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Male Students in Study Abroad - Alumni Ambassador Derek Bandurak Speaks Out

This week in our blog series, Male Students in Study Abroad, veteran CEA Alumni Ambassador and graduating senior at the University of Pittsburgh, Derek Bandurak, discusses his semester abroad in Barcelona and how it has further prepared him for a global career.

CEA: Please provide a short summary of your study abroad experience:

  Derek: Studying in Barcelona, Spain, allowed me to broaden my international business knowledge and build my international professional network, while traveling to nine different cities in four different countries on two different continents. I was also fortunate to provide English language support to a local elementary school.

CEA: Why did you choose to study abroad?

  Derek: I chose to study abroad because I desired to enhance my Spanish language skills and submerge myself into a foreign culture. Also, as a global management major at the University of Pittsburgh, studying abroad is a requirement for graduation.

CEA: How have you changed because of your abroad experience?

Derek: I have found that studying abroad has forced me to mature and has made me more independent. I literally went to Europe only knowing three people on the entire continent. I was forced to mature.

CEA: What classes did you find useful or applicable to your field of study or career interest?

Derek: Strategic Management and International Economics were the two classes I took abroad that provided me the greatest applicable knowledge for my major. Being taught by a Mexican and Colombian professor respectively was beneficial to get a different perspective on international business.

  CEA: How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?

Derek: Studying abroad has reaffirmed my desire to pursue an international business career in the near future. Studying abroad provided me with once in a lifetime opportunities that have taught me so much about the world, and more importantly, myself.

CEA: In your opinion, why don't more male students study abroad?

Derek: I think that relatively less male students study abroad than female students because males are more likely to put monetary value on an invaluable experience. Males often over analyze the cost of studying abroad and underestimate the benefits. I also believe that males are less willing to submerge themselves into an unfamiliar environment.

  CEA: What are 3 study abroad myths you can debunk for other male students considering study abroad?

Derek: There is only one study abroad myth I can think of and it is, "I can't afford to study abroad." I find it humorous that students can make this claim about studying abroad yet cannot tell you how much it actually costs. For me, studying abroad turned out to be very close in price to a semester at Pitt, meaning there was minimal money spent in addition to a normal semester.

CEA: If you could give any piece of advice to other male students considering study abroad, what would it be?

Derek: Trust me, you won't regret it but you may not ever know if you would have regretted it until you do it.

CEA Alumni Ambassador Derek Bandurak is currently a senior at the University of Pittsburgh. He studied abroad with CEA in Barcelona, Spain, during the Spring 2012 Semester. 
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