Name: Maximiliana Carlson
Hometown: Beloit, WI
Varsity sport participated in: Women’s Track & Field
Study abroad semester and location: Nantes, France for the 2013-14 academic year
What were the three most important things you packed in your suitcase and why?
My brown boots-It rains a lot in Nantes, so they helped keep my feet warm.
My Beloit College lanyard-I’ve kept all my important keys on there and have not lost them while I’ve been abroad.
Daily devotional-It helps keep me at peace.
What was the best meal you had abroad and why?
For Christmas I went to Paris with my host family. I remember the meal on Christmas day lasting a long time. They have a tradition of eating a lot of food including oysters, foie gras and topping it all off with La bûche de Noël or Yule log. It was a great to experience a traditional French Christmas with my host family.
How has your study abroad experience affected your athletic experience or your identity as an athlete back at Beloit?
I think being an athlete helped me see Beloit from a different perspective from when I wasn’t involved in a sport. I gained a new appreciation and became more open-minded to what other athletes had to say. I have continued to stay open-minded to the people around me and my experiences while studying abroad.
Has the time you spent abroad changed the way you think about your athletic experience or your sport in general?
Looking back when I ran mid-distance with track and running for 20-30 minutes every day, I became grateful for how much I benefited from running. It really helped reduce my stress during what would have been a very stressful semester.
Some words of advice for other athletes who want to study abroad:
Study abroad! It is a rich and incomparable experience that everyone would be lucky to have.