Emily Gasperlin is an Ambassador who studied abroad in South Africa
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad because I knew it was an opportunity and an experience I would likely never have again, and I wanted to make the most of my college experience! I chose to study abroad in South Africa because I didn't think I would ever go there on my own. Also, the volunteer aspect of the program was very attractive to me.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
I had so many cultural experiences that it's hard to choose! One cultural perspective that I noticed throughout the entire semester was the South African notion of time. Everything went at a much more leisurely pace than in the U.S., and people were less concerned about being scheduled. It was a hard thing to get used too!
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My overall experience was one I'll never forget. I saw so many beautiful and thought-provoking sights, met so many amazing and unique people, learned a lot academically, and made lifelong relationships with the Bennies and Johnnies I traveled with.
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 has opened my mind to different perspectives and ways of life. It has also exposed me to a different academic system and style. The key word in all of this is "different." Studying abroad exposed me to so many situations and perspectives that were different from my own, which allowed me to learn to adapt and step away from my comfort zone, which are important skills in life.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
If it fits in your schedule, STUDY ABROAD!! You will never regret it! Also, take advantage of the study abroad resources on campus before you leave, such as the OEA and the study abroad ambassadors.
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