Mikaela Schneider, Alumni Insider
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you?
One of the biggest gifts study abroad has given me so far is to simply enjoy life. It sounds cliche and straightforward but it means so much more to me than that. I have changed from being a stressed, worrisome, and frugal person to being carefree, content, and fulfilled in mind, body, and soul. I've noticed a change in myself that I'm more confident in all aspects of life, feel more competent and assured of myself, and am more decisive and true to who I am. It was after a month of traveling the world that my ideals gradually switched to just calm down, relax, and appreciate every moment. I've realized I should treat myself every day and live to fullest. I'm now not scared of new things, embrace the unknown, and have developed countless skills. Study abroad has taught me to live in the present, helped me to understand "joie de vivre" or the joy of living, and overall has changed me as a person.
2. What would you say if you had 60 seconds to convince a friend to study abroad?
When you are considering study abroad listen to this: All those places you have fantasized about, have read about, dream of, see in pictures - they're all attainable, they're all real places that are meant to be discovered with fascinating people, cultures, histories, structures, traditions, views, and more. When you study abroad you enter a whole new world that is full of adventure, learning, and self-enlightenment. You embark on a dream journey where you're satisfied by delicious local delicacies, rejuvenated by clear waters, and essentially changed as a person by living to the fullest. You meet exciting new people that will change your life and come across many surprises that will rise above your highest expectations. You not only get a taste of a different culture, but you get to experience a new environment for a long-term stay. You are given so much opportunity and you can grab and take as much as you want from it. Perhaps these are the reasons I stayed an extra semester, because I couldn't leave the amazing life I was living and I would recommend it to anyone that has passion for travel or is open to a life-changing journey.