The decision to study abroad is an incredibly exciting one. Students have the chance to explore new places, learn about new cultures, and see the world. As amazing a decision as studying abroad is, it cannot be completed without the support and help of family and friends. They provide support, encouragement, and sometimes give us a push to make the choice. Sometimes, it is our family members and friends who influence us to decide study abroad. The experience of family members is what inspired USAC Torino students Anthony Georgouses and Grant Lilles, to study abroad. “Some of it was my own interest… and some of it was inspired by [my brother’s] experience,” Anthony describes.
Grant and Anthony, both from Fresno, California, study at California Polytechnic University at San Louis Obispo. Two years ago, both Anthony’s and Grant’s older brothers studied abroad in the same program, USAC Torino. Their brothers brought back so many great stories and had such great experiences that both Anthony and Grant were inspired to study abroad, too. Says Anthony, “my brother was already very outgoing, but just watching him be able to talk to any kind of person when he came home, that made me really want to also study abroad.” Adds Grant, “They made a bunch of videos and took a bunch of pictures and had a lot of fun and it made me think that I could also have that much fun.”
Anthony’s and Grant’s brothers inspired them to study abroad together in Torino, but this is not the only reason why they chose this city. “We knew that we wanted to travel, and Torino was in a good place to do that,” says Grant. “Torino was in the back of our minds from our brothers, but when we looked at other places to go, Torino had a lot of what we wanted.” Both avid snowboarders and hikers, they were drawn to Torino because of its proximity to the Alps. Torino was also a great option because of its short distance to places both students wanted to see, like Milan.
When it comes to studying abroad, the encouragement and support of our families and friends is incredibly important. However, as was the case with Grant and Anthony, sometimes our family members can even be the inspiration for deciding to study abroad. Hearing the stories brought back about their experiences and seeing the people they’ve become can encourage us to step out of our comfort zones, learn about new cultures, and have a study abroad experience that is entirely your own. So, if you have a family member who has gone abroad, talk with them. You never know where their stories will lead you.
Hear more about Grant and Anthony’s experience in Torino in the following video:
If you have a family member who has studied abroad with USAC don’t forget to apply for our Legacy Scholarship.
To honor USAC’s long history in international education, Legacy Scholarships are available to degree-seeking students who are the children, siblings, and spouses of alumni (a paying participant who previously attended a USAC Program) who have a minimum 2.5 GPA. Awards will be given in the amount of $300 for summer session or $500 for semester and are limited to one award per student. Scholarship deadlines are as follows:
- Summer/Fall Programs: March 15
- January/Spring Programs: October 15