Since my time home from Ireland, I have seen the exponential effects that my study abroad experience has had on my life.
My experience being independent in a new country has led me to be confident in my travel abilities. In a few weeks, I am taking a volunteer trip to Costa Rica with my younger sister, who has not yet had the opportunity to travel like I have. I am so excited to be traveling again because although it was only a few months ago that I was jetting off with my new friends to a new European country every weekend, I am ready to see new places and meet new people again.
I also took a trip recently to Canada to visit my best friend and flat mate Haley from my time in Ireland. This was a big deal for me because meeting her family and friends from truly showed me that the four months I was away meant so much more than the pictures and I took while I was there. I learned all about Canada and her little town along with all the wonderful people that live there, all thanks to my experience in Ireland.
In my daily educational and professional life, it is the little things that make the difference between pre-abroad me and post-abroad me.
I find myself saying yes to adventurous weekends away and fun nights out because I have realized that sitting inside watching Netflix just can’t compare to being out in the world doing things and hanging out with people you love. I have also learned to appreciate reaching out to people to spread awareness about how great an international experience can be.
The API Global Leadership Academy has been an important help in this part of my post-abroad experience.
API has connected me with several other students at my own university as well as other students across the country who have completed (and loved) API programs. Together we have all shared experiences and advocated to other students that this is something that could end up being the best decision they make in college, as it was for all of us.