Preparing for Rome!

To everyone who isn’t my mom, dad, or their Facebook friend, hi! My name is Caroline Payne.  I am a current junior from Lexington, SC majoring in Biology with a minor in International Affairs. This semester, I will be studying abroad in Rome for 12 weeks and London for 6 through CIEE’s Open Campus Block Program.

I have always known I wanted to spend a portion of my undergraduate experience abroad and Wofford’s International Programs department was a major reason of why I chose Wofford as my dream school.  I was supposed to study abroad last spring, but like most things that were supposed to happen for the last two years, it was cancelled due to COVID-19. Choosing to find another date to study abroad was a no-brainer but deciding between going abroad for a whole semester or just Interim was a big choice. I already feel as though so much of my Wofford experience was disrupted because of COVID-19 and I didn’t know if I wanted to miss a whole other semester on campus. After much deliberation, I decided to keep the promise to my younger self and go for the semester. After deciding this in the early summer of 2021, I had several meetings and conversations with my advisor and chose my program by the end of the summer. 

I chose my specific program for several reasons, but the biggest drawing factor to me was I got to live in multiple cities and experience a variety of cultures while only being abroad for one semester. The way classes are set up through my program will allow me the chance to get several credits for my major and minor taken care of while also getting to take some classes specific to my location. One of the biggest obstacles to studying abroad for many people, including myself, is the financial aspect. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a recipient for a scholarship given out by my company, as well as having my Wofford scholarships carry over to next semester. These scholarships took a huge burden off me and my family and made studying abroad a possibility for me. 

I hope to grow as a more independent and well-rounded person while being forced out of my comfort zone and into the unknown. I of course have a little bit of nervousness about the culture difference, language barrier, leaving my family and friends, etc., but I am so excited about what this semester has in store for me!