Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: MUDEC

Alex and friends pose in front of the MUDEC Chateau

In this week's, Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Alexandra "Alex" Stambaugh, a senior Public Health major with a minor in Management. Alex studied at MUDEC in Spring, 2019. At Miami, Alex is involved in AWE (Advancing Women in Entrepreneurship) and is interning with the Miami University Employee Benefits and Wellness Department.

Why did you choose the program that you did?

I chose to study in Luxembourg because the study abroad program was ultimately the reason I decided to come to Miami in the first place. It’s always fun to bring up Luxembourg with people outside of Miami because they might not know what it is, but it was somewhere I got to call home for 4 months and I could talk about it for hours.

What did you study with your program?

I was able to take classes to complete my thematic sequence and I had the opportunity to participate in an independent study while I was abroad. The classes that I took that I felt really helped introduce me to European culture were ART 188 and FRE 101. Although I didn’t learn enough to hold a conversation in French I was able to pick up different words and maybe say a short sentence to help me talk to the barista at a cafe or a waiter at a restaurant. My art class was really amazing and made it even better when I went and saw pieces we learned about in class because I knew more about them.

What are the coolest places you visited on your program?

During my semester abroad I really tried to visit as many places as possible. I was able to travel to 16 countries (including Lux) during the 4 short months. My favorite places I visited were Lisbon and Paris.

Alex and family pose in front of the Eiffel TowerSaying that one of my favorite places was Paris may seem like a cliché but I loved the city and I loved hearing people speak French. My family also visited while I was abroad and we met in Paris. It was awesome to be able to show them around because it was the second time I visited while I was abroad.

Alex and friends sailing in LisbonLisbon was my last weekend trip when I was abroad. When we arrived at the airport we found out our flight was delayed due to airstrikes in Paris. After multiple delays, around 11pm we boarded the plane and immediately were asked to deplane because the crew couldn’t work long enough to get us there. At that point the busses and trains had stopped running and a taxi back to our home was going to be 200 euros, so we made a decision to stay in the airport and wait for our plane to leave the next day.

We ended up sleeping on the hard floors of the Luxembourg Airport and spent almost 20 hours debating whether it was worth it to go for a short trip and risk being delayed on the way back and missing our final exams. Thankfully we decided to get on the plane and had the best trip ever, and we had no problems getting home the next day.

What was your favorite part about your program?

My favorite part of my program was the ability to call Luxembourg my home. When you’re studying abroad and traveling the world every weekend life can get a little crazy. As much as I loved traveling every weekend it was even better to come back to Luxembourg and be with my 4 roommates (who really turned into my small family) and go back to the Château on Monday morning and hear about where everyone else went and what they did. The central location of Luxembourg makes it easy to travel in any direction for the short weekends.

How has the study abroad experience changed you?

Studying abroad gives you a plethora of real life skills that you would never know you need. My experience has made me want to see even more of the world than I already have, and I’m not afraid to do that because I have all sorts of experiences from my semester abroad. Now I can book a flight to a new country where I don’t know the language or anything about it and I am confident that I can figure out how to get where I need to be and communicate with the locals. I also learned critical thinking, planning and budgeting skills that will help me in the future.

Catch us next week as we continue to travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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