Laine Rajkowski

 Laine is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Chile
Major: Management

Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

Before I even came to CSB, I knew that I wanted to study abroad. I wanted to go out and experience new things and go out of my comfort zone. I knew that I wanted to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. After carefully researching each program, I decided that Chile was the perfect fit for me! I was able to live with a host family and really experience a new culture. I also wanted to explore South America and this was a great opportunity to do so!

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression. Living with a host family, I was able to see and experience Chilean culture first hand. Adjusting to the laid back Chilean lifestyle was difficult at first. However, I learned to embrace it and was able to learn so much.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

Words like amazing, incredible, and life-changing don't even begin to describe my experience abroad! During my time abroad I was able to be completely immersed in the Chilean culture, improve my Spanish skills, travel around South America, and create lifelong friendships. I was able to get out of my comfort zone and try so many new things! Chile has so much to offer and is an incredible place to spend a semester. I learned a lot about myself through this experience. I have created so many memories that will stay with me forever. I am glad that I took advantage of this amazing opportunity.

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?

There are so many benefits to spending a semester abroad. First, I have learned so much about myself and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to try new things. I have also learned how to adapt, problem solve, and go with the flow. Also, my Spanish skills improved so much by being immersed in the language. Finally, I have a new global perspective. I have learned new skills that I can use in my career and later on in life.

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

Take advantage of every opportunity! Don't let anything hold you back from having an amazing experience and don't be afraid to try new things! Also, take time every once and awhile to look around and appreciate where you are. Chances are you will never be able to experience it again. Take it all in and enjoy every moment. You will never have a chance to live and travel abroad with a group of friends for a semester again so take advantage of it! A semester is a long time to be away from home but when you leave your host country, you will miss it.

 

Questions?

Do you have questions about studying abroad in Chile? Email Laine at lmrajikowski@csbsju.edu.