Students study abroad in France and Spain

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Lauren Granskog (12) is on an excursion with her study abroad group. Granskog was in Spain for two weeks during the summer.

Jenna Crawford

Some students may find it scary to spend the summer in a foreign country where they can’t speak their native language, but for Elise Classen (12) and Lauren Granskog (12), they couldn’t have been more excited.

“[I traveled] under IUHPFL (Indiana University Honors Programs in Foreign Languages). It was the study abroad program,” Classen said.

Classen heard about the program when her friend went to France a couple years before.

“[I stayed] in Brest, France. I was there for [seven] weeks,” Classen said.

Granskog also participated in a study abroad program over the summer. She went to Spain for two weeks.

“We had a homestay with a middle-aged couple who had a 19-year-old son and a daughter who was 23. They were both still in the house. I stayed in the house with another girl from Texas,” Granskog said.

Like Granskog, Classen also stayed with a host family.

“I was with a host mom and another girl from the program,” Classen said.

While on these trips, the girls had to follow strict rules.

“I couldn’t speak English. I couldn’t use the internet and they took our phones away. It was really hard to be away from my family and not being able to talk to them.  After [two] weeks, it sort of became natural. You started learning the language more and felt more comfortable,” Classen said.

Along with experiencing the culture and learning to adapt to this new style of living, Classen and Granskog had to attend classes during the day.

“I studied literature, linguistics, culture and grammar while I was there. [Classes were] from 9:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” Classen said.  

After time spent in the classroom, the girls would go on trips with their groups to see the beautiful countries.

“We had excursions that we got to go on. We got to see the cities and we stopped at a couple historic cities. We got to go into the mountains, and it was absolutely gorgeous,” Granskog said.

Spending two to seven weeks in a foreign country has had a positive impact on Classen and Granskog.

“I would definitely advise people to go study abroad,” Granskog said.