Amanda Lipke

Group photo of Kolodzik Business Scholars in Montreal

Majors and minor:
Majors in Finance and Business Economics; minor in Information Systems.

Campus activities:
Director of Fundraising for Serve Beyond Cincinnati, Emerging Campus Leaders, Economics Society, Kolodzik Business Scholars Association.

Co-op placement:
Internship at Cortland Banks.

Graduation year:

Location and type of program where you studied abroad:
Faculty-led program in Montreal.

Describe your study abroad location for someone who has never been there:
Montreal is an extremely multicultural city with a very heavy French and European influence. Walking the streets makes you feel as though you may be in Europe as people around you are speaking French, and there is a heavy European architectural influence in some areas, such as Old Montreal. There is lots of activity between people biking and walking dogs, and people are very friendly and laid back, making it a great city to visit. Montreal is full of culture and people who would love to share it with you.

What's your favorite memory from your time abroad?
I have a hard time picking one memory as my favorite, as there were many different things that I loved about the program. Going to see Cirque du Soleil was absolutely breathtaking, nothing like I have ever seen before, but our group dinner at the Ethiopian restaurant was also such a cool experience. On the professional side, the company visits were very interesting, being able to speak with the CEO of The Lacasse Group and get his insights was a very valuable experience. However of all the wonderful things we did, I think hoping on the metro and hoping for the best was one of my best memories. It was the time when we were bonding the most and really experiencing the city, and nothing can top the spontaneity of those memories.

How has study abroad changed you as a person?
Travelling abroad, whether it be near or far, has given me a new perspective on many things in our world, government being a big one. It is really interesting to see how other countries work and the ways in which the governments intervene in daily life. Being able to experience these things has definitely broadened my understanding of how different other places can be. Beyond that, travelling abroad has broadened me culturally. I have so many new experiences that many people never get the opportunity to have, and I can now share them.

What is something you learned from studying abroad?
I learned that having an open mind and being welcoming of other cultures and experiences makes a huge difference in the quality of your experience. Even if you are scared, try every new food you can, dance with the locals, try anything that is new and you'll either have a great memory or a great story.

What was your biggest challenge while studying abroad?
Language was definitely the biggest barrier for me, I have never taken French nor been around it so I had very little understanding of the language. Almost everyone in Montreal also spoke English but I was unable to read signs, and it took away from being able to interact with the natives in the same way they interact with each other.

What accomplishment are you most proud of during your time abroad?
I am proud of myself for trying new things despite maybe not being too keen on the idea to begin with. While at Dim-Sum in Chinatown, I tried squid, but not like little calamari rings, like a whole little squid that still looks like a squid, without breading. I was nervous to try it but I made the most of it, and it was actually very good. To me, it was the little things within the whole experience that I made sure to try and that really made the experience.

If you had the chance to study abroad again, what would you do differently?
If I had the chance to study abroad again I would definitely do more research on the country and its government, laws, and traditions before I got there. While it is great to learn as you go, I think having an idea about many of the city's quirks before going would have helped me really take notice of them and understand the city better.

Why should every student study abroad?
Studying abroad is something that we only have the chance to do for a short period of time in our lives. It allows you to broaden your horizons on so many fronts, and experience things that many other people do not get to. Whether you enjoy it or not, you will most definitely grow as a person and develop new, more knowledgeable opinions and perspectives. I see it as something we would be truly missing out on if we, as students, did not fully take advantage of the resources and opportunities we have available to us. We may never have the time or the money to extensively travel again, so why not now?