Faith Kersey-Bronec

Faith is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Guatemala

Major: Chemistry

Minor: Hispanic Studies

  

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

I always knew I wanted to study abroad in college because I knew of the many benefits of studying abroad and wanted to expand my world view. I decided on Guatemala because I wanted to improve my Spanish and I really wanted to be challenged and be in a culture that was soo distinctly different than the U.S.

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

While in Guatemala I got to participate in and observe a Mayan ceremony which was an amazing experience. I had learned about their traditions but to actually see one was an amazing experience that really opened my eyes.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

Overall I absolutely loved my study abroad experience! I loved that connections I made in Guatemala but also the connections I made with the other students from St. John's/St. Ben's. I loved how confident I became in my navigation skills and my Spanish skills and overall developed a real appreciation for Guatemala and a passion for Latin American culture.

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 made me far more confident in my own abilities and strengths. It challenged me to overcome some of my fears and to trust in myself and the people around me. It also gave me a larger world view. I now find myself examining a problem from more than one angle, thinking about how I would have thought of the problem in the context of Guatemala. I think this is an amazing personal as well as professional skill that I will cherish. Studying abroad also deepened my love of Latin American culture and has inspired me to try to incorporate Spanish and some of the cultural aspects I experienced in Guatemala into my own life in the future.

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

Do It!!! It was absolutely one of the best experiences of my college career! It was also very challenging at times and pushed me to challenge myself to do things I may not have been comfortable with at first but that I grew to love. I would highly suggest studying abroad to anyone who is interested!