Brenna Horn is an Ambassador who studied abroad in India
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
Prior to my semester abroad, I had never been outside of the United States, I had never lived anywhere other than the suburbs of Minneapolis. I had heard from many people the positive effects of travel and intercultural communication...increased awareness of other worldviews, increased understanding of oneself, personal transformation, networking, just to list a few. I chose the India study abroad program because I thought it would be challenging, interesting, and would aid in my understanding of poverty.
I wanted to go with the CSB/SJU program because of the esteemed reputation of the program and because I wanted to take CSB/SJU with me and have CSB/SJU with me and understanding my experience when I returned.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
My friend invited me to her home for a traditional Bengali meal. Her entire family lived in the area, either in the house or within a few houses. My friend spoke English fluently but her family members barely new a word. This was the first time I had been in this intimate of a setting with people who didn't know my language, and I didn't know theirs. The family was so welcoming, friendly, and giving. They enjoyed every Bengali word I attempted to speak. The language barrier made things a tad awkward but the experience was worthwhile.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My study abroad experience hit my high expectations. I have learned a lot more about the world, and about flexibility. I saw aspects of the culture that I loved and wanted to bring back and things I didn't love. I met many awesome people. I was lucky to get to know CSB/SJU students from my group better, students who I respect and enjoy. I learned a lot in my study abroad seminar about the culture and about poverty. I left my trip with a love and hope for India, and many meaningful memories.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Since studying abroad I have noticed that I have become more confident, more independent, less fearful, and more flexible. I feel much more comfortable and prepared applying to overseas post-graduation programs, and I'm confident my experience will help me get into graduate school programs, and a career.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
The biggest piece of advice I can give is don't be scared but know what you are getting into; research the culture, politics, climate, anything you can about the country.
Do you have questions about studying abroad in India? Email Brenna at email@example.com.