In high school, I always had the aspiration to travel abroadbut lacked the financial funding. Once I was in college, I spent months looking for scholarships and frequented the study abroad office often. With the help ofmy study abroad office and scholarships, I was able to study abroad twice whilein college.
I participated in Global Semester’s Summer in Cyprus: AnimalScience program in the summer of 2014. I also studied abroad in China for twoweeks through Xavier University of Louisiana’s Confucius Institute in 2015.
I fully funded my Cyprus experience through the Gilman Scholarship, and I paid for my China experience through a full student scholarship offered by my university.
With both experiences, I wished I had exchanged my currency in the U.S. rather than doing it overseas.
No, I did not experience any discrimination. Although while abroad, most people did not believe that I was from America and were convinced that I was from an African country. I didn’t really mind people believing I was African, most of the time I did not have the energy to correct them.
Studying abroad really helped me stand out as a dental school applicant. When I was conducting interviews at various schools, I was always asked about my study abroad experiences. I believe studying abroad gave me an advantage over other applicants.
My most memorable moments while abroad were swimming in the Mediterrian sea, climbing the Great Wall of China, and visiting the pyramids of Egypt!
As a future dentist, studying abroad has taught me cultural competency, which will greatly help me to relate and be sensitive to the various needs of my patients.
Yes, both programs allowed us free roaming time and scheduled great overnight excursions and trips. The Global semesters program was extremely great because I was able to earn biology credits that went toward my graduation requirements.
I would highly recommend going to neighboring countries while abroad.