Introducing Nick Rohde

photo was taken in Santa Cruz, CA.

What is/are your major(s)?

Marketing

What is/are your minor(s)?

Psychology, Business Information Analytics

What is the name of your study abroad program?

Vrije University

In what city & country is your study abroad program located?

Amsterdam, Netherlands

What is one thing that you are most anticipating about your study abroad experience?

My excitement levels for upcoming plans that I have, while I’m studying abroad, are incredibly high, and I have plenty to look forward to. However, my most highly anticipated upcoming abroad experience is a trip that my parents and brother are visiting for. Over a span of several weeks, we will be visiting Germany, Iceland, Slovenia, and of course, the Netherlands. I’m ecstatic to be in Europe with them because after living here for a month now, it feels like I get to show them a piece of my identity that I have taken on. There’s no denying that living in an entirely different country will cause your identity to slightly shift. I’m extremely pumped for them to see what my life is like here, and of course to get to explore the beaches of Slovenia and the northern lights of Iceland with them.

Why did you decide to study abroad? or What inspired you to study abroad?

I have always been excited about the thought of possibly studying abroad one day, ever since I first learned of it. That being said, there were several critical moments in my life that solidified that decision for me. My brother was studying abroad in the winter of 2020. I remember calling him and seeing all sorts of pictures and videos of him traveling the world. Everything about it looked amazing, and all I could feel was happiness for him, with just a hint of jealousy. In that moment I realized, studying abroad could be some of the most exciting memories of your whole life—that it’s about the excitement of doing weekend trips to different countries, and visiting your friends who are also abroad, and going to new places with people in your program—the possibilities seemed to be endless.  It felt so much more real when I actually witnessed my brother going abroad. That was my first pivotal moment in realizing I too, could do this.

And then March 2020 rolled around, and we all know what that entailed: COVID-19. With everything happening so fast, my brother was forced to leave his program in Spain. His abroad experience was over, colleges were shut down, and he returned home indefinitely. Not surprisingly, he was beyond devastated to go from ultimate freedom and excitement every single day, to sitting in my bedroom with me playing video games all day. The worst part of it all was that it was all out of his control. And that was the second critical moment for me, where I realized that if I skip out on this once in a lifetime experience, that’s on me. His opportunity was cut short due to unforeseen circumstances, but the opportunity existed for me, and I had to decide if I wanted to seize it or not.

I quickly came to the conclusion that studying abroad was an experience that I definitely needed to have, and was just another way to learn, grow, and experience more.
 

photo is with friends after a sunrise summit overlooking the city of San Jose.
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