Student Profile: Kristoffer Hellesmark
Where did he do his education abroad? Semester in Aix en Provence, France
Major: Political Science, COLFA
Goal: Wanted to learn another language, explore southern France and part of Italy.
Was it worthwhile? “It was the best six months of my life! I did it on a whim, and I can’t imagine my life not having done it now.”
Connection: An international student in the U.S., Kristoffer grew up in Norway until his parents moved to Houston when he was in high school. He had experience with being in a new country and learning a new culture and language. While his classes were held in English, he made friends with American students and international students from all over. He learned more about different cultures, and learned that he’s much more adaptable than he ever though he might be.
Advice: Be prepared for anything, and be open to everything. Kristoffer started learning French by using Rosetta Stone, but he was by no means fluent when he arrived in Aix en Provence. His host family spoke no English, and he quickly learned the shopkeepers didn’t either, “From that moment, I didn’t speak any English in public in any way. By the end of my stay, I wanted to speak French as much as possible.”
Added tip: RyanAir is your friend if you are in Europe. Cheap flights to a lot of great cities!