Thinking about going abroad next semester? Then Vietnam might be your best option
By: Valeria Gomez-Jimenez
Nick Migacz (‘21), a software engineering student, shared his experience abroad and how it has impacted his life and education with Rambler Buzz.
Nick found a home at Loyola University Chicago at a very young age. When he was only three years old, his grandma would take him to Madonna Della Strada Chapel to listen to the choir practice. "Loyola feels like home because everyone makes you feel like we are a family. Everyone works towards one goal graduating and growing to become better versions of ourselves," said Migacz. As a member of the Interdisciplinary Honors Program and as an active participant in the many extracurricular activities offered at the University, Nick has explored new experiences and learned more about where he belongs in the world.
Through Loyola's Office for International Programs, he understood the importance of studying abroad and the benefits that came with traveling and immersing himself in another culture. After a hard decision-making process, he finally chose his destination: Vietnam. His study abroad advisor worked with him to find scholarships, develop a schedule, and remind him that Vietnam would become a turning point in his life.
Nick described life in Vietnam as exhilarating. The adventures were endless, with something new at every corner--from motorbike drivers taking him to class to different coffee shops around town, each day was nothing like the day before. Classes in Vietnam offered valuable insight about the country. According to Nick, professors helped him realize the impact that we have as people on what happens around the world. Now he says he is more conscious and aware of how his actions affect others.
Every weekend, Nick and the rest of his Loyola classmates in Vietnam traveled to nearby countries and returned to Vietnam on Sundays. This group of students experienced Asia at its core. "These people have become some of my closest friends who will definitely continue to be a part of my life forever," said Migacz. They ate tarantulas, hiked to the Roof of Indochina, and explored different districts in Saigon. They struggled through the same issues and grew from this experience together. They had to understand what their comfort zones were so they could step out of them and see things they had never encountered and to experience a place and a program that so few get to.
"Life abroad has taught me to be an open-minded individual so that I can continue having amazing adventures for the rest of my life." --- Nick Migacz
Want to learn more about Loyola's International programs? Go to https://www.luc.edu/oip.