Today’s post comes to us from an API alumni! Framingham State University’s Devon Garufi studied abroad with us in Seville, Spain before joining our Global Leadership Academy. She is now working as a Campus Relations Representative! She’s sharing more about the journey today on the blog.
“During my last few months abroad, the thought of the impending end to my experience had me a bit lost.
I was about to wrap up an academic year in Seville, Spain and was trying to fathom the thought of saying “hasta luego” to a place I had called home for the past 9 months. I anticipated returning home and having to leave my memories on a shelf that I could go back to for purposes of reminiscing or telling the occasional story. But, I had a feeling that I could do something more with my experience.
If I were to put it in the simplest terms- I decided to continue working with study abroad and the field of international education because I missed it! I missed being abroad.
I decided to continue working in this field because I wanted to help others grow through living in another culture. That is what I missed most about being abroad. The growth. The discovery of yourself through this experience. Having the realization that you learn the most about yourself by learning about another. Another language, culture, way of living. I wanted to help others on this same path.
I decided to intern for my home university’s study abroad office and to become an API Global Leader.
These opportunities gave me this sense of fulfillment I was looking for. For anyone missing study abroad and itching to continue their experience in some sort of way, I highly recommend applying for the Global Leadership Academy or something of the like!
I hosted events related to my experience (like a “Tapas and Talk”, where students could ask questions about life in Spain while enjoying some delicious tapas!), helped with pre-departure and returnee meetings, aided in international students’ adjustment at my home university, and was a peer guide for students considering study abroad.
After graduation, I continued working in the field of international education and became a Campus Relations Representative for API. The past few months I’ve been traveling around New England visiting partner universities and attending study abroad fairs.
Being on the other side of the study abroad experience is enriching!
I wouldn’t have been able to fully achieve my goals of living abroad without the help of my study abroad advisors and alumni peers. It’s enriching to be able to give that back and continue helping others realize their study abroad dreams.”