside of the social norm of American students every day.” 

What was the craziest experience you had abroad?

“So I was in Greece when they were leaving the European Union, and it was a little bit scary because riots and stuff were going on. But it turned out that the situation worked very well, our professors and our guide did a great job to guide us through the chaotic time.”


What is the greatest lesson you learned while you were abroad?

“The greatest lesson I learned would be social interactions as an American with foreigners. Because when you’re abroad in a country like Greece and France, Americans are not the most favorite people. You know it’s different than when you’re in England, some parts of France are fine, but when you’re in Greece, a lot of people don’t like Americans as much as Americans like Americans.  So it’s good to be smart about your surrounding and how to act in their culture, and how to dress in their culture. You don’t want to stand out so much that you cause a scene.”

What is your favorite story you have while you were in France or Greece?

“My favorite story while I was abroad would have to be in Greece. We went to an orphanage and listened to a couple professors and a guest speaker there for a little while, and they talked about this orphan crisis in Greece because the economic situation was so bad there. A lot of parents were abandoning their kids. So that was the start of the day, but then the day ended up we went on a boat tour of a couple islands across the Mediterranean. The professors really let us have free range. We’d go to an island, and we’d have to be back in an hour and a half. People went donkey riding, and cliff jumping into the Mediterranean, shopping, just seeing Greece for the beauty it is. And that was my favorite part.”




What advice do you have for students who are thinking about studying abroad with PC?

“Definitely do it. One hundred percent studying abroad is one of the greatest things I have ever done in my life. I’ll never regret it. As an American try and fit in, don’t really stand out too much. Know your surroundings. And just be a sponge and absorb all you can from the different culture.”


 

Presbyterian College Office of International Programs