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Mentor Advice

Question

How did you become interested in study abroad, travel abroad, cultures and languages?

9 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture Danilo Bonilla
     
    Danilo Bonilla
    International Programs Counselor
    UCLA Education Abroad Program
    One of things that sparked my interest was the experience of moving from Ecuador to California. ...
    One of things that sparked my interest was the experience of moving from Ecuador to California. Another thing was that my high school hosted several international exchange students every year. There were some teachers and students that believed these exchange students were an asset to the high school and integrated them through active class room participation and social events. There were some families and teachers that also hosted these exchange students, including my own family. We hosted two students. It was during high school that I became interested in pursuing a career in study abroad. As I mentioned before, my first official travel abroad experience through a program was during the summer after graduating from high school. Soon after starting my university career, I started taking foreign language courses. I started with French in high school and continued taking it during my first couple of years in college. Then, I also became interested in taking another Romance language, Italian. It eventually led me to study in Italy for one year. During the time that I have been working for EAP, I have had the opportunity to travel to some of our partner universities and cities abroad. Some countries that I have visited are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Uruguay. All of the traveling and my work with international students motivated me to learn more and be more involved with people who have had experiences abroad. For example, I started to get involved in an international student club. In addition, my past experiences abroad motivated me to try to learn yet another romance language. This time I’m trying to learn Portuguese.
  • mentor picture Malaika Marable Serrano
     
    Malaika Marable Serrano
    Assistant Director of Global Communities
    University of Maryland
    My interest in study abroad started with my father. When he was in school, he studied abroad at...
    My interest in study abroad started with my father. When he was in school, he studied abroad at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. While he was there, he heard a song called “Malaika.” He really liked the song and he thought to himself, “If I ever have a daughter, I’m going to name her ‘Malaika.’” I grew up hearing stories of my father’s adventures abroad and this inspired me to study abroad when I went to college. After my first study abroad experience (I spent a semester in Australia) I decided to pursue a career in international education. In grad school, I wrote my thesis on international student adjustment and went on a J-term program to Brazil. After graduation, I moved to Caracas, Venezuela and taught English for a year. Now I work as a Programs Abroad Coordinator at the University of Tennessee!
 
 
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