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Mentor Advice

Question

How has study abroad and travel abroad helped you today?

7 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture Rae Rae
     
    Rae Rae
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    My time abroad has helped me in various ways. Obviously, my time in France improved my...
    My time abroad has helped me in various ways. Obviously, my time in France improved my language skills. In London I met some great friends who I still speak with to this day, learned about the history and current policies of the U.K. government, and useful skills at an internship. But most of all I learned about other cultures which in turn, helped me to greater appreciate my own. London is such a melting pot; I had friends from Nigeria, India, Poland, Ireland and much more. Words cannot describe the perspective you have once you return home; you just have to experience it for yourself. Also I became much more independent. I first studied abroad when I was 15 and basically wandered around southern France alone for a summer. I and matured so much in such a short time span. I would highly recommend going abroad if you have never been away from your family for long or have not seen outside cultures. You will learn so much!
  • mentor picture Danilo Bonilla
     
    Danilo Bonilla
    International Programs Counselor
    UCLA Education Abroad Program
    I think study and travel abroad has helped me and is continuing to help me in many ways. The...
    I think study and travel abroad has helped me and is continuing to help me in many ways. The simple fact that I have met many people from different countries has been extremely valuable to me. I have learned so much by interacting with people who have different perspectives and opinions. It has helped me understand that there are many ways of doing things, that no one way is right or wrong. There are, quite simply, different ways of thinking. It has helped me respect and understand other people’s points of view. I think that interaction with different people is one of the basic keys to having a happy and successful life, whether it is a career, a relationship or anything else. In my job, I’m responsible for recruiting, advising and orienting students. There are both UCLA students and international students and come from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds. As an advisor/counselor I need to be able to interact with these students effectively to discuss topics such as academics, health, safety, finances and cultural issues. All my past experience traveling and studying abroad has helped me perform my job well. In addition, it has helped me interact with not only students, but faculty members, staff, colleagues and supervisors. I am currently still interested in traveling, studying and working abroad. My past experiences have made me want to learn even more. In summary, I think study and travel abroad can be a driving force and a source of motivation to pursuing one’s goals in life.
  • mentor picture Emily Le
     
    Emily Le
    Doctoral Student, previously International Programs Counselor
    UCLA
    Study abroad gave me a deeper understanding of the places and cultures that I’ve always heard and...
    Study abroad gave me a deeper understanding of the places and cultures that I’ve always heard and read about. I grew up learning about Vietnam and the war through my family, professors, and textbooks. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to live and study in Vietnam that I gained a deeper understanding of the people and culture and admiration of everything the country has been through and achieved. I learned more about myself and my heritage from my study abroad experience than from all the lectures I’ve attended, books I’ve read, or movies I’ve seen. Besides the personal aspect, my study abroad experience also helps me when advising students. One of the reasons why I became a study abroad advisor is because I enjoyed my experiences abroad and I want more students to take advantage of this opportunity. I can relate to my students and they also feel more confident about their decision to study abroad when they know someone has already done it.
  • mentor picture Inés Romana
     
    Inés Romana
    Senior Policy Coordinator
    University of California - Education Abroad Program, Universitywide Office
    Study, travel and life abroad have been instrumental in helping me refine skills in cross cultural...
    Study, travel and life abroad have been instrumental in helping me refine skills in cross cultural understanding and appreciation, which I had acquired by learning other languages, learning about other countries and peoples, and staying current about world events.
  • mentor picture Jenny Samaan
     
    Jenny Samaan
    Founding Director, Global Health Learning Opportunities (GHLO)
    Association of American Medical Colleges
    Having studied and traveled abroad extensively has helped me in a number of ways. First of all,...
    Having studied and traveled abroad extensively has helped me in a number of ways. First of all, it has provided me with an up-close look at how people around the world regard the world- what they value, how they live, how they go about daily life and how they think. All of this puts into perspective that on this globe there are many different ways of approaching life. This I have found humbling and very important as I interact with others from other countries. I am most mindful that the way I think, act and behave may have very different meanings elsewhere. Additionally, by being in a country where English is not widely spoken or where I do not speak the language reminds me how challenging it is for international students and scholars who come to the U.S. It has given me a great deal of admiration and patience when interacting with non-native English language speakers. By studying and traveling, I have found that my sense of who I am and where I belong has vastly expanded. Yes, I live in the United States but I view myself as part of humanity. I am therefore greatly distressed when there is an international disaster where lives are lost and the American media reports American fatalities. A loss of life is tragic, regardless of where it happens. I firmly believe these kinds of sensibilities are only genuinely raised by putting oneself out of one's comfort zone. Experiencing new places, different people and cultures is critical to developing global competence, a critical skill needed for the future.
  • mentor picture Christa Sanders
     
    Christa Sanders
    Associate Director NYU in Ghana
    New York University
    Study and travel abroad has impacted my life in countless ways. As a result of early travel and...
    Study and travel abroad has impacted my life in countless ways. As a result of early travel and study abroad experiences, today I am a more open-minded individual with a deeper appreciation for world cultures and international affairs. I have also chosen to live and work outside of my home country, the United States. The experience has been personally enriching and professionally rewarding in more ways than I could have ever imagined...
  • mentor picture Hanna
     
    Hanna
    Undergraduate Student
    The University of Chicago
    Study abroad has profoundly shaped how I think about the world. It has allowed me to experience...
    Study abroad has profoundly shaped how I think about the world. It has allowed me to experience other cultures - really living them every day, as when I ate dinner at 8 p.m. and took a daily nap at 3:30 when all the shops were closed in Greece, when I rode a camel and covered up my entire body in clothing in hot weather in Egypt, or when I ate a full Korean meal for breakfast in Korea. No longer do I have a romantic, idealized view of the countries where I studied abroad, but rather a more realistic and richer, fuller view of these countries because of the time I spent there. Study abroad opened my eyes to the fact that people outside of the United States can and do live very differently from us; it has forced me to reflect upon the differences and take a more critical, though still proud, look at the United States.
 
 
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