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Why is Shelby Studying Abroad?


Why am I studying abroad?

For those of you that know me, you know that I traditionally live a very busy lifestyle.

I try to get by on little sleep so that I can squeeze in everything that I need to during the day. These last 3 years in particular have been pretty crazy. I am SO lucky to have an encouraging family, friends, and boyfriend who help me through it!

My previous schedule looked a little like this:

  • 6am: wake up, get ready, breakfast
  • 7am: go to campus to do my homework
  • 9-11am: class
  • lunch
  • 11:30-12:30: choir rehearsal
  • 1-3pm: class
  • 3:30-6:30pm: track practice
  • shower and supper
  • 8pm: chamber rehearsal
  • 9pm: library

Throughout the day: squeeze in meetings, labs, group work, university clubs….

I am ready to leave this behind.

I wouldn’t ever give up those things for the experiences that I gained from them. I have learned countless lessons along the way by not only trying to balance it all, but also from each individual perspective I have had through the windows of these commitments.

I am studying abroad to get away from my element and grow without these obligations resting on my shoulders.

Growth. How do I want to grow?

I want to grow as an individual in my versatility and possibilities. I truly desire to one day become bilingual so that I can be of benefit as a person in my world and also in my career as a healthcare professional.

  One day while shadowing in the Obstetrics wing of my local hospital, I noticed that the entire hospital only had 1 translator for all its components. I examined this on multiple levels: For one, patients deserve to express their needs in the comfort of their language. If they cannot speak a language, they cannot make the necessary parties aware of their individual needs. This would be not only frustrating, but frightening as well. There needs to be convenience present. If only one translator is available in the entire hospital, the patient(s) and direct care staff must frequently wait for that person to assist in the process. That is unfair to all parties.

For instance: If one non-native family needs general instructions for care of their newborn and discharge and the process takes 40 minutes, who is helping the other non-English speakers in the hospital?

I am taking it upon myself to work towards changing this.

I wanted to study abroad in a non-English setting so that I can grow in another language, particularly Spanish.

  Spanish was the only language I have had any “formal” training in. I took 2 years in high school. I wish I would have taken 4 years, but in high school, I didn’t have a strong interest. My interest grew in college, but with my crazy schedule, I couldn’t incorporate a Spanish minor like I was hoping to. All of the nursing study abroad schools I am looking into have the option and I desire to pursue it upon attending school.

Another dynamic for studying abroad is the opportunity to travel.

  I LOVE exploring the world. New cultures interest me, new places and faces. Sometimes I just get the itch to get out and see what a new setting is like. I always go back to my Midwest for the long term, but it always feels good to get away for a while.

So there you have it! This is why I am studying abroad. I’m ready for growth and change and I’ve already begun to see some of the differences in the last few weeks. I’m sure there are things beyond my eyes as well.

I’m taking Costa Rica on, one day at a time.

Shelby Stolze is the Summer 2015 CEA MOJO in San Jose, Costa Rica. She is currently a Senior at Concordia University Nebraska.



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