Why Study Abroad in Dubrovnik, Croatia?

Studying abroad during the spring of my junior year was the best decision I have ever made. This good decision revolved around my choice to study in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Heading into a place I knew nothing about, not knowing anyone I was living with, and unsure of the language I was sure that I would be homesick. Anticipating this I waited, and waited weeks thinking, “yeah I’m sure I’ll miss home soon”… Well this day never came. Expecting to have some what of a culture shock in Croatia I waited for that too… Well this day never came.

Fast forward four months, to May 31st, the day I returned home to the US. This is when I started to feel homesick. Not homesick to return back to the states, but homesick for Dubrovnik. I purely didn’t understand what was going on. Why on my eight-hour flight back home all I wanted to do was turn around back to Dubrovnik? Don’t get me wrong, of course I missed my friends and family, but no one can take that amazing feeling away from you that you get discovering a new place. The first couple weeks or even first few months of being at home, I found myself wanting to talk nothing other than my time abroad, wanting to still speak the language, take that same walk to school through the Old Town gates, be with the amazing life long friends I met on the journey. It was of course good to hug my family, see my friends I love so much, but again I couldn’t stop missing the lifestyle I created of the past four months.

Being back in the US was the time that I experienced a culture shock or a reversed culture shock. Seeing the differences between living in a 15th century town like Dubrovnik contrasted to the return to my small town in Upstate New York, were mind blowing to me. Going back to US culture, foods, having to drive a car everywhere, and not living in a beautiful city along the Adriatic Sea was harder for me then heading to Dubrovnik in the first place.

Once it set in that I am back to the states for good (or for a long period of time) I decided to begin the progress of not losing my love for my study abroad but still be present in the life I am in now. This was done by spreading the word of the experience one can have abroad. Helping other students or even your friends make that leap to go abroad will make you so happy to share in their happiness of what you once felt. I also realized that making a scrapbook of my time overseas helped me not forget about the little memories of that coffee shop in Barcelona or the train I almost missed in Florence. Being involved and not losing the memories of being abroad keep that amazing time in my life alive.

Eileen Lantry is a student at the University of Rhode Island and studied abroad with API in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Eileen is currently serving as an API Campus Advocate

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Comments

  1. As parents of a student who traveled abroad through API, we can say that the program has everything covered. The arrangements were made in advance for the American students to communicate months in advance with the other American students they were going to live and study with. Excursion trips were also made as part of the program. We are very proud of our daughter and how she has grown and matured through her experience! Thank you API!

    • Hi Dawn,

      Thank you for your kind feedback! I’m so glad to hear your daughter had a great experience abroad and with API! (:

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