How Studying Abroad Changed Me
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

How Studying Abroad Changed Me

I'll never be the same.

4
How Studying Abroad Changed Me

"I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world."

--Mary Anne Radmacher


I recently had a class assignment in which I was asked if I was the same person I was before I studied abroad. It confused me a bit, because I don't see how anyone could be unchanged after spending time immersed in another culture. I spent a semester in China, and it was incredible and difficult and scary and the best thing I have ever done.

It's been exactly a year since I arrived in China, and I can definitively say I am not the same. Sure, I'm back in the States now, and have basically picked up where I left off, but it's not the same. Something has changed; I've changed, even though it's hard to pinpoint how exactly.

Being in another country, surrounded by a culture that's not your own, one that feels foreign, one that's hard to understand, changes you. It changes the way you see things; there's no longer just one way of doing something. Not everyone eats pancakes for breakfast. Not everyone lives in a country where Christianity is considered the norm.

It changes the way you think about things. Not everyone thinks the same way you do, or feels the same way you do about things. Not everyone thinks communism is equivalent with Satan. Not everyone has the ability to say what they want, whenever they want. Not everyone has the same freedoms you have.

Studying abroad changes your perspective. It frees you from the bindings of a narrow life lived in a single place and allows you to see beyond the barriers of culture to other ways of being.

We take a lot for granted. We think we do things the right way, maybe the only way. That's not realistic, and it's just not true. The world has billions of people, and the majority of them do any number of things quite differently than you. They have different beliefs, different dreams, different priorities. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's actually an amazing thing. There are so many ways to be human, to be alive, and to do it well.

Studying abroad allows you to experience another facet of the potential of humanity, and I think that's how I've changed. I've gotten a small taste of how little I know, and I've been infected with a desire to learn as much as I can about cultures different than my own.

In short, I'm not the same since I studied abroad. I've changed for the better.



Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

To My Fellow Girls With Resting B**** Face

A letter to my friends with RBF about understanding your own face and helping others deal with it.

14
Jupe du Jour

To the girl with resting b**** face:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Boyfriends Of The 2000s

Thank you, J14, for the Posters

2498
J14 magazine

Every girl remembers her first crush. Even if your first crush was the boy in your kindergarten class that ate crayons, your first true love will always be the one that holds the key to your heart. Growing up in the 2000s, everyone knew who your dream guy was. Your family probably still give you grief and your best friends probably still reminisce, so it is impossible to forget your first celebrity crush. You bought a Tiger Beat magazine every chance you could just to read up about what your favorite celebrity was doing. Your room was fully decorated with posters of them, and it wasn't unusual to have fights with your best friends over who was going to marry him. If you were a 90's baby, lucky you because the 2000s were full of boys that were easy to love. I hope you enjoy a walk down memory lane and quickly realize that Bieber was definitely not the first guy with that hair cut. Here are 15 90's baby's first boyfriends.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

20 Things I Learned By The Start of My 20s

No one expects you to have your life together by the time you're 20, because honestly, they didn't either.

13819
Allyson Foutty

We are all often faced with many life challenges throughout the time leading up to our 20s. Before this time, and throughout it, we often look back at the things we've learned and how they've influenced who we are as people today. Some of my biggest influences were some of the challenges I've faced, but they've taught me 20 important things by the start of my 20s.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Boyfriend Recipe

The ingredients to build a relationship are a little more complicated than just a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy.

11274

Relationships. Long distance or not, significant others are much more than just that. I would be lying if I said I did not love the sweet gestures that only a boyfriend can give. The flowers, funny phone calls, hand holding, breakfast dates, and tight hugs are special but my relationship and many others out there exist on much more than just these little gestures. It is a tricky concoction that consists of one part boyfriend and two parts best friend and would not work without one part or the other. While having a relationship may not be quite as easy as baking a batch of cookies, it has its own recipe (with a few variations for flavor) to follow for a good match.

Keep Reading... Show less
google images

Fashion just keeps growing and changing and old trends are made new! Now, I'm no beauty guru, just a beauty guru wannabe, but personally I have compiled some stylish wardrobe must haves! These can be cute assets to go back to school or just to catch up on some of the latest trends...

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments