Macy Cansdale
Youth and Community Development major, Organizational Communication and Leadership and Spanish minors
Clayton, Indiana 

Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose this destination?
I am studying abroad in Germany with Butler’s College of Education volunteering at the Special Olympics World Games. Throughout my time at Butler, I’ve been able to work with the Washington Township Special Olympics, so the opportunity to get involved with the organization on an international level was something I knew I couldn’t miss.

What have you enjoyed most about being abroad?
By far, my favorite aspect of studying abroad is the relationships I’ve been able to build with my Butler peers, with other volunteers, and with Special Olympics athletes and mentors from around the world. There is something about going to another country with a group of people that really brings you together, and when you’re also collectively working to support such an incredible organization, this is even more true.

What have you discovered about yourself from your study abroad experience?
This trip has really taught me to fully appreciate the present. I’m someone who is constantly thinking about what’s coming up next, whether it’s tomorrow’s schedule or something I’m looking forward to weeks ahead. With this being my first time abroad, I wanted to challenge myself to really savor each experience. Our group has had the opportunity to be involved in several once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and being able to take them all in is something I’m grateful to have learned.

What surprised you most about your study abroad experience?
Even being over 4,000 miles from home, I’ve met several people who are from the Indianapolis area and it blows my mind! Even at the laundromat down the street from our hotel, we met a woman named Sarah who grew up in Zionsville and has now lived in Berlin for over 15 years. Random connections like this one have made me realize that you can often find a little feeling of home no matter where you are in the world.

What advice would you give to Butler students who are considering studying abroad? 
If you aren’t sure whether or not you’d like to study abroad, the biggest piece of advice that I have is to talk about it with those around you. When I was on the fence about going to Germany for a few weeks versus staying home for the whole summer, I spent a lot of time speaking with my professors, with family and friends, and with pretty much anyone whose opinions I valued. I think asking for other perspectives was what really gave me the reassurance that going on this trip was the right choice.