Brooke Samson is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Guatemala
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to expand my horizons. I desired to dive into a culture that was not my own in order to gain a better understanding of the world as a whole. I came away with an understanding that I know both so much more and so much less than I thought I did.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Riding the "chicken bus" in Guatemala is something I will never forget. The idea of transporting furniture, people, flowers, livestock, and more all in one vehicle is very foreign to the culture we have in the United States. It was so fun and unique and one never knew whether or not they would be sitting next to a chicken.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Overall, my experience was a time of growth, challenge, and developing acceptance of new, different, worldviews. I am so blessed that I was able to go to a different country and learn who I am no matter where I am.
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?
Some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad include:
-New food to try
-You learn to laugh at yourself and take yourself lightly
-You can contribute more to international conversations
-You might learn a new language which apparently decreases your risk of contracting Alzheimer's
-You gain confidence in what you are capable of
More than anything I learned how to build new kinds of relationships, which I expect will assist me to grow for the rest of my life.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Definitely do it. It is an unforgettable experience and you will learn so much about yourself. Por que no? (Why not?)
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