With the support of loved ones, I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic for my fall 2018 semester at Anglo-American University. I can say with great confidence that living abroad was the best decision I have made for myself, because I was able to grow in perspective and culture in ways that I was not even aware of. Living overseas I learned more about what defines my own culture, benefited from diverse classrooms and was able to travel at a pace that was not defined by a tour bus or strict schedules.
I began my journey knowing absolutely no one, knew close to nothing about the Czech Republic and had zero travel plans. I left Prague with three best friends who I visit every few months, grew a huge heart toward a country that now feels like home and visited eight countries and 17 cities in one semester. I feel very blessed, because I was able to travel a lifetime's worth in a quarter of a year -- but also spent many weekends in Prague, so I was able to really get to know and love my host city.
Academically, I was able to work with a European company known as CoMra Palm for my marketing class and competed with other groups of students in my class to propose a campaign that would help the company enter into the American market. Because of our strategic approach and design, my team won recognition and a cash prize for our efforts. However, the truly priceless experience of working in a diverse classroom, presenting to an international client and receiving an award from the University also gave me a highlight to talk about in interviews.
Studying abroad isn’t about traveling in a massive group or going on a four-month-long photo shoot. It’s about the memories you make with people across the world with whom you have more in common than you think, learning from others around you, understanding your own American culture better and being present in places where so much history has taken place. Please, I urge you to invest in yourself and go see the world, because it's big and once you gain a traveler’s heart, there’s no telling where you may land or what you will decide to do with your life. So, go forth and see the world.
Stephanie King is a CEA Fall 2019 Alumni Ambassador who studied in Prague, Czech Republic, during the Fall 2018 semester. She is currently a student at Liberty University.
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