Looking Back on Studying Abroad
By Sienna Hubin
As you settle into winter quarter, you may find yourself catching the winter blues and wishing to be elsewhere. Maybe your daydreams have led you to consider studying abroad. Walla Walla University’s study abroad program through Adventist Colleges Abroad allows students to study in countries including Argentina, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Israel, France, and others while learning languages.
Some students study abroad to complete college credit requirements, while others, like recent graduate Sienna Pierre, go to enhance their college experience. Pierre, business administration major and French minor, studied in France for a quarter. “I decided to study abroad because I wanted to make the most of my college experience. I asked myself the question, ‘After I graduate, what might I regret not doing?’ I had always wanted to live in Europe and master my French, so when I found an opportunity to do so, I took it right away,” said Pierre.
Looking back as a graduate, Pierre expressed that her time abroad was definitely worth it. It helped her realize what she wanted to do after college and taught her many things that she still uses in her post-grad life. “Living in a different country is really scary, so it upped my confidence in myself and my ability to handle tough situations. I learned to speak another language. And I have taken that and so many other lessons into the ‘adult’ world,” she said.
Charlie Miller, business pre-dentistry major and Spanish minor, also learned that you gain so much more than just a new language by studying abroad. He said, “Studying abroad definitely taught me many life skills such as adaptability, perseverance, and how to move forward when I feel like I have nowhere left to go. These skills will help me when I go to graduate school. I think instead of learning a specific life lesson from studying abroad, I grew as a person overall.” Miller studied in Spain because his goal is to be able to communicate with future, Spanish-speaking patients who may not speak English.
Most, if not all, students who go abroad come back and highly recommend the experience. Recent graduate Vicente Tupe, Spanish major and social welfare minor, studied in Argentina and strongly encourages Spanish students to study in Argentina as well. He said that you can learn much more Spanish there because you are constantly surrounded by the language.
If you’ve been considering studying abroad, learning life lessons and a new language, making new connections, and living unique experiences, now’s the time to step out of your comfort zone and go for it. The ACA website (https://www.acastudyabroad.com/) said information about the 2022 summer sessions and the 2022-2023 academic year sessions will become available on January 20. Applications open in March, but, in the meantime, you can pre-apply on their website.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll spend next winter on another continent.