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How Study Abroad Will Impact My Future

It's the feeling you get when you step back on your homeland's soil and something feels strange, unfamiliar, foreign. That sensation is how you know you've truly adapted and become part of a society different from your own–whether you lived in Granada, Italy, France or Britain, after spending months completely immersed in their cultures it truly becomes part of you. So what exactly happens when you touch back down at the end of your semester in your hometown? What's next when you leave those CEA doors we've all been so accustomed to? There's only one answer I can think of – you carry those experiences with you and you emerge transformed, a global citizen.
You might be wondering what this term "global citizen" means and how you could be transformed into one without even noticing it. Again, this all has to do with the life you led in your host country, the way the culture became ingrained in your daily routine and you became part of the community in which you resided. Whether its speaking the language, finally being able to get your order right at your favorite cafe, or the shopkeeper remembering your name, it's these little things that serve as personal victories in becoming part of a new world.  
Now, what does that mean after graduation? After you've left the comforting walls of your home institution or cultural haven of your study abroad city, in what ways is your global experience going to impact your life?  One thing is for certain, it gives you a unique outlook that is multifaceted and more complex than what you started with. With this broader perspective you can enjoy any new ventures in your life with a skill set that others may not have; your experiences are unique, thus, they equip you with a unique way of viewing things, solving problems and assessing any situation you face. Aside from gaining a heightened sense of self and awareness, you now have a gateway to another place in the world where you may choose to return one day. After all, now that you're a global citizen, the world is truly your oyster and you are more than ready to conquer new places and expand your palette.

Jerusaliem Gebreziabher is the Spring 2013 CEA MOJO in Paris, France

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