Maura Schumacher 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 of the amazing program that our universities have. I feel like our programs, led by our own faculty, foster a most wonderful and fulfilling learning experience. I chose the Guatemala program because I wanted to learn Spanish and I was intrigued by the teaching style of the program. I wanted to step outside of the normal classroom and discover other ways in which I can learn.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Hearing first-hand accounts from my indigenous teachers about the life and history of Guatemala and its people was the most lasting cultural experience. Their insight was unlike anything else and their personal experiences gave much insight into my own experiences, both in Guatemala and at home.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I would not give up my study abroad experience for the world. It was one of the most fulfilling things I have ever been able to do and I am so thankful for the opportunity to live in and get to know and understand another country's people, culture, and history.
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?
Studying abroad, mainly, gave me a new way to think about the world and my place within it. It gave me insight into my own personal character and how my decisions in the U.S. can affect people and places in all corners of the world. I experienced much personal growth and have a new understanding of my life goals.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
First off, I would say do it. Take advantage of these amazing programs offered by our college. You will get to know so many more people on a much deeper level than you will ever think possible. You will share this program with fellow Bennies and Johnnies, making it wonderful for sharing your experiences and helping to understand the things you see around you and the changes that you will see in yourself. Second, be very thoughtful in the program that you choose. Make the choice based on your goals and what you want to get out of the experience.
Do you have questions about studying abroad in Guatemala? Email Maura at firstname.lastname@example.org.