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Deerfield Faculty Perspectives: What was it like to live abroad?
Faculty Members
April 19, 2018
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Sam Savage

“Living in Italy for two years was a dream come true, and that experience changed my life for the better. After spending a summer in Spain on a language immersion program between my 10th and 11th grade years, I swore to myself that I’d live abroad for a significant amount of time later in life. I fell in love with the process of learning how to communicate in a foreign language and understanding the nuanced perspectives of another culture. While living abroad, even the most mundane tasks are exciting learning opportunities. With the right mindset, every time you step out the door, you are overwhelmed with possibilities for adventure. Living abroad can be exhausting, but the new perspectives you gain are invaluable.”

Julia Rivellino-Lyons

“I was born in West Germany, the daughter of two teachers in the Department of Defense School system.  To grow up as an American in West Germany — to be a child and then a teenager during the last two decades of the Cold War, living every day with the threat of nuclear annihilation — was to live a bifurcated life. On the one hand, my military-issued I.D. card allowed me access to the American bowling alley, the American movie theater, and the “base exchange,” where I could shop for American jeans, American sneakers, or American music. On the other hand, my family lived in a small German town where we spoke German with our friends and neighbors, bought broetchen and Pflaumenkuchen at the Baeckerei down the street, and played in the ruins of the local castle.”

Callie Hughes

“Travel is an incredible experience in general. You get to see completely different cultures, different food, and different history. My fiancée and I love to travel during any break we have. We meet great people, eat wonderful food, and see some incredible sites. However, living abroad allows you to do something more. There is a difference between you experiencing a culture and having a culture become a part of you. While I lived in Costa Rica, the Costa Rican culture became my culture. I was able to find my favorite grocery store and have a preferred taxi driver. Before you know it, I was saying “Pura Vida” to every local vendor and running on the highway. I got to take my time to enjoy the little things like the flowers on my commute or the street art next to my house. I moved to Costa Rica with very minimal Spanish, but realized that there is an international language if you are willing to make an effort (and are very good at charades). Living and thriving abroad means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and I am a better person for it.“