University of Utah
1. What has your experience abroad taught you about the rest of the world?
Often it is easier to stay within your personal bubble out of fear and uncertainty. Even when you step into a new culture, it can be difficult to fully open yourself up to your surroundings and to change the way you look at things. But I have learned one thing to be true about the world: no matter where you go, common ground can always be found. Even if you don’t speak the language or understand the customs, you will be surprised at the kindness, the laughter, and the joy that you can encounter from the people around you when you make an effort to step outside your comfort zone. There are things that are the same wherever you go, people are all trying to survive, to love and to find happiness. I have also found that the world is bigger than I ever thought and there is still so much it has to teach me.
2. How has your study abroad experience impacted your life, academics, and/or future career goals?
As a college student, it can be scary to look toward the future after school. Before I studied abroad with CEA I had no concrete idea about what I wanted to do after graduation. After just four months in Spain, I can now say that I want to pursue a career in international education. I was inspired every day by my CEA site staff, my professors, and my fellow classmates. I am now considering teaching English for a year (in Spain) before starting a graduate program in international education. This is a career path that I had not considered a possibility prior to my semester in Spain but it now seems like the perfect area to apply my passion for learning and exploring.