Matthew Stacken '21
Program: Chile Fall Semester
Major: Global Business Leadership
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I decided to study abroad because I wanted to become aware of different cultures firsthand. It was also a once in a lifetime opportunity to live in a foreign country for an entire semester. I chose to study in Chile because of the opportunity to learn about business in Latin America while attending one of the best Universities in Chile.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
During our semester abroad, the government of Chile issued a state of emergency and a curfew for a couple of weeks due to protests. Being able to witness a revolt against the government from the citizens of Chile was unreal. I was able to speak with my host family every day about the recent news of the protests that occurred and learn why they were occurring. Seeing the whole country live in despair and fight for hope and change was a life changing experience that I will never forget.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My overall study abroad experience was amazing. I was able to enjoy unbelievable trips with the friends I made while studying abroad. Seeing Machu Picchu, hiking in Patagonia on Thanksgiving, and enjoying the famous wine and steak in Argentina are now my favorite stories to share. Leaving Chile was one of the hardest goodbyes I've had to do.
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?
I believe that studying abroad will be a resume builder once I graduate. I was able to learn about the marketing strategies and the economy of Latin America while living in a Latin American country. Although Spanish is not part of my major or minor, I can now confidently tell employers about my language development and my experiences while living in a Spanish speaking country.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Paying for your study abroad experience will be the best money you’ve ever spent. Work hard in the summer and enjoy every second of your study abroad experience.