Name: Jenna Duesi
Preferred e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Expected graduation date: December, 2012
Study Abroad Program: Alicante, Spain; June, 2011
Why do you want to serve as a Study Abroad E-bassador at Pittsburg State University?
I had an awesome time in Spain and definitely learned a lot about myself and the culture. I think study abroad is something that every person should be able to experience. Plus, it's always fun to meet new people.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
I'm a Spanish major and after becoming friends with students from China, Korea, and India, I really gained an interest in other cultures. I've always wanted to travel the world because, while the United States is a cultural mixing pot, sometimes you just need to go to the source. Also, Professor Patrick made me aware of how much more you can learn about the language when you are constantly exposed to it.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experience and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
I would say a defining moment in my study abroad experience would be throughout the whole thing because I was forced to come to the realization that I can travel on my own and be responsible completely for myself. Never before had I navigated a city with a map, or been forced to rely on either walking or public transportation to get around. The fact that I was able to do all of this allowed me to grow in ways I had never imagined. It sparked a sense of individualism because I know I can do it, and if I can do it in a foreign country where there is a language barrier and a different culture, there's nothing to stop me from exploring all the places here in the United States and even in more countries!
What advice, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?
I would say definitely go for it because they won't regret it and to definitely do a home-stay. Not only do you get to say you've lived and studied in a foreign country, you also make new friends from all over the world. My study abroad allowed me to meet students all over the U.S., people native to Spain, and a few people from Japan who were also studying with us. I would have spent more time traveling around Europe while I had the opportunity and I wish I had been able to study for longer than just a month. The whole time was indescribably awesome and went way too fast.