STUDY ABROAD ALUMNI STORY
Why did you decide to study abroad?
Going to college is considered an accomplishment, while studying or working abroad is a far-fetched dream--my far-fetched dream began in 2012 at the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia (BGCP). In 2012, BGCP offered members the opportunity to enter into an essay contest for an all-expense paid trip the 2012 Olympics in London. Amazingly, the selection came down to my sister and I. Knowing; somehow, that I would travel to London withdrew my application allowing my sister to go. Her experience in London showed me the power of international travel and its ability to broaden one’s perspectives on what opportunities exist outside of Philadelphia.
My sister never thought she would visit London and now, I applied myself to take that same journey. Accepted into study and intern abroad in London through Temple University program where I will have the opportunity to earn credit my major and gain international experience. Additionally, I will be able to experience student life in the UK and develop personally and professionally. While this program is a good fit for me on paper, my studies have introduced personal life goals, and my experiences and me to the complexities that shape society have helped me determine my professional, which is my true interest in studying abroad.
Tell us about the program you went on
Foundation of International Education is unique for specific reason. Staying in South Kensington, right across the street from the queen, was not what I initially expected. I found the staff at with this program to be exceptional. Still maintaining contact with them, I have found that they were some of my mentors in different situations and allowed me to further understand the complexities of my cultural experience.
How did you pay for your study abroad experience?
My study abroad experience was financed through scholarships provided by the Beech Companies, School of Media and Communication at Temple University, Foundation of International Education, saving from jobs, and a loan.
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 did not experience any discrimination based on race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability. The Foundation of International Education is unique in that it consistently aims to heighten their diversity. I thoroughly appreciated their progressive perspective on these issues.
How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?
Studying abroad has benefitted me. Personally: I was able to invest in an aspect of my life that I worked tirelessly for. Academically: I learned to look at America from an outside perspective and understand that our poverty is not a the same capacity as developing nations.
What was the most memorable moment of studying abroad?
The most memorable moment studying abroad was coming back and realizing how much I have adapted the European mindset.
In what way do you feel your experience abroad has prepared you for your future career? (Think both tangible things like language acquisition and intangible like learning to work with people who are very different from you)
I learned how to develop a social enterprise or charitable business. I am a product of the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia. I am an advocate for organizations like The Winch. While working at The Winch, a non-profit based on Swiss Cottage, I learned the value of my presence. I learned that I actually contribute heavily to teams. I gained some confidence. I presented at an international conference. I learned that in professional setting people are able to tell their story and feel inspired by it.
Would you recommend the program you went on, if so why??
Yes, I have had a catered academic and professional experience. I was treated as if I was the only person in the program. I know my peers had the same experience as well.
What advice do you have for students thinking about study abroad?
The only thing constant in life is change. . .
Authored by: Taylor Cobb