Carnegie Communications client John Cabot University in Rome shared this wonderful entry by student Alfonso Pagaza from Texas. Check out his reasons for studying abroad for an entire year!
I am a year-long study abroad student at John Cabot University, pursuing a B.A. in International Affairs. There are several reasons why I chose to study abroad, apart from having the opportunity to live in Italy; I wanted to improve my academic and professional résumé in order to be a more attractive candidate when applying to graduate programs and jobs.
Below are some ways that I applied my study abroad experience to personal, academic, and professional growth:
- Studying abroad demands adaptability and flexibility. While in Italy, I have had to adapt to new environments, people, and customs, and have become a more flexible person who can perform under new, and sometimes confusing, circumstances.
- With the expanding global system, it is becoming ever more difficult to remain local, or even national. Studying abroad has given me a global perspective,introducing me to different markets, currencies, business practices, and expectations. I know that employers and recruiters will seek candidates who display a global outlook.
- Being away from home for the first time has definitely encouraged my personal growth, given me increased confidence and independence, and better prepared me for the world outside college as I have had to depend on myself for balancing finances, school work, and free time.
- There is definitely a great difference between a candidate for a job who has never left home, and one who has lived in a different country. I believe this study abroad experience has given me a great appreciation for diversity that lies in the world, as I have come across many nationalities, races, religions, languages, and cultures.
- While in Rome, I have strengthened my communications skills in understanding different languages, gestures, and tones of voice. For employers, this means that I will be a great candidate in communicating with not only foreign clients, but with coworkers and the people in charge, as my communications skills have expanded beyond just speaking.
Studying abroad is a life changing experience in many ways, both big and small. While making new friends, visiting new and exciting places, and trying new cuisine comes with the process, there are many ways in which you can take your experience and apply it to benefit you in the future. Personally, these have been the best times of my life, and I am glad I chose to study abroad, especially for a year.