Is Studying Abroad Worth It?

Is Studying Abroad Worth It?

"Not everything that you learn that is global happens in the classroom."

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Each weekday morning Emma Bautista wakes up at 6 a.m., opens her laptop and teaches English to Chinese students through her webcam.

"Being able to relate to people of different cultures is super important in a career, especially if you want to do something international," said Bautista, a second-year telecommunication and Spanish major.

"Studying abroad helped me with learning people skills and connecting with people that are different from me."

Bautista spent six weeks over the past summer studying in Seville, Spain. While there, she was able to practice her Spanish and immerse herself into a culture different from her own.

She believes studying abroad helped prepare her for her current job. Bautista teaches English to Chinese students through an online platform called Qkids.

"I do feel more qualified and more open-minded to different cultures and more interested in finding out about different cultures in general now," she said.

Paloma Rodriguez, associate director of undergraduate academic programs at the University of Florida International Center, wants as many students as possible to participate in a study abroad experience because it is essential to personal growth.

According to her, the most important thing to gather from studying abroad is how to effectively communicate the skills learned through this experience to employers.

"Unless you are able to say all those key words to an employer, the fact that you got lost in Paris, it's not immediate that they understand what you went through," she said.

"You see it's not just having the experience but knowing how to talk about it."

Rodriguez also believes that global learning happens out on the field instead of in a classroom.

"Not everything that you learn that is global happens in the classroom," Rodriguez said.

"Sometimes it happens cooking Japanese soup with your roommate."

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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So You Just Landed In Germany And You Only Have 20 Minutes To Get To Your Next Flight

One of the scariest moments of my life.

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The flight from London to Germany was absolutely amazing, a breeze. I mean besides the fact that we had to wake up at 3 AM, everything was gucci. Germany to Vienna, however, was a completely different story.

First of all, who would make that short of a layover in one of the biggest airports I've ever been in? We landed 20 minutes before our flight boarded. We finally get to customs and check our passports only to find out that we had to go through security. Again??? (Granted this is completely normal, but we were seriously stressed). Our study abroad group got separated in security and three of us got put in a much faster line so they half walked, half jogged to our terminal.

The rest of us got put in the SLOWEST line I've ever been in. I mean they were taking no chances, understandable I suppose. But our friends did not go through the same treatment.

They even checked my pigtails!!! Like what am I gonna hide in my pigtails?? We finally get in touch with one of the girls who got put in the faster line and she tells us that we have to not run, oh no, we have to SPRINT. They're trying to hold the plane for us, but if we don't get there in time they WILL leave us. We have 10 minutes to get there.

And we're still in security.

There was a moment while I was running and not able to breathe in the slightest that I truly thought "Maybe Frankfurt wouldn't be too bad. I wonder what we could do here". I really didn't think I would make it out alive.

I was seconds away from passing out at any moment. My chest felt as if it was going to burst. And I would consider myself to be in pretty good shape too. But there was something wrong with the air in that airport. Maybe it was the altitude or the fact that I was carrying a bookbag that held all of my belongings for the next two days, either way, I seriously did not think we were going to make it on that flight.

But somehow did. Somehow we got all the way to the LAST gate in the airport -- we ran from Gate 1 to Gate 41-- in 10 minutes.

And the people sitting next to me on the plane were very understanding of my coughing every two seconds. At some point, my whole body finally felt okay enough to sleep and I was knocked out for the rest of the flight.

Moral of the story: Yes, getting the cheapest flight may seem appealing, but please check to make sure you have enough time to get to your gate without causing a complete ruckus in a foreign airport.

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