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Study Abroad and the Big Picture

The good thing about studying abroad is that it allows you to learn things that you can take home with you.  I plan on applying the skills that I acquire while studying in London to my life in America.  I think that this will be particularly helpful once I graduate from college and start thinking about my career.   

 In virtually any job environment, I feel that I will be able to apply things that I learned while studying abroad.  One of the most important things that I will bring to my job once I graduate from college is a better understanding of different cultures and how to relate to people who come from different backgrounds than me.  Tolerance of people who have different beliefs or opinions is a really important part of getting along with people in a job setting and working towards a common goal.  This is something that I am learning how to do as a result of living abroad in such a diverse city.  I have crossed paths with people from all over Europe and other parts of the world, and as a result, I am learning how to interact with these people and respect their cultures.  Furthermore, the traveling that I am doing in France, Spain, and Italy, has taken me out of my comfort zone and helped me to understand what being a foreigner is like.  As a result, when I go back home, if I come across immigrants from other countries, I will be able to understand what they are going through and help them through their difficulties.   

Furthermore, it is possible that I will have to move for my job after I graduate from Marist.  Having already lived abroad on my own, I will be able to easily adjust to moving to a different city or town, and I will know how to make the most of the experience.
I am planning on becoming a teacher once I graduate from Marist, and I feel that my knowledge of other countries and different cultures will benefit my students.  Through my experience of studying in London, I will be able to help promote tolerance both inside and outside of my classroom.  Also, because I have been exposed to the English school system, I can make comparisons to the American school system and make my own judgments about where one system works better than the other.  As a result, I will be able to incorporate some different techniques into my classroom and teaching methods, giving my students an education that is well rounded and diverse.   

There is so much that I am learning abroad that I will be able to bring home with me.  Some of the most important skills that I will pick up are ones that I probably won’t even realize until I am applying them.  Still, these are a few examples of ways that what I learn in London might benefit me once I go home.
Jennifer Sanfilippo is the Fall 2012 CEA MOJO in London

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