Summer break is a time where students can broaden their horizons to take all they’ve learned from LMU and share those experiences beyond the Bluff. Many Lions took the few months of summer vacation to travel overseas and flood our Instagram feeds with pictures that sparked our own inner wanderlust.

Here at the Loyolan, we spoke with two LMU students who spread their wings this summer and traveled out of the country to experience the wonders of European culture.

Julia Donahue, a sophomore screenwriting major from Portland, Oregon, capitalized on a unique opportunity to travel with a group of fellow LMU students to Greece for three weeks as a part of a summer study abroad program.

“Our trip began in Athens, and included three weeks on the beautiful island of Spetses and one week traveling around mainland Greece to places like Nafplio, Delphi, Kalambaka and Olympia,” Donahue said. “We got to see, firsthand, so many incredible archaeological sites, it was hard to believe they were even real. But what really stuck out was the time we spent on Spetses, the days by the beach, the nights with our friends, the incredible food and the beauty of the island.”

LMU’s study abroad program allows students to take classes while enjoying the sites and scenery of Greece, and created an environment for the students to become closer over their shared experiences. 

“I definitely bonded closely with the members of our group,”Donahue said. “Experiencing the culture of Greece with them, while learning about the country’s history, definitely gave me a deeper appreciation for my classes.”

Donahue further explained how her time abroad was “unlike any experience I know I’ll have studying at LMU, and I know I’ll cherish the trip forever. I highly recommend studying abroad, no matter where you go. I made tons of new friends, some from LMU, some from Greece and some from all over the world, and I know I’ll never forget the experiences I had abroad.”

Other students, like Kaitlyn Ochoa, a sophomore communications major and L.A. native, met up with their LMU friends across the Atlantic.

Laurine Forget, a sophomore business major and fellow Alpha Phi member, who herself lived in France for a time, gave Ochoa a tour of her old stomping grounds as a child.

“Traveling to Paris this summer was a dream, but getting to do it with one of my best friends and sorority sisters made it even more surreal. Laurine showed me how to take the metro, which was such a fun new experience considering that L.A. doesn’t have anything like that,” Ochoa said. “I spent time with her family too, going shopping at all these neat places like the Galleries le Fayette. One of my favorite parts were the crepes, which we had at this little place that her parents used to eat at together when they were our age in Paris. It was just such a great experience and I’m so grateful I got to do it the Parisian way with a friend that LMU brought into my life!”

LMU’s study abroad program not only offers opportunities to go overseas during the summer, but also for semesters during the academic school year at locations such as China, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Philippines, Germany and quite nearly every place you could dream of completing your credits. Studying abroad can be an incredibly enlightening experience to broaden the scope of your worldview and connect you to other students at LMU who have the same desire to get out of their comfort zone and experience a new, exciting culture to immerse themselves in. You’ll never regret picking up one of the many study abroad flyers around campus and entertaining the idea of life as a student in the foreign country you’ve always dreamed of visiting.

This is the opinion of Trevor Gray, a freshman business marketing major from Orange County, California. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email comments to

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