Maggie McComas ’22

Small Town, Big World: From Grundy, VA to Rome

Studying abroad is an intimidating concept for many college students. Maybe they worry about the cost. Maybe they fear being thousands of miles away from home. There seem to be a million different reasons not to study abroad, but Franklin College alum Maggie McComas would argue the experience is worth every anxiety.

After hearing a presentation by Franklin College’s Director of Global Education Jenny Cataldi, Maggie knew she wanted to study abroad. So, she visited Jenny, who helped the Grundy, VA native through the process. Ultimately, Maggie decided she wanted intern over a summer in Rome, Italy — almost five thousand miles from Indiana. For her internship, the English and French double-major was tasked with teaching refugees English, a feat that did not start with the most promising beginning.

“My first day of my internship they were like, ‘Yeah, the other English teacher isn’t here anymore; he left last week, so we need you to teach by yourself.’ On the first day. It was really difficult. It pushed me to my limits. I don’t want to be a teacher, I want to practice international law. But I still did it to have that one-on-one experience with refugees, getting to hear their stories, getting to know them.” – McComas

Her internship in Italy was everything Maggie could have ever wanted and more. The Franklin College Student Ambassador feels she learned just as much from her international students as they learned from her. Maggie can relate easily to the worries many have about studying abroad, but she urges students to look past them.

“I was nervous about studying abroad, and obviously my parents were too because I didn’t even have a passport. But I always say this to people I give tours to here on campus: ‘Go for it.’ I’ve had so many opportunities here that I never, ever thought I would have. So, I definitely encourage everyone to get out of their comfort zones because it could be the best thing that happened to you in your college experience. My study abroad internship really taught me that I can do things that I set my mind to even if they are hard, and it will always be worth it.” – McComas

Are you ready to dive head-first into a realm of possibility? Schedule a tour of Franklin College today and see how we can help you expand your horizons.