STUDY ABROAD ALUMNI STORY
Our Diversity Abroad alumni have been able to prepare, engage, and reflect on their international experiences. Upon their return we asked them questions for them to share how they did all of the above. Through these four questions we explore why Charlie chose to study abroad, how they got there, what it was like, and the impact of their global experience.
Why did you decide to study abroad?
I decided to go abroad because my home university makes study abroad very accessible. I have countless friends who went abroad while I was a underclassman, and hearing their stories of change, growth, and transformation inspired me to pursue something similar.
How did you pay for your study abroad experience?
I was only able to afford to go abroad because of scholarships. I received a Diversity Abroad scholarship as well as two scholarships from my home school, the Watson Scholarship, and the Madden Scholarship. I encourage students to save more money than they expect to need.
Did you experience any discrimination abroad because of your race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability? If so, what did you learn from the experience?
I identify as a queer, multiracial, low-income student. The only instances of cultural insensitivity I experienced were from students in my program who came from very privileged backgrounds making ignorant comments or jokes.
How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?
Since studying abroad, I feel more aware of my surroundings at all times. I feel more confident in my abilities to critically analyze any given situation to figure out the safest, most efficient way of handling things. This experience gave me an opportunity to know what environments I feel most comfortable in and where I might be most successful professionally.
Want to continue to engage after you’ve returned from your study abroad experience? Attend the Global Student Leadership Conference, Volunteer at the Diversity Abroad Conference, or share your story with us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Author: Charlie Cheema