Rachel Croy’s (B.A. ‘10) Adventure in England
When Rachel Croy was a little girl, she would ask her father about college and he would tell her about an English university named Oxford. In her junior year at Hope International University (HIU), Croy got to live out her fantasy of studying at Oxford by spending a semester there through the study abroad program, Best Semester. “I was ready for an adventure,” she said.
Croy, who graduated in December 2010 with a degree in English, spent the Spring semester of her junior year at Oxford. Through the Best Semester program, she took four classes, including Drama in Literature and, ironically, American Literature. In addition to a fantastic educational experience, Croy also enjoyed getting to see London and surrounding cities. She loved everything about traveling in the area, from visiting the coffee shops that famous writers frequented to enjoying the afternoon shade of the Eiffel Tower. She is thrilled that now when she reads British literature she can better picture the English landscape and cities because she has seen them in person. She said her time both in and out of the classroom helped broaden her view of literature and of herself.
“The experience did change me,” Croy said. “I feel more mature and well-rounded.” She went on to say that she believes studying abroad has helped prepare her for a career as a teacher. She felt incredibly lucky to have been able to travel and study in a different country before she even graduated college. Croy also explained that her spirituality grew stronger as a result of her semester at Oxford.
“It is difficult to go to a different country even when they speak the same language, and culture shock can be a tough experience, but I learned that God created us for community. God is always the same no matter what country you’re in, and He always has my best interest in mind,” she said. “I think my spiritual life was definitely tested and from that I grew closer to the Lord.”
Croy’s time at Oxford made such an impact on her that she has clearly become an advocate for study abroad programs. She firmly believes the experience is one every student should have because it will give them “a new perspective on life.” She offered this simple advice to students who are considering studying abroad. “If you have to opportunity, don’t pass it up.”
Click here to learn more about HIU’s study abroad programs.