While I have never studied abroad, I have gotten some pretty amazing opportunities over the years to travel to other countries. Each time I have left the States, I have always come back with something valuable. Whether it’s a new outlook into a different culture or a cool trinket picked up along the way. So far, I have been to 10 different countries.
But by far my favorite would have to be Kenya. What an amazing place! The people. The wildlife. The culture. Truly an amazing experience. While in Kenya, I met some amazing people, so amazing that I actually returned again the following summer. We visited a couple different tribes and it was so cool to see how differently they do things. Life for them is so simple. They even taught us some of their customs. We also visited a couple different schools. Those children are some of the best I’ve ever met. They told the best stories (mostly in Swahili of course) and attempted to teach me and my friend how to play soccer (to this day we’re still not very good). But even though we were really bad, it was the greatest feeling to put a smile on their faces.
Just recently, I signed up for the Spring Term trip to Costa Rica. This will be the first time I will be traveling to the Central/South American area and to say I am excited is a complete understatement. Just thinking about everything we get to do while we’re there gives me goose bumps. I can’t wait to talk with locals and see their way of living. After traveling to so many other places, I like to compare the differences/similarities to each place I go. You learn so much without even realizing it.
Traveling abroad, I think, is the best way to learn. Completely submerging yourself into a new place and a new culture can be truly life changing. I’ve learned so much about culture from traveling. In today’s work force, it is important to be aware of other people’s cultures and their customs. We have such a diverse group living in this country, it is vital to know all of your co-worker’s backgrounds. Diversity and acceptance is the basis of American culture.