Deciding where to go on Preview—Arcadia’s one-week travel opportunity for first-year and new transfer students—can be challenging. With such a wide variety of destinations, it can get overwhelming. But if you look at each place in relation to a personality type, it will be easier to find the right fit for you.
If you have a social-seeking, hustle and bustle-craving personality, you’re probably looking for the European experience, which I prefer. Destinations like London, Dublin, and Galway are great for first-time out-of-the-country travelers as well. They give the average tourist a foreign experience without throwing them into complete culture shock. England has many monumental sites to visit like Big Ben and the London Eye. The streets are filled with a British essence, encapsulated in everything. I spoke with many students who said their trip to places like England and Ireland were life-changing, and that they made memories they’ll carry with them for a lifetime.
If food is your love language, then Sicily and Florence might be your perfect match. You can find some of the best cuisine in the world, from Arancini balls of rice and cheese that will send comfort right to your stomach, to fettuna, which is considered the original garlic bread. A traditional Italian approach to life is about family, food, and fun (indulging means you do not mind gaining a few pounds). Hearing the chatter from current students who are figuring out their Preview fit, Sicily seems to be a popular contender.
Hopeless romantics unite! Paris does not only entertain one of the languages of love, but also its streets are filled with bakeries and art. The natural storyteller will thrive perusing art museums galore and, of course, experiencing the wonder and magic of the Eiffel Tower.
For those who wish to experience Europe in a non-traditional, far-from- cookie-cutter way, Valletta in Malta may be the place for you. After doing some research on this overlooked hotspot, I was able to understand the magical feeling it elicits. Valletta is meant to be seen by a more creative and artistic eye, someone who appreciates architecture, society, and life in general.
But if you love history and don’t mind a plane ride longer than watching Avengers: Endgame on a loop four times over, consider Asia. Arcadia offers locations like Seoul, Shanghai, Osaka, and Ho Chi Minh City. All of these destinations are sure to enthrall every history buff. Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City played a pivotal role during the Vietnam War; Osaka in Japan is like the Japanese New York City. Society and culture there are changing day by day, giving students a 180-degree shift from the quintessential American city lifestyle.
And then there’s San Jose, Costa Rica, with its tropical, go-with-the-flow personality. Most destinations in Central America are known for being laid back and relaxed, and San Jose is no different. Cruises are offered everywhere, giving students a chance to visit quaint, historical beaches perfect for a soul that lives everyday to the fullest.
Basing my decision on this criteria, I felt London or Sicily would be the best options for me. Both destinations fit my personality, considering I like to get involved and socialize with others, but don’t want too much of a culture shock. Ever since I was little, I dreamed of going to London to see all of the historic sites and immerse myself in the sophistication of British culture. Not to mention I watched Mary Kate and Ashley’s Winning London on a loop for a solid year, but that’s beside the point.
On the other hand, so many of my relatives are from Sicily. To be able to experience their lifestyle would be so fascinating. I decided to take Italian my first semester to grow closer to my heritage, which would serve as a building block for Preview.
No matter what type of person you are or where you choose to go, Preview is a wonderful opportunity to broaden your cultural horizons. It adds so much to your first-year experience at Arcadia and differentiates this institution from the rest in the nation. There is a reason why Arcadia is the number one school for studying abroad in the country. You’ll experience firsthand how all parts of the world differ, yet unite, while making memories to last a lifetime.