University of Northwestern - St. Paul
French Riviera, France
Andrew Monk, Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
I could have never imagined that I would learn as many things as I did during my time abroad. I learned many things about myself, other cultures, other people, the list goes on. I learned independence, confidence, and problem-solving through challenges and everyday life. I always knew that I wanted to go abroad and one day I just signed up to do it. The program I went on allowed me to take major required classes and electives that are not offered at my home university. I made so many friends while I was there that I still talk to everyday. These are the college friends that will continue on in my life forever. This semester was so important for me to escape a small city mindset and the typical American perspective. I think this was the most vital piece of my time there. I learned that I want to work for a company that has branches around the world because there are so many beautiful places that I want to see.
2. How would you convince someone to study abroad?
Studying abroad is like nothing else. It opens so many doors physically and mentally. A lot of the European students I met have been traveling their entire lives and speak multiple languages. Most of the other Americans in my group have rarely left their own area. There is a great difference between the two and I believe that culture is the reason behind it. Digging deep into culture and how others live is a huge reward of going abroad. We always need to be learning new things and understanding that we are not all the same.