Major: B.S. Informatics, 2014
Destination: Florence, Italy
Hometown: Naperville, IL
Logan Margulis needed a break.
He wasn’t looking for a vacation exactly. It was more about a change of pace from the classes he was taking in pursuit of a degree in Informatics from the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. Margulis was in his junior year at SICE, and he was looking to finish out some of his core work. He also was interested in Italy, and when he explored the option of Overseas Studies, he was sold.
“I had an interest in learning about the history of Italy and some of the art,” says Margulis, who graduated from SICE in 2014 and is now senior tech strategy analyst at Accenture. “It was a little bit of a change from my classes I was taking at IU, especially in the SICE. It gave me a little bit of time to experience something else. It was a decent option because of my interest in their culture, but it offset the courses I was taking. It was an interesting change.”
Margulis participated in a program that sent him to Florence, Italy, and the experience shook him out of his comfort zone. He wasn’t an experienced traveler outside of a trip to Israel in high school, but that excursion was highly-supervised. For the first time in his life, Margulis was going to be on his own in a foreign land.
He loved it.
“It was an experience you can’t really have under other circumstances,” Margulis says. “You can’t just run off to Europe. Everyone would like to, but you just can’t. It was an ideal time to go.”
Margulis stretched his legs in the classroom. He took a class in food and wine pairing. Another class focused on art. The pace of his life slowed down a bit, something he wasn’t expecting.
“I wasn’t used to sitting down for dinner for three hours or people not being as concerned with time,” Margulis says. “They’re sitting down and learning from someone else with no beginning or end. It’s just really the attitude of being a part of a family or being part of a social group without the feeling of being in a rush. It’s really slowing down the pace of your lifestyle vs. the way we live in the U.S.”
The ease of travel surprised Margulis, as well, and he took full advantage of his situation.
“You have the opportunity to jump on the train in Florence and go to Rome for a weekend,” Margulis says. “Or if you’re in Barcelona or a different city in Europe, you can take the train to France. The ease of travel and getting the experience of learning another culture over the weekend is something I loved.”
The trip also gave him a different perspective, one he brought back with him when he returned to Bloomington.
“It gives you a different mindset,” Margulis says. “I was able to take some time and learn more about myself. You do take courses abroad, but you go on trips, as well, to learn about different cultures. I came back, and it changed my mindset in the classroom. I appreciated how different parts of the world worked. The biggest thing is having a different way of thinking.”
Margulis believes his overseas education experience set him apart when it was time to leave IU and pursue a career, and he has continued to feel the trip’s impact in his work life.
“I think now being on the other side, it can be a comparison to being thrown onto another project or a new responsibility and having to adjust in an effective manner,” Margulis says.
Margulis knows the cost aspect of studying abroad might make some people apprehensive, but he says the cost isn’t as heavy as some would think.
“If it’s a financial burden, there are always scholarships and programs that are presented from the university and other organizations,” Margulis says. “Don’t let the cost of a program or trip be a burden. I really enjoyed it, and I have only heard positive stories from others who have studied abroad. It’s a great opportunity.”
To learn more about the Overseas Education program, visit our Overseas Education site.