‘I don’t think I’m the same person I was before studying abroad’

Haley Beminio stands in front of a wooden fence with the mountains behind her in Switzerland

By Addie Nabholz ’25

Fall Term 2023 was one to remember for Haley Beminio ’24. The psychology and neuroscience double major spent four months studying abroad in Europe through Wartburg’s study sbroad program. As a double major and a student-athlete, Beminio wasn’t sure if studying abroad was possible for her.

 “I remember coming to Wartburg in high school with my mom and saying I’m going to study abroad. When I got here and I started doing track, it felt like I almost couldn’t do it for the longest time,” said Beminio. “It wasn’t until I saw another teammate do it that I realized, ‘Oh, I can do it.’”

As a student-athlete, Beminio was worried about what she would miss in her training, but her coaches encouraged her to seize the opportunity.

“Coach (Marcus) Newsom literally told me he was going to be mad at me if I didn’t take this opportunity if it was something I wanted. Coach (Seth) Roberson trusted me to do the workouts and everything I needed to do to come back prepared,” she said.

Haley Beminio in Dublin, Ireland

Long before her flight took off for Athens, Greece, Beminio began a conversation with her academic advisors and Kathleen Sihler, the study away coordinator.

“Kathleen was a big help. She was there for anything. She made sure before going that I knew if I needed something I could go to her. My advisers, Dr. Samantha Larimer Bousquet and Dr. Shaheen Munir, were also very helpful,” said Beminio.

While abroad, Beminio was a student at The American College of Greece.

“They taught in English, but they followed the European grading style. I took courses like anthropology, archaeology, and history of ancient Greece,” Beminio said.

Although her schooling and living took place in Athens, Greece was not the only European country she explored.

“I went to Munich, Germany; Lake Como and Milan, Italy; Budapest, Hungary; Dublin, Ireland; Locarno and Zürich, Switzerland; Vienna, Austria; and Tirana, Albania,” she said.

Beminio thinks everyone who is able should study abroad.

“It opens your eyes to a whole lot of different cultures. I met so many people from so many different countries,” she said. “It also grew me as a person. I don’t think I’m the same person I was before studying abroad.”

She had some advice for those considering studying abroad.

“Make sure you travel and explore. It’s hard, especially when you’re doing school at the same time. But it’s doable, especially if you’re taking a manageable class load,” said Beminio.