Brenna Horn

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.

Questions?

Do you have questions about studying abroad in India? Email Brenna at abroad@csbsju.edu