Kristen Hinderliter—Barcelona, Spain

parc-guell-1My name is Kristen Hinderliter and I’m a 21-year-old junior strategic communications major with an emphasis in advertising and a minor in business. I’m from Morgantown, and I’ve been in Barcelona since New Year’s Eve and will be here until mid-May 2017. I am here to attend class at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, but my teachers tell me that as an Erasmas student, I am here more for the experience than the education.

What made you want to study abroad?

I have lived in Morgantown my entire life, and most of my immediate family lives here as well. I absolutely love this city: I moved only 5 minutes away from my parents once I started school.

Since I’m a townie, I have an enormous amount of friends and acquaintances established here. Anywhere I go, I am guaranteed to bump into at least 3 people I know. I have a fantastic job at Apple Annie´s Bakery, I have great roommates, and I get free groceries at this great little place called My Parent´s House. However, at some point, you have to break away from the comfort of home, or you will never know anything more than just that.

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Morgan Hylton—Hatfield, U.K.

morganMy name is Morgan Hylton and I’m a 19-year-old junior English major. I’ll be studying at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, U.K., for 5 months.

What made you want to study abroad?

Over the past year I have felt very anxious about the mundane life I lead in Morgantown. I tried to find ways to spice it up but always fell short, so I decided to take a leap and study abroad.

Studying abroad is something that I have always wanted to do, but I never knew if I was brave enough to actually go through with it. My love for different cultures and gaining as many experiences as possible was a huge driving force on my pros list, but the cons were still present in my mind.

After a lot of thinking and realizing what was going to make me grow as a person, I decided that studying abroad was exactly what I needed to feel fulfilled. So, here I am, 4,000 miles away from home, on the scariest, most amazing journey of my life.

What were your expectations for this trip?

I like to imagine that I will travel all around Europe with a Prince William-type man who I fall in love with and we will live happily ever after, but my rational mind just hopes to gain a little excitement and independence. Either would be superb.

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Hannah Patterson—Cochabamba, Bolivia

hannahMy name is Hannah Patterson and I am a 23-year-old super senior at West Virginia University. I am a multidisciplinary studies major, which means I have 4 minors: business administration, communication studies, public relations, and Spanish.

Though I am originally from Columbus, Ohio, I will be spending this spring semester in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Here in Cochabamba, I will be taking a Spanish class and a history class. I will also have to choose a service-learning project to assist the community, which will probably involve teaching.

What made you want to study abroad?

As a freshman, I had planned to study abroad at some point during my college career. Yet as the years passed, I found myself scared to leave my friends and became overrun with class requirements. However, in what I thought was my final semester at WVU, I learned about an opportunity to study abroad in Bolivia.

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Returning Home: Emma Alquist

Emma Alquist recently returned to Morgantown after spending a semester in Australia.

img_7581What do you miss most about your host country?

Everything. Honestly, it’s hard to narrow down the one thing I miss most about Australia. I think some of the predominant things I miss most are my friends, the weather, city life and, of course, the beaches!

I came back to the states at the very end of December to 20° weather after leaving Sydney when it was 90°. My friends are still there relaxing on the beaches enjoying the summer sun while I’m praying we don’t get any snow.

It’s also been tough seeing my friends on social media still enjoying the city life in Sydney. Living in the city was something I was getting used to. It was nice being able to take the train in to meet with friends or go to a new restaurant or bar each night.
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Morgan Hylton: Experiencing London’s Woman’s March

Morgan Hylton is a 19-year-old junior English major studying abroad in Hatfield, U.K., this semester.

Saturday, January 21st, 2017, is a day that I will always remember as one of the most empowering and awe-inspiring days of my life. As my friends and family rallied in the United States to march in solidarity for peace, human rights, women’s rights and many other pressing issues, I also found a way to make my voice heard while abroad. By way of an old friend from my childhood who happened to marry a British man and move to London, I found out about the Women’s March on London and immediately knew I had to participate.

Photo from

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Reiley Clark—Coleraine, Northern Ireland

img_5539My name is Reiley Clark and I’m a a 20-year-old multidisciplinary studies major with concentrations in history, European international relations and photography at WVU. I’m a sophomore from Charleston, WV, and will be studying at Ulster University in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, until June. While abroad, I hope to take pictures for a personal portfolio, explore castles, and visit the town my ancestors are from.

What made you want to study abroad?

I am a transfer student from University of Charleston, where I attended my freshman year of college. I had the privilege of studying abroad with the university to Greece, where we studied classical Greek history and lifestyle. This unbelievable experience lasted a month and left me craving a longer abroad opportunity.

When I arrived at WVU, I declared a major in multidisciplinary studies and decided to study abroad as much as possible. By being abroad, I’ve learned perspective and people skills, and it forces me to learn something new every day.

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Returning Home: Emily McCoy

Emily McCoy shares what returning to the United States is is like after being abroad in Milan, Italy, for a semester. You can read her personal blog about her experiences here.

What do you miss most about your host country?

I’ve been back from my trip for about a month, so I’ve had some time to reflect on my experiences and every day life abroad. I think the one thing I miss the most is all of the markets selling fresh fruits, vegetables, pastas, and pastries every day of the week. You could walk downtown on a Saturday, or even near the school campus on Monday mornings, and find vendors lined up down the streets selling their goods. It was so easy to cook fresh meals.

Also, there were seemingly no drive-thrus. Although there were a few McDonald’s and Burger Kings in the various cities I visited, you still had to go inside to order. It was a lot easier to eat healthy abroad and not be tempted by the convenience of fast food.
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