Name: Courtney Yates
Hometown: Ann Arbor
Varsity sport(s) participate in: Tennis
Study abroad semester and location: Copenhagen, Fall 2012
What was the most unexpected thing you encountered during your off-campus study experience?
I did not expect my apartment to set on fire and that I would have to move to a different part of the city. It was a very inconvenient thing but in hindsight it was a great thing to have to learn to readjust again. Things like fires and moving happen in the real world and it was cool to be able to experience that in some muted way.
What was the best meal you had abroad?
Honestly, the burgers I had in Copenhagen were the best burgers I’ve had in my entire life. But, the best meal I had while abroad was in Berlin when my class went to the “blind restaurant” where we were served and ate in the complete dark. It was an incredibly interesting thing to realize how much sight plays a part in how we taste and experience eating.
What was the biggest difference between Beloit and your host city/university? Similarity?
I felt like my semester abroad with the DIS program was my experience at a State school. It was a lot different than Beloit in that the people were different and there was much less of a sense of community. It was much more spread out physically and socially than Beloit. The only time I would see many of my classmates outside of class was when we were out at night whereas in Beloit, it feels as if I’m seeing everyone all the time. I really enjoyed getting to feel this sense of anonymity but I was also so happy to be back at Beloit where I feel like I have a family on campus.
How has your study abroad experience affected your athletic experience or your identity as an athlete back at Beloit?
Well, for one thing I missed a season because of my being abroad so that definitely affected me. But, I don’t feel guilty or anything about missing it; I know that the experience I had abroad was worth missing one tennis season. Being abroad helped me in a lot of ways including in helping me to handle my emotions better. This has definitely helped me to be successful at staying calmer on the court while I’m playing.
How were you able to stay in shape or stay prepared for your sport while you were gone?
I bought a gym membership. It was pretty cheap and there were very nice facilities.