My advice for future study abroad students: come to other countries with an open heart and an open mind. Realize your ethnocentric ways immediately, then stop them and experience everything! Please wear the most comfortable shoes you have! Culture is not only experienced as perceptions and values, but the context of culture also involves emotions. I am immediately emotional and nostalgic. Upon meeting the students of the program, I wanted to break the hegemony of the traditional process of meeting others. With the judgments at first sight—even though I didn’t know if I would be afforded the same opportunity being a non traditional student— I knew no one.
This has been one of the most enjoyable and interesting experiences that I have had since college. I have come to know two types of people in the world: those who jump in the pool and those who dip their toe in the water. I am usually the latter. However, I decided to jump right in on day one. I feel as if I have been very vocal in my study abroad classes and I tend to ignite with passion about many issues, especially the ones in my social problems course.
During study abroad, we are ultimately in an experiment where we are like the immigrants in our country and we feel every emotion, like the feeling of not knowing the language and not liking the food at times. I really loved this program. I’ve met some great new friends. I have so many fond memories and the learning experience is unbelievable. Study abroad: just do it!!
Crystal Miller is a student at Kansas State University. She is an ISA Featured Photo Blogger and studied abroad with ISA in Athens, Greece.