A PC student abroad

Junior Wasim Gendi boating on a pond in the Palace of Versaille’s gardens.

Junior Wasim Gendi boating on a pond in the Palace of Versaille’s gardens.

Blake Roberts, Staff Writer

For many students, the idea of traveling abroad can be daunting. Having to immerse yourself in a foreign country with a different culture, language and with no familiar faces isn’t exactly easy. But Wasim Gendi, a junior at Presbyterian College, is doing just that. Currently, he is studying at the Université Dauphine in Paris, France.

Gendi chose the Dauphine program for its wide range of possible subjects for study. Also, as he says, “because it’s Paris!”

So far, Gendi has enjoyed his time abroad. “Going abroad anywhere, even for just a few days, is always a positive experience one way or the other! But the best part of my experience is getting to see the things that were always talked about in textbooks,” he said.

“Learning about French culture is completely different than experiencing it first hand,” he added. Gendi was able to experience this culture firsthand when he and friends were able to explore the Gardens of Château de Versailles.

“Me and my friends went row-boating on a pond in the King’s ‘backyard,’” he said. “We were about a mile away from the château and we weren’t even half way through the pond.”

However, there have naturally been some challenges. While Gendi had to provide room and board for himself, the biggest difficulty he’s had is “being able to express myself to any Parisian…. basically anybody you deal with on a daily basis.”

But Gendi has worked hard to surmount this obstacle. “The biggest way I overcome that language obstacle was with confidence. I wouldn’t have been able to say a word if I kept thinking how many times I would mess up, so just being confident in myself made a great difference,” he added.

The experience in France has been a uniquely enriching experience for Gendi. He said, “I’ve heard, read, studied and even researched French culture and all that but it was a completely different atmosphere when I got immersed into the country.”

At the end of the day, Gendi had only good things to say about his time studying abroad, and recommended it to any student who was unsure if studying abroad was for them. “Any experience, whether positive or negative, is going to be great learning experience that you can’t really get by staying at home,” he said.

Students interested in going abroad should visit the Office of International Programs.