Elizabeth Williams

Elizabeth is an Ambassador who studied abroad in India

Major: Social Science

Minor: Secondary Education

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

I chose to study abroad to expand my horizons and to see life from a different perspective. I wanted to see how the other side of the world studies and learns and also be immersed in their culture.   

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.

I volunteered at an Oral School for Deaf Children while abroad in India. I got the chance to not only see how the schooling system differs, but also how the adjustments were made for children that are deaf. The schooling is completely different in India, and since I am going into education the experience has made a lasting impression on me.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

My experience was both the best and most difficult thing I have done in my life. It was wonderful to live a completely different life with a loving host family. Everything was different from the food and transportation to how people communicate with each other, which took some getting used to, but I don't regret a single moment.

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?

Spending a semester abroad made me more outgoing and strong as a person. I was willing to stand up if something was wrong and also speak out. I would never have done that before going abroad. I also am willing to try new things that I never would have gotten the chance to before. I got a chance to see how the education system is different and how it affects everyone, which will help me academically as a future teacher. I also learned how to talk to all sorts of people and sort out problems that I would not have been willing to before leaving, which will help me professionally.

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

My advice would be to do it. Take a chance and step out of your comfort zone because you will never get this opportunity again. Also pick the country that you want to, not what your parents or anyone else wants you to do, because you will regret it if it isn't what you truly want.