This blog was written by Sarah our campus ambassador from the University of Missouri. If you go to Mizzou and want to blog for us, please leave a comment below!
Some of you may have read my last post about how I prepared to study abroad, well I am back and ready to share. People are constantly asking, “How was it?”, and for such a simple question, there is no simple answer. For lack of a fitting response, I tell people it was amazing, it was the most eye-opening experience of my life. I could type a page of reasons why I recommend participating in a study abroad program, but instead I will list a few lessons that I feel apply both while abroad and to future endeavors back home.
- Demonstrate humility- Accept that sometimes you will be the outsider, the newbie, and yes, the tourist, and not understand the language or how everything works. My experience abroad showed me that if you exhibit an open mind and are willing to make an effort, those efforts will be respected and appreciated.
- Show respect- Every place you go will have its own culture, and some of the cultural aspects and traditions may differ from what you are used to. As a guest in that country, or even at a new job or internship, you are there to broaden your horizons and should respect the culture of the environment.
- Embrace differences- Push yourself out of your comfort zone and be willing to try something new! After all, who knows when, or if, you’ll be back?! I pushed myself out of my comfort zone while abroad and took that mentality home with me, and it has helped me gain a new perspective on many aspects of my life. Thinking about it now, that mentality may be the best souvenir I brought home with me.