Lawrence Tech Study Abroad Alumni reflect on their global experiences. 

Florence Study Abroad


Kent State Florence Program, Italy

I got the opportunity to study in Florence, Italy for four months during my senior year of the architecture program. The entire reason I got into architecture was because of history; so being able to learn in a historic city was incredible. My roommates and I had an apartment in the Florence City Center; we were able to walk everywhere in the city and take excursions outside of it on the weekends. During my time there I traveled to several cities, including: Venice, Pisa, Naples, Rome, Vatican City, Palermo, Sardinia, and more. I also got to travel outside of Italy, going to: Barcelona, London, Poland, Ibiza, Denmark, France, and Greece .  

The program is with Kent State and the class sizes are comparable to LTU. Our campus building was a renovated palazzo, and looking out my studio window I could see the Duomo. I took three classes while in the program: a studio class that allowed me to design a building on a site within the city limits, a sketching class that took me to different churches and museums to draw in, and a field trip class. The field trip class took us to different cities, like Venice and Siena, where the professors showed us around and we were able to study the cities architecture and urban design, from both modern and historic buildings.

Despite not knowing the language, I was not at a disadvantage. A large portion of Italian citizens speak English and were patient with me when I was trying to learn. I have made connections and friendships with Italian citizens, some of which I still regularly talk to. Having this experience has opened my horizons and has given me a drive to go back to Italy for graduate school.

Nieves Stonehedge


University of Evansville Harlaxton Program, England

I had the pleasure of studying abroad in Grantham, England at Harlaxton College in the fall of 2012. This happened to be my last semester at LTU before I graduated and it was absolutely one of the best semesters I had while attending LTU. Although only two of the courses I took at Harlaxton were needed to complete my degree I took an extra six credits just so I could go to Harlaxton. There are few words that can truly capture the beauty of the rolling English hills or the kindness that was bestowed upon me during my trip by the locals. When I arrived we were given our introductory course on how to assimilate into life in Britain and how in the past, the locals have embraced the students.

While passing out surveys in the village of Harlaxton for a course assignment I had the pleasure of meeting an older woman who had just lost her husband and had no family in the area. Immediately she invited me for tea and our friendship was instant. Sadly it was already halfway through the semester when we met, but I made sure to call and meet her for tea every week until I was to return home. During my final week at Harlaxton, I made my way through the village and to her home where I was lovingly welcomed. Before I left that day, with a heavy heart, she gave me an address book and a photo that I was to remember her by. It brought tears to my eyes and to hers. To this day we continue to write and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and our afternoon tea. I plan to go back to England this fall and see my dear friend Marion once again.

Never in a million years did I think that I would find a friendship like this across the world. Marion gave me an appreciation for life in other places and showed me the importance of understanding and embracing other cultures, which has played a huge role in my job today. I deal with customers and our subsidiaries located in countries such as Korea, China, Australia, Brazil and The Netherlands every day. Thanks to Marion and my experience at Harlaxton, I am far better equipped to handle the world of business.

Jake - London


University of Hertfordshire, England

In the fall of my junior year at Lawrence Tech, I had the fortune of being able to study abroad at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, England (about 20 minutes by train from London). The University has roughly 30,000 students, so it was a completely different experience from Lawrence Tech even after negating the fact that it is in a different country. It gave me the experience of a large university, which I think was crucial for my comfort at Michigan State where I am now for graduate school. Studying abroad was one of my favorite experiences. It was so fun to meet people from all over the world and to experience how people from another culture learn and socialize. I'd highly recommend studying abroad, and if you are looking into studying abroad in the UK, I'd highly recommend the University of Hertfordshire.

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