Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Philipp, Class of 2013
Global Studies & Psychology, French minor
Two semesters off campus? Go for it! Having participated in both study abroad with the Illinois Program in Paris my junior year, and Illinois in Washington (IIW) the following summer, I recognize that these experiences boldly encourage academic, professional , and personal development, as well as providing a lifetime of special memories.
Through study abroad, I cultivated my independence and introspective abilities, which informed my semester in Washington and allowed me to learn more from my internship experience. To study French in Paris was a dream of mine since childhood. My semester at l’Institut Catholique boosted my confidence in my French speaking abilities and also compelled me to become more flexible while adapting to a foreign educational system and a French homestay. While in Washington, I worked as an intern in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, a public policy think tank. Working at Brookings had a profound impact on my intellectual growth: I learned about the applications of academic research, and I had the chance to pursue my international interests through my internship work, and through coursework for IIW. My internship was just one of the highlights of my Washington experience. I felt right at home in D.C., living in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and studying with my fellow Illini. After living in D.C. for a summer, I can say that Washington is my favorite city in the world (Sorry, Champaign-Urbana!).
Illini – I encourage all of you to take advantage of these opportunities during your undergraduate years! Students of the University of Illinois are fortunate to have access to diverse study abroad programs, and also the opportunity to study and work in our nation’s capitol. Both study abroad and IIW offer Illini the chance for intellectual growth, personal growth and cultural exploration.