My name is Langley Mercer. I grew up here in Greenville, North Carolina. I am currently a sophomore studying recreational therapy with a minor in psychology and am currently on the pre-occupational therapy track.

Where did you study abroad?

Italy through the ECU Tuscany program during the summer of 2023

What is Your Favorite Memory from Your Time Abroad?

While in Italy, my favorite memory was hiking the trails in Cinque Terra with other students in my program at 6 a.m. and seeing all five towns at a high altitude with lemon trees growing all around and being able to capture fantastic photos of nature.

How Has Studying Abroad Helped Your Personal and Professional Life?

While studying abroad, I overcame challenges that helped me personally and professionally. To start, I never flew on a plane before my trip, so I had to learn how to obtain a passport before departure and then how to navigate the airports when traveling; doing this helped me become more comfortable with independent travel and how to find my way around while abroad using transportation systems I have never used before like train systems and boat taxies. Studying abroad helps me obtain letters of recommendation, boosts my resume, and gain personal experience with understanding and learning about international culture, which is excellent when getting a job.

What Advice Can You Offer to Students Interested in Studying Abroad?

When studying abroad, I advise students to take their time while they are away. Take your time with your traveling and take every moment you have while abroad, whether that student is only traveling for a week or a whole academic year. The time I was in Italy flew by so quickly, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all the places I traveled to while I was still in that country. So, taking time to observe and savor the time abroad is beneficial for that student to obtain memorial moments and stories they can tell to friends and family when arriving back in the States.

Do You Have Any Plans or Ideas to Travel Abroad Again?

I would love to study abroad again while attending East Carolina in the future!!

You can email Langley at to learn more about her experience!