My name is Morgan Romero, and I am a recent Environmental Management in Agriculture and Natural Resources graduate from UF. I decided for the final semester of my bachelor’s degree to study abroad at The University of Natural Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, Austria. It was a life-changing experience for me.
The semester started in February, and I was taking classes like Radioactive Waste, Nuclear Safety & Materials, and Global Waste Management. I was in classes for less than a month when I got an email from UF asking me to return home due to COVID-19. I didn’t want to miss out on my opportunity abroad, so I decided to stay against my better judgment in a city I didn’t know, thousands of miles away from everyone I knew.
I was extremely lucky with my experience. Even during quarantine, I was able to make friends, explore the city, travel to different regions of Austria, and I even got a boyfriend! Due to the virus, all of my classes were transitioned to Zoom, and my final exams were held at the houses of my professors. Two months after my expected graduation date, I was finally finished with all my courses. I virtually graduated from the University of Florida in the summer semester.
I am returning to the United States at the end of November 2020. However, I will return to Austria in February 2021 to continue my education at BOKU. I am pursuing my master’s degree in Environmental Management and Ecological Engineering. I fell in love with the university and Vienna, and I plan on making it my permanent home after I graduate. I never thought my semester study abroad would change my life, and I am grateful to the University of Florida for making that possible.