Victoria is a graduate student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. When she was an undergraduate she studied abroad for a semester in Galway, Ireland!
What skills do you feel you've gained from going on a global program?
Self-Confidence, Independence, Cooperation with others, Communication across cultural differences, Flexibility, Thinking on my feet, Patience
What is one of your favorite memories from your global program?
The relationships I formed are the most important thing I gained from my time abroad. One of my favorite memories is when 12 of us rented a weekend AirBnB in Letterfrack, Ireland, which is located in the rural region of Connemara outside the city of Galway. Our AirBnB was walking distance from Connemara National Park, which we got to explore. There were wild goats up on the mountain and a donkey and horse who lived right next door to us. It was a beautiful location and I had so much fun living in a country house with 11 other college students. The 12 of us represented five countries: the United States, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, and Belgium. We cooked together, hiked, fed the European students s'mores for the first time, and just enjoyed disconnecting from campus and hanging out. I still can't believe we were able to make it happen, since organizing a dozen college students is not always the easiest task :) However, we were devoted to spending time together and making the most of our experience.
What advice would you give a student you is interested in a global program?
Go for it! I strongly believe in the learning that can take place outside of a classroom setting (hence my pursuit of a degree in Student Affairs) and I think the rewards are even greater when you leave your comfort zone and explore a place outside of where you grew up. There's great opportunity to grow and have a better understanding of yourself, while also becoming more open to the world around you. In addition, the relationships you make when you travel happen so quickly and are incredibly strong. There's nothing like the connection you form with someone after you've bonded over the mutual trust, respect, and dependency which naturally happens after traveling or experiencing a new place together.