Student Engagement & Leadership:
Q. What’s it like to live and study abroad?
Living abroad is exciting and sometimes scary if your someone who isn’t use to either being out on your own or traveling outside of your home country. Depending on where you go there may be an initial culture shock if the country is a great contrast to what you are used to. For me living and studying abroad was a great experience it makes you more responsible as well as more tolerant of different cultures.
Q. What are the classes like?
My study abroad experience was different from the traditional method as I did not take classes at a university. The approach was more so that the world is your classroom; my main assignment was teaching grammar and art at Windsor Forest Primary school. My students ranged in age from 5-12. This was the most enjoyable part of studying abroad as I wanted to work with children. When it came time for me to leave the students decorated cards and pictures saying I love you and am going to miss you Ms. Dominique, this made my experience worth it.
Q. What is it like getting to know new people from a different culture?
I think I can say for anyone who has gone abroad that getting to know people of the culture is comfortable. Many countries are very warm and receptive to tourists for many reasons; one may be that you are the first American they’ve ever met; tourism is their main economic resource and/or the more likely reason that they are appreciative of people who take the time to learn their culture and language. Invites to dinner and conversation are very common.
Q. What else was enjoyable about your experience?
The food! Although Jamaica is what some consider a third world country, the food was plentiful and fresh. Also it was exciting for me because prior to living in Jamaica I was not a nature person but I stayed in Boston Bay which is a 7hr drive from the nearest tourist/commercial area. I slept in a two floor tree house and bathed in a shower that was partially in the woods.
Q. What about family and friends back home?
Family and friends will be apprehensive about you going away to live as I am dealing with now that I will be living in Morocco for two years. You have to be sure that going abroad is something that you want. It helps to have a plan for how you will benefit from going abroad.
Any advice for other students?
Go Abroad! Many people don’t know but during college is the best time to travel whether it’s through study abroad or spring break trips. It is cost effective and rewarding as the benefits range from making the most of your college years, gaining experience, and making your resume shine. Also the greatest advice I can give is to go with an open mind and positivity. Remember that you control your experience, even if you have to use a Turkish toilet and eat plants your time there is temporary and I guarantee when you come back you will have an experience to share that is unique compared to anything your friends have done.