Name: Alex Paterson
Preferred e-mail: email@example.com
Expected graduation date: Fall 2012
Study Abroad Program: Dominican Republic March 2011
Why do you want to serve as a Study Abroad E-bassador at Pittsburg State University?
I want to be a Study Abroad E-bassador because Studying Abroad was one of the most beneficial things I have done in my undergraduate studies. I think studying abroad is an awesome opportunity and more people should take advantage of it. I also felt very unprepared going on this trip so I want to be able to help and guide other students on how to prepare to study abroad.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
I had always wanted to go to the Dominican Republic. I had heard what a beautiful country it was and I thought the program offered there would be very beneficial for me. The program I went with was primarily Social Work students but I felt that as an Education major I benefited just as much if not more.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experience and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
Making the bonds of friendships with the students in the schools we were teaching in has dramatically changed my life. At first it was hard to communicate with the students because of language barrier but after a few days of getting to know each other we did not let that barrier affect our friendship. I learned that you have things in common with everyone all around the world. Just because they live a very different lifestyle than you do, does not mean that we both did not value education, loved to play sports and to socialize. I will never forget the friends I made there and will always remember what they taught me.
What advice, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?
Be prepared for it to change your life. At first it can be overwhelming but in the long run it will teach you so much. I would recommend that students do a lot of research on that country first and make sure you know all the details of your trip. It is hard enough being in a new environment so preparing yourself for what it will be like would be very beneficial.