Becoming culturally oriented is a process. Understanding another culture is not something you can check off your to do list in a day. It takes time and courage to become comfortable enough to live within a completely new environment. Thankfully, with the courses available to me through CEA and the initial programing provided by the staff, I was able to embark on this journey confidently. For me, the course entitled "Global Competence" provided highly useful insights and invited me to see this world I was constantly being invited to view through a different lens. I feel I have become more culturally aware, open to differing opinions and ideas, and have truly had the opportunity to understand Parisian culture.
Finding yourself (and others)
Study abroad opens doors to new ideas and new people! When studying abroad, you become more open in all circumstances and find out who the best version of yourself is. Getting to know the best version of you is amazing, but getting to share this new you with students from all over the world who are on the same journey is even better. With CEA, you are surrounded by students who want to explore the world and try new things. Since coming abroad, I have found some of the most wonderful people I am proud to call my best friends. Learning, traveling and growing with them has been one of the many highlights of my study abroad journey.
Venturing beyond your comfort zone
Every day, you step outside of your comfort zone in one way or another. When you study abroad, you leap out of your comfort zone. At first everything is different from your 'normal'. CEA encourages you to try new foods, travel to new places, and be open to things you may have never even thought of before.
It's about the journey...
In studying with CEA, I have learned so much more than I ever could have within the constructs of a traditional classroom. Becoming more understanding of cultures, leaping outside of my comfort zone and finding myself along this amazing journey has been an unforgettable experience. One that I believe I will benefit from for years to come.
Emily D. is the Spring 2018 MOJO Blogger in Paris, France. She is currently a Freshman studying Communications at High Point University.
Emily Durant is the Spring 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France, and is currently studying at High Point University.