Kezia is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Guatemala
Major: Hispanic Studies
Minor: Secondary Education
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose this study abroad program because not only was it the most affordable it had a lot of great things to offer. It was very appealing to me because of the one on one classes as well because I knew that I needed specific needs that may not be met during other programs.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
One of the most memorable cultural experiences was when we visited this little island called Livingston. Being an international student at times It not often that you see yourself being represented on campus, but during that trip I felt very close to home. It made an impression on me because it showed me how far I had grown as an individual and how much I had progressed (holistically) since I left. During that time it really made me appreciate being a student at the College of Saint Benedict but also being able to see a part of me while being so far away from home.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My overall experience was inolvidable (unforgettable). I reflect on my study abroad experience daily. Every time I am in class I realize how much I have progressed since I took my first 112 class at CSB. I think about how often I utilize Spanish and how much of an impact Guatemala has had on me. I think when you go on study abroad you never really leave the same person in some way big or small the country, the culture, and the people have changed you.
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?
Being an international student who is studying in the United States has its benefits and one of them was definitely studying abroad. Academically I have progressed significantly with my Spanish. When I arrived i was able to communicate my ideas but I didn't have the confidence to do it. I wasn't equipped and able to tune my ears as I am now. Professionally, I feel like I am more solidified in my desire to become a teacher. After working with the students during my volunteer job I see the need for educators in both English and Spanish. Personally, I know I am not the same person and honestly I am still trying to understand how I am different. I know the changes I have undergone are positive but I am still understanding what they are and how I feel abotu them.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
1. Be yourself
2. Be strong
3. Listen to your coordinators
4. Don't be afraid to try new things
5. Try new food
6. Pay attention what your body says
7. Listen with your heart
8.. HAVE A GREAT TRIP!