Kristin is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Chile
Minor: Hispanic Studies
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I have always wanted to study abroad even before I was accepted to CSBSJU for the reason of not only wanting to explore another culture but explore the experiences I was capable of through an incredible adventure. Along with wanting to explore a new country, I was also very interested in expanding my skills in Spanish. I chose the Chile study abroad program because I wanted a rich experience in which I was able to fully experience something totally different and face new challenges. This program offered me a variety of opportunities to expand my knowledge and grow in a variation of ways. Along with the opportunity to discover something new, I also wanted to further develop my Spanish skills and really be immersed in a new culture and language.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
A cultural experience that made a lasting impression on me would be the times spent with newly made Chilean friends. Meeting locals and really learning about the culture and the people enriched my experience. One day they invited a few students and I to a beautiful lake and we had a picnic together. By sharing food and few laughs, we were able to not only improve our Spanish but also create long-lasting friendships with some amazing people. These Chilean students remained close to us throughout the trip and taught us a lot of things about Chilean culture and what it means to be Chile. I will not forget these amazing experience with these incredible friends I have met and I still continue to reach out to them today!
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
My study abroad experience was unforgettable. This trip has helped me grow as a person and discover a part of me that I never knew existed. Chile made a long-lasting impression on me and it's something I will always hold near and dear to my heart. Study abroad has opened my eyes to so many new things and so many incredible people and I am forever grateful that I took the chance to take on this journey and put myself out there. The experiences that I've had throughout this trip has shaped me to be the person I am and I would not trade any of them for the world.
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?
Going abroad gives you new experiences and new perspectives that you can't get anywhere else. Studying abroad in Chile you get the chance to learn a new language and you are welcomed into a new culture that is ready and willing to help you expand your knowledge and teaches you to grow in many aspects of life. This opportunity helped me grow as a student and opened many doors after having the experience. Through both school and service learning, I was able to thrive in new social situations that put me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow as an individual. These experiences have helped grow in experience and sparked my interest in being a part of more opportunities like this program.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Explore you options and do plenty of research. It's a big decision to study abroad but don't be afraid to take a leap. This experience is something that will stay with you for the rest of life and something you will not regret.