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Studying abroad in Rome: an investment in my future

It’s without a doubt that the past couple of months have been the best and most memorable in my college career.  Living in Rome has been a phenomenal experience. It literally feels like a dream to finally be here learning about an amazing historical city, eating one of the most delicious types of cuisines in the world, meeting people, and building relationships that I know I will forever cherish. 
Ever since I studied abroad in Spain and China, I knew that going to school outside of my home country would create a life changing experience and that every college student should partake in that. Spending one moth in both countries opened my eyes to many possibilities. I learned not just about the places that I visited, but also about myself. From my experience, I know that there is something significant that takes place when a student is pushed beyond their comfort zone in a different country. Although there are some challenges that students face when studying abroad, I feel that there is something significant that takes place when a student lives and experiences a different way of life. Through my own voyage to the United States, living in Ethiopia, and studying in Spain and China, I know that the best way to learn about another country is to be in the native environment that allows you to develop an understanding of the culture, the people, the language and their history.
As a result of studying in China and Spain for a short period of time, I knew that I needed more than a month to immerse myself in the culture and have an amazing learning experience. So that is the very reason I chose a semester-long program in Rome. Looking back at the past two months, I have learned and retained a lot more than the past couple years in college combined. Since our program includes many cultural activities in addition to our class, we are learning more and more about the Italian culture, people and their history in a more pleasant way than just sitting in a classroom.  
Since I arrived here in Rome at the end of August, I have had the opportunity to travel to eight countries in Europe and will be going on my ninth tomorrow. When asked to describe my experiences in those countries, I’m mostly at a loss for words because there are literally not enough words to describe how fun and incredible all of the places have been.
All of my learning and traveling have made me realize that I want a career that will allow me to explore more of the world. Since I am in my senior year, it’s very important for me to know the career path that I want to follow after this semester. From the beginning of college, I knew that I had an interest in International business, but now, it’s solidified as a result of my traveling adventures. In fact, I have already started applying for Business Consultant positions for companies that have a global presence. So when I am asked how this program will affect my life after college, I can honestly say that it has already changed my whole life. I know now that I want to spend majority of my life working a living abroad and I definitely have CEA to thank for that!
 Addis Tesfaye, a senior at the University of Minnesota- your CEA MOJO from Rome!

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