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Active Learning

In order to actively learn, I think that you have to want to learn.  You have to show an interest in what both professors and life is trying to teach you.  Otherwise, you will not be able to get anything out of the experience.  You have to listen and really seek to learn in order to be an active learner. 
            Active learning is more than just sitting in a classroom and taking notes or studying for a test.  I think that active learning can occur in the classroom, if you are engaged in the subject material, and you want to participate, you can engage in active learning.  In regards to active learning, the learner must take it upon his or herself to be interested in what is being taught and to actually learn the material being presented.  As a result, active learning doesn’t just have to occur within the classroom.  The beautiful thing about active learning is that it can extend outside of the classroom.  Learning about yourself, life, and other people can all come about as the result of active learning.
            I think that study abroad is the perfect example of active learning.  In order to actively learn, you have to be willing to accept the lessons that life is trying to teach you.  Active learning is traveling, seeing sights that different cities have to offer, and exposing yourself to new situations.  By immersing yourself in a new culture – by learning a new language, trying new foods, and meeting new people who may be very different from yourself - you will open yourself up to new opportunities that you may have never thought possible. 
            Personally, I have done a lot of active learning while abroad.  I tend to reflect a lot on the experiences I have and how they affect me, so while I am being bombarded with all of the new things that living in London has to offer, I am able to take a step back and ask myself how I can apply these new things to my life, and what they actually mean to me.  By taking time away from my family and friends, I have been able to focus on myself and I have therefore discovered what truly makes me happy.  All of this has come about as a result of the active learning I have done in London, as well as on my trips to Wales, Paris, Rome, and Florence.  If you decide to study abroad, it’s almost impossible not to take part in active learning.  As long as you are open to new things and willing to learn from them, you will be able to learn a lot both about yourself and about the world around you.  

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