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Students Testimonies

Our students are driven to discover through study abroad.

These passionate students traveled the world in pursuit of learning and discovery. Their experiences are as boundless as their destinations.

Student Testimonies Archive

Gabriela Alvarado

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Major: Sports Marketing
Study abroad programAPI
Destination: Quito, Ecuador

Why did you choose your program?

I wanted to go to Ecuador so I could experience the culture where my family is from. I wanted to meet family members that I’ve never met before. Also, I wanted to study more Spanish to communicate with my family members as well as being able to understand my classes.

Tell us about something unexpected that you got out of the experience.

I didn’t expect to meet such amazing people during my time there. Not only my family members but also the other members of my abroad program and there were 10 of us in total. We became our own little family and went on amazing trips and we created so many memories together. I’m thankful that I got to meet great people while I was there.

Did you have concerns about studying abroad?

One of my concerns was the language barrier. My Spanish was okay when I went down there but I was worried that my Spanish wasn’t good enough. All of my classes were in Spanish and I realized that a lot of the other international students were on the same level as me. They also took all
Spanish classes so I was glad that I wasn’t the only one and we were able to help each other.

How will your study abroad help you in your future career? 

I hope to become fluent in Spanish in the future so that I can work with an international company that allows me to use my language skills. For my senior year, I chose to study abroad again because of my amazing experience in Ecuador. This time I chose to study at Nanhua University in Taiwan for the year to learn Mandarin and also finish my credits over there.

Sarah Swailes

HometownMartinsburg, West Virginia
Major
Nursing
Study abroad program
Edge of the Outback, CIS Abroad
Destination:
Outback, Australia

Why did you choose your program?

I chose my program because it was the most culture oriented program I saw.  I was able to plan ahead and I raised money to fund my program.  I funded my program through scholarships, grants, GoFundMe, and doing odd jobs over the year.

Tell us about something unexpected that you got out of the experience.

was not expecting to become more independent and confident in my self during study abroad.  I was not expecting to learn so much about aboriginal culture in such a short amount of time. Being led by my aboriginal guide Peter, throughout the outback really opened my eyes to a fragile part of Australian history and culture. I also took a photography class, which is very different from nursing and couldn’t believe how fast I learned how to operate my complicated camera and how much I fell in love with photography.

Did you have concerns about studying abroad?

I was concerned about getting lost abroad.  Little did I know that’s the best part of studying abroad.  I was also worried

about being entirely on my own without any friends or family for the first time. But after two hours of meeting my group all my worries vanished because we all clicked really fast.

How will your study abroad help you in your future career? 

Study abroad showed me how to adapt to any type of situation, something that can be applied every day in Nursing.