“I chose this program because I wanted to gain international experience, as well as work for a world-class company. The fact that it is in a new place, yet familiar enough at the same time gave me the adventure that I needed and the safety that calmed my family's minds. I also wanted to know what it would be like to live away from family for a long period of time, and I learned that it was hard but definitely worth it.”
Going abroad has been one of the best decisions of my life so far. I say this not because I had the perfect time there, but because it taught me how to be independent and strong through the tougher times. My study abroad was at Disney World in Orlando, Florida so it wasn't like I was dropped in the middle of a completely different culture, but because of the nature of the International College Program, I was given the opportunity to meet other students from all over the world.
Interacting with people from different countries and becoming good friends with some of them really opened my eyes to the vastness and beauty of this world. For those who love to travel (which should be all of you since you plan on going abroad,) this experience was like a cultural taste test. And with each new culture I encountered, I was given a glimpse of what that particular country is like. I also made it my goal to learn Spanish and didn't realize that the biggest percentage of international guests were Spanish speakers, which really propelled my learning.
If you are traveling to a country that does not speak English as their native tongue, I really suggest trying to learn their language as best as you can. I learned through my own experience that very few things bring you closer to another person than speaking to them in their own language. By doing this I have even been invited to the guest's own homes in their country, which really showed me hospitality first-hand and how humbling it really is. This is why I love the industry, and why I hope to be able to do the same for others in the future. I wish you all the best in your own travel and study endeavors!