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Spartans of UD - Jenna Benzing

By University Relations Staff
Jenna Benzing - Spartans of UD

Spartans of UD highlights what makes the University of Dubuque special - the people.

Jenna Benzing, of Caledonia, Minnesota, is a junior digital art and design major. She traveled to Greece from May 6 to May 14 with the Art and Culture of Greece short-term study abroad trip.

Why did you choose to participate in the Art and Culture of Greece short-term study abroad trip?

"I chose to participate in the Art and Culture of Greece short-term study abroad trip because I have always had a fascination with Greece. When asked the question 'If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?' my answer has always been Greece because of the beauty of the country. I took an art history class my first year at the University of Dubuque and one of my favorite parts of the class was over Greek art and culture, so this trip was very fitting. This short-term study abroad trip was also an opportunity I was able to experience that I most likely would have never been able to do anywhere else."

The University of Dubuque is proud to have a variety of faculty committed to international education who lead short-term study abroad trips. What was it like to travel through Greece with professors Alan Garfield and Charles Barland through Art and Culture of Greece?

"I have had Alan Garfield as a professor for some of my classes before, so I knew what kind of person he was and that this trip was going to be a fun experience already. Traveling with Alan and Chuck was an awesome experience. They not only made the trip fun, but they also made it feel safe and comfortable traveling. They taught us things about the art and culture of Greece that some of the local tour guides didn't even know. We were given a rich learning environment from them without it feeling like a class trip. We were given our own freedom and allowed to go off on our own, in groups of course, and do things each of us were interested in, instead of being forced to only see what they wanted us to see."

What will you treasure from your time in Greece?

"Honestly, I will treasure my entire experience from my time in Greece. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me because of all the things I was able to do and see in Greece."

What is something you learned during your travels in Greece?

"From my travels in Greece, I definitely learned how different things are in other cultures. Everything is so different from that of the US. Hospitality is wonderful from what I experienced. As to no surprise, Greek mythology is heavily worshiped in Greece, but it was cool to see and hear the stories of the Gods through the people and cities. Overall, it is very interesting to see the differences in how other cultures live compared to myself."

What is your advice for other Spartans who are interested in study abroad opportunities?

"My advice to other Spartans interested in the university's study abroad opportunities is to take them. The school provides many great opportunities to travel that include a bunch of learning experiences and excursions at a good price. There is also the John and Alice Butler Travel Scholarship students can apply for to help cover the cost of these study abroad trips. This scholarship helped cover a considerable portion of my cost which helped make it possible for me to go to Greece. By studying abroad, I feel I was able to learn about and experience more of the culture of Greece than I would have been able to if I were learning in a classroom or even if I traveled there on my own."