My name is Dillon Cook and I am a rising senior with a triple-degree in Communication Studies, Human Environmental Sciences, and Criminology & Criminal Justice. Since I started at UA, I was very interested in studying abroad, but was unsure how I would fit it into my schedule. I started college as an Elementary Education major, so my time was more limited because of hours in the classroom. I am also heavily involved on-campus, so I knew that I did not want to study for an entire semester or even an entire month. I had almost decided that I would seek other opportunities with my time until a friend encouraged me to check the available faculty-led trips because there were options for shorter trips. To my surprise, there were multiple shorter trips over the summer that fit well into my schedule. 

This is my first time studying abroad; however, it was not my first time being abroad. In July 2023, I taught leadership in Canada for two weeks through Powerful Youth. In January, I traveled to India through the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative for two weeks (this is what my picture is from). These trips made me realize that I wanted to go on a trip for a similar time frame. As I am preparing for my trip, I am packing very lightly. For Canada and India, I overpacked and had to purchase an additional travel backpack to bring back souvenirs. So, for this trip, I am only packing 2 outfits because I know I will want to buy clothes in Germany. 

I selected my trip that travels across the Czech Republic, Berlin, and Prague, among other locations. It is eight days long. I have already researched different locations that I want to visit. I am extremely excited about my trip, and a lot of that stems from the amount of pre-departure information I have received from my professor and our travel agent. I have access to a full itinerary, mapping out our every minute. This is extremely reassuring for me, as someone who considers themselves a micromanager. One fun goal I have for the trip is to try as many different types of bread as possible, as I am a pretzel fanatic. On a more serious note, while on my trip, I hope to experience the culture of Germany and learn what makes a successful business on a global scale. I am grateful for this opportunity and excited for next week!