Time Abroad: Academic Year 2009-10
Major: Art History
My most memorable experience to happen while traveling abroad was during my first trip. A group of us from all around the world, Germany, China, Singapore, America, rented a car and drove across the south island of New Zealand to Greymouth. There is not anything remarkable in Greymouth, except for a beautiful pebble beach, where we went to watch the sunset. I had been in New Zealand for about two weeks, but it was standing on that beach surrounded by amazing people who I could never have normally met, and who I would soon become fast friends with, that I had the first realization that this was my life now, for the next year. And I was so amazingly happy to find myself in a beautiful country learning so many new things. That is really the first moment that the realization of the huge thing I was doing by studying abroad for so long hit me, and made me realize how lucky I was to live in such a beautiful country.
I would tell students considering study abroad to absolutely take every opportunity that is presented to them, even if it seems like someone that you wouldn't normally do, or are afraid of, because in the end you will love it so much. In the last year I have climbed mountains in the snow, jumped out of an airplane, walked on glaciers, and learned more about the world then I ever dreamed possible; and its entirely because I have made myself say yes to every opportunity. Of course you have to be smart, and not put yourself in danger or anything, but ultimately you will get to do things you could only have dreamed of, so long as you have the courage just to do them.
I am so much closer to truly being a global citizen now. I have truly learned how hard it can be to interact with someone from another culture, or who doesn't speak the same language fluently, or who has completely contradicting ideas to your own, and I know that I am a better person for it. I have realized just how much I don't know about the world I live in, and how much more I still need to learn. But mostly it has made me excited to see more of the world, all of the world.