"Study abroad has reallly opened my eyes to what else is out there and made me more bold in going after it.”
Stephanie spent her spring semester in Valparaiso, Chile with the CIEE program. Her goal was to improve her Spanish skills, but she also gained valuable cultural experience through her host family and Chilean friends.
Stephanie chose to focus on Spanish language, literature and culture in her coursework through CIEE. Her Spanish minor turned into a Spanish major as she continued to build her skills. "Looking at possible job opportunities, and at the job market, Spanish is a huge plus. I chose to study abroad to improve my Spanish, force myself to use it and get more comfortable with it." Outside of the classroom, Stephanie found that her host family was another great teacher. "They were really patient with me, spoke really slowly, and basically forced me to speak. I had to answer, I had to say what I wanted, what I was thinking, everything. Every day I was just improving more and more and more. It got to the point where I was dreaming in Spanish, thinking in Spanish unconsciously, and not translating in my head any more."
Stephanie now hopes to incorporate international education into her career. "Study abroad has really opened my eyes to what else is out there and made me more bold in going after it. Ideally, I would like to work in a study abroad office somewhere, and help students experience the same things I did or help incoming students get used to the US the way my resident director down in Chile did for us."
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