You are at the store and overhear someone speaking about their grand travels this summer. You are intrigued so you eavesdrop. As you listen in, you learn about everything they gained from being immersed in another culture for 6 weeks. You wonder how you yourself can experience this excitement and then, almost as if they are reading your mind, they say it: they were on a study abroad trip.
Apple in Spain This past summer I was able to study abroad in Spain. I got to spend six wonderful weeks learning much more than just what was taught in my classes. I went over to work on completing my Spanish minor and came back with so much more. Three skills I gained studying abroad in addition to course information are: cultural awareness, independence, and problem solving skills. 1: Cultural Awareness When one studies abroad, they learn much more than just the language. They learn about a new culture they have never experienced before. They get to see a different way people live and how to adapt to cultural differences. I enjoyed being immersed in the culture and having to adjust my habits to meet their cultural standards. Household customs and public customs in Europe are vastly different than over here in America. I feel being aware of others customs has made me grow as a human being. 2: Independence I certainly gained independence this summer. My parents were not with me the whole time in Spain. I had to figure out flight schedules, bus schedules and directions all on my own. It was nice to walk around the city and find out how to get from one place to another. With this independence, I gained confidence. The confidence I gained grew and grew a little each week as I accomplished more and more on my own. Getting lost and then figuring out the solution all by yourself is a very rewarding experience. I now have more faith in my abilities to get tasks accomplished. 3: Problem Solving Skills One key skill I gained due to my study abroad experience was problem solving skills. If something went wrong, I had to figure it on my own or figure out how to communicate my issue to someone. A language barrier definitely makes solving a problem a little bit more difficult. Because of this, I had to be creative in my approach to solving issues that came up. I took with me from Spain the ability to think on my feet and to creatively solve problems that may arise. But wait…There’s more! 4: Resume Builder The three above skills gained from studying abroad can all be combined to add a fourth asset. They can all be used to add value to a resume. Companies like someone who is multicultural, independent, and able to solve problems quickly and creatively. Not only did I grow as a person, but my resume grew as well. I was able to gain valuable work skills from my experience in another country. Studying abroad is truly an experience of a lifetime. I got to go to another country and explore their culture. I gained independence and problem-solving skills from being forced to fix situations on my own. I gained insight into another culture. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I am a much more confident, able human being since I studied abroad.
Posted by: Apple Walker