Meet Study Abroad Student Madeleine Mullins
Madeleine Mullins is from Seattle, Washington, and attends Washington State University where she is majoring in Broadcast News and minoring in Political Science. She studied abroad at JCU for the 2022-2023 academic year. In the spring of 2023, she interned at the JCU Web Communications Office.
How did you decide to study abroad in Rome? What was your best experience while studying in Italy?
When I was growing up, my mom always talked about her study abroad experience and how it was her favorite year of college, so it has always been something I’ve wanted to do. I decided to come to Rome because I had never traveled to Italy before, and I liked that Rome was a big city with lots to offer in terms of history, food, and culture.
I don’t think I could pick just one experience as my favorite part of studying abroad. I have loved getting to travel all over Europe and visit places and cultures I have never experienced before. My favorite place that I have traveled to is Lisbon, Portugal. I’ve also loved the time that I have gotten to spend in Rome. Because I have been here for a year, I’ve been able to create a community and a life here and that’s been really special.
Why did you choose to study Broadcast News and Political Science?
I have always enjoyed writing, and when I started to take courses where I could find stories and talk to the people behind those stories, I knew that I wanted to be in journalism. I decided to pair that with political science because I believe that an understanding of how the world works in terms of politics and the government is important, especially if you plan on writing news stories about it.
How did you discover your passion for writing?
I believe that reading and writing go hand in hand. To become a great writer, you need to read the works of great writers, so my love of writing started with my love of reading. Growing up I was obsessed with the Harry Potter books and had read them multiple times by the time I finished elementary school. Then when I went on to high school and started taking more advanced classes I learned that my favorite courses were the ones I had to read and write in the most. This is when I discovered that I wanted to pursue a degree that would allow me to continue to write. I am lucky because my dad is one of the best writers I know. He has taught me how good writing is descriptive and transports the reader into the story. He has helped me by giving me feedback, editing and re-editing my papers, encouraging me to read books by eloquent writers and learn from them, and helping me to develop my own style of writing.
Why did you decide to pursue an internship through JCU?
After my first semester at JCU, I knew that I wanted to get more involved with the school. I decided to pursue an internship at the Web Communications Office because I liked that I could continue to practice what I have been learning in school about writing and journalism. I also appreciated that I would get to learn more about the behind-the-scenes aspects like photography, editing, and the upkeep of the website.
What did you learn about yourself from your time abroad?
Now that my year abroad is coming to a close, I can say that I have become much more confident in myself and found a sense of independence that I didn’t have before. Moving away from friends and family is never easy but the ability to form a home away from home is an important skill that studying abroad has taught me and I know it is something that I will use going forward in life.
What advice would you give to students who are hesitant about studying abroad?
Studying abroad can be scary, but most good things in life are. It’s like jumping off the deep end, you just have to go for it and once you do you will be so glad you did. I haven’t met a single person who regretted studying abroad.
What are your plans for the future?
I am going back to Washington to finish my senior year of college. After that I plan on getting a job at a news organization, hopefully writing, reporting, and doing what I love.