What is active learning?
Active learning is applying what you have learned in the classroom into a real life context; engaging yourself actively in the process and outward flow of knowledge. College students often sit in lecture halls for years before that actually have the chance to practice the skills they have learned, “actively” in the field of work. Listening, speaking, writing, problem solving and more are ways to actively engage in the process of learning. For all of us, there comes a point when we have to put down our notepad and highlighter, roll up our sleeves and go to work. Stepping into a new era of life, where we challenge our knowledge so that we can aspire for more.
Being here in Buenos Aires for the past month plus, I can’t think of a time before when my knowledge has been challenged more so than it is now. Every day, I am actively engaged in the world of a Spanish speaking country. After, a couple years of sitting in a classroom and listening to a professor lecture…my moment has come. With pocket dictionary in hand, I move through the busy city streets ready to challenge my knowledge and opinions. I have all this opportunity resting at my feet, it’s up to me to go out each day and make it more fulfilling than the last.
Will it be a challenge? Simple answer, yes. As I like to say, “Nothing worth having is easy,” and no one ever said it was going to be. Active learning means challenging yourself, day-in and day-out. Do things that are uncomfortable, I guaranteed that after each time you do you’ll walk away feeling stronger and more confident than you did.
“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”-Wayne Gretzky
Studying abroad is one of the best ways to challenge yourself and engage in active learning. No matter what your field of study is, being in a foreign country will force to challenge yourself in ways you have never done before. From what you eat to how you view the world, all of this will be altered during your stay abroad. Just think of how rewarding it will be to step out of your routine and experience things that are even greater than yourself.
I’m already a better me because of this experience that I am actively living. I will carry the knowledge and growth that I have gained here thus far with me for the rest of my life. From here, there’s graduation, a career, a family and so forth. The experiences I have had while abroad will play a role in the person that I will be furthermore.
Actively is now. Go out there and get it; leaving all your inhibitions behind.
Javon Dobbs is the Spring 2013 CEA MOJO in Buenos Aires, Argentina
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