The other day I attended a session for Global Engagement Day where five Global Fellows produced and presented digital stories regarding their experience studying abroad. A digital story is roughly three minutes long, and showcases a theme for their experience. One of the most prevalent themes was people. Each story had (at least) small segment devoted to the people they encountered on their study abroad.
Ashlen, a student who hosted a Chinese exchange student, raved about her experience with her new “sister” Esther. Margaret, who spent a semester in the United Kingdom, longingly recalled her memories with a variety of people that she became friends with. Brooke enlightened us with her riveting story of when she got lost and hurt, but was helped by a random Brazilian man. Emily’s stance was more broad. She created more of a promotional video about studying abroad, but hit the key points she needed to (ie. food, music, people). Finally, Moriah, Who spent a semester in Ecuador, told us the story of how her study abroad turned into her second home, but it all seems like a dream now that it is over.
The things I took most out of these stories is that the people you meet make the trip, differences bring people together, and that studying abroad is an amazing experience that you will never want to give up. I am studying abroad in Arezzo, Italy this summer, and these stories have made me more eager and excited than ever.