STUDY ABROAD ALUMNI STORY

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Why did you decide to study abroad?

I decided to go abroad because I wanted to challenge myself to experience a new culture and push out of my comfort zone. My older college friends really encouraged me to go abroad because of the amazing experiences they had when they studied abroad. I also was convinced to choose Hungary at the Clemson Study Abroad fair. The business study abroad coordinator and the API representative were helpful when figuring out what program fit me academically.

How did you pay for your study abroad experience?

My parents were able to send me abroad. The tuition to go for a semester to Hungary was actually cheaper than it was to pay for tuition at Clemson, because I am an out of state student.

What is one thing you wish you would have known about studying abroad before you left?

I wish that I knew that I wanted to be there longer. I went for a semester, but I easily could have gone for a year because I loved it so much. Advice for students: Push yourself, go to a place where you might not know anyone or you may have never heard of, because it really tests your abilities and you will accomplish great things. You will feel proud of yourself for getting an experience that teaches you so much about yourself. It is a learning experience that you can't have by staying at home or in your comfort zone!

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 do not come from a diverse background and was not discriminated when abroad. I did not notice any blatant discrimination while in Budapest, but the population is not very diverse. There are many tourists that visit from other countries around the world and I was in classes with students from all over the world. I interacted with many diverse students in my school.

How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?

Personally, I gained a ton of self-confidence and knowledge of what I am truly capable of. I gained a love for cultural differences and adventuring to new places. I learned a lot about myself in terms of my ability to adapt and make an unfamiliar place a home. Academically, I gained new perspectives by having classes with students from all over the world. I was able to challenge my thinking because I heard from students of all backgrounds! This experience has truly impacted my career goals, I find that the diversity aspect is very important to me, I have learned to work with people from all backgrounds, and am very open and inclusive when it comes to new ideas.

Any additional comments or thoughts that you have about your study abroad experience

Plan early! There are so many ways to get financial help, support from others, and research locations/programs.

One of the best parts of going abroad, is having another place to call home!

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