Student Q&A: Kelcie Evenson
Kelcie Evenson is a 21-year-old junior majoring in international economics and modern languages. Evenson is a member of the GSU Study Abroad Squad, a team of students who share their study abroad experiences across campus.
How many times have you studied abroad?
I am currently in my fourth study abroad program. My first was a summer in Mexico in 2010. My second was a January term in China in 2010-11. My third was during summer last year in Granada, Spain. And, now, my fourth is a semester in Málaga, Spain.
What’s been your favorite study abroad experience?
All have been wonderful and unique in their own way. So far, I would have to say my favorite trip has been the summer I spent in Granada. There was just something about the way everyone in the group got along. It was as if we were one big family, with everyone always looking out for each other. Also, Granada is such a picturesque and beautiful city filled with some of the most welcoming citizens I’ve encountered in my travels.
Describe your current study abroad experience.
I’m currently living just outside the center of the city of Málaga, Spain, about a five-minute walk from both the beach and my university. I live in an apartment with a host family and another student from Georgia State. Living with a host family is always one of the highlights of my study abroad trips. As a student of a foreign language, there’s simply no substitute for being immersed in the language and culture the way you are while living with a family from your host country. Aside from improving your language skills, travel is another amazing aspect of studying abroad. For example, I recently visited Barcelona for the first time, and the entire trip including airfare and accommodation was around $200; you just can’t beat that. I also got to visit friends in Italy, tour the French Riviera and see Paris during my spring break, and visit Portugal during one of my long weekends, as well as traveling locally around Spain.
How did you get involved in the Study Abroad Squad and why?
Studying abroad became a passion of mine immediately after returning from my first trip to Mexico. I applied to be a member of the Study Abroad Squad so I could learn more about which trips I may be able to afford to go on, which ones applied to my major and to get other students involved with something that has had such a positive impact on my life. Studying abroad has literally shaped my college experience. It is how many of my closest friendships began, how I’ve been able to practice multiple languages that I otherwise never would have had the opportunity to, and it has given me the ability to see the world through the eyes of someone standing in a very different place than myself, be it physically, economically or culturally. The experiences I’ve gained from my travels are truly invaluable.