Is Studying Abroad Worth It?
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Is Studying Abroad Worth It?

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

Is Studying Abroad Worth It?
Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

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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