When I heard that there was a group of engineering freshman taking a summer abroad course in Europe, I knew I had to try and be a part of this group. One thing that I had found out from other students at Virginia Tech is that there are very few study abroad opportunities for engineers, especially for those in Engineering Science and Mechanics. So being an engineer and a freshman, I was told to forget about finding an opportunity to study abroad. Then a few weeks later this opportunity fell in my lap, and I knew it was my only shot to have a global educational experience this year. When I looked into the program more and found out that the class teaches about art, engineering, and culture throughout history and is aimed at getting engineers to continue to study abroad during college, I became even more excited about the RSAP. The group of students selected for the program was really great, exciting people who I knew would make the experience even greater.
I wanted to be in RSAP because I knew that there is a difference between studying about famous buildings and how ancient engineers constructed these amazing structures, and being able to go and see them for myself, and to touch the very stone that holds up the great dome of Brunelleschi. I knew of the educational value of living in other cultures can bring me, a globalized perspective that I cannot gain in Blacksburg. Something in me told me that this opportunity would be once in a lifetime, and it truly was.