Studying Abroad: Essential to the College Experience


Growing Faith & Enlightenment: A Spiritual Journey in Israel

Last spring, I had the opportunity to study abroad at Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School in Jerusalem, Israel. There were so many things that I loved about living in Israel for 5 months: my mouth waters when I think about the scrumptious meals I ate, I miss the convenience of jumping on the light rail and heading to Yehuda Market, I cherish every moment spent with my Israeli relatives in Jerusalem or traveling across the minuscule nation to visit my Israeli friends, and I am thankful for the incredible friendships I made throughout my time on the program. These aspects make me grateful for my time spent in Israel and yearn to go back soon, but they also helped me discover the deeper meaning that I was looking for. Studying abroad fostered my personal and spiritual growth in a way that was only possible because I chose to go study in Israel.

Choosing Israel

The decision to study in Jerusalem was not always obvious or facile for me. I decided to study abroad in Israel based on a spontaneous gut-feeling. As a Jewish student at Southern Methodist University, part of a small community of Jews, I wanted to experience something greater and connect deeper to my faith and culture. After breaking my 24-hour fast on Yom Kippur in October 2017, the holiest day of the year in Judaism, I had an epiphany that studying in Israel the next semester was the path that I needed to pursue. By November, I had committed to go but was frightfully uncertain about my decision. I knew deep down that studying abroad in Israel would provide me with the experience I longed for, but I also felt like a deer in headlights.

Fortunately, my IFSA advisor, Kerry Uniyal, was very helpful as I prepared to go. While I remained slightly nervous throughout the process, Kerry, IFSA, and SMU Abroad made sure I was ready to venture off into the unknown. They answered any concerns or questions I had, and my family was also very supportive as I prepared to live abroad. My pre-departure anxiety would quickly turn into excitement and enthusiasm.

Adapting to Israeli Life

I was sure that I had made the right choice almost the instant I entered Israel. My jitters were flushed away by the friendliness of the people I met right away and the euphoric excitement of being in this incredible country. Within the first week or so, I had already made friendships that still exist today with peers who had come to Israel for the same purpose as me. Although it may be difficult to comprehend without experiencing what I experienced, in a place so foreign to me I felt right at home.

I did not realize it at the time, but my personal growth had already commenced. I had opened myself up to new experiences, was learning more than I could have imagined, and quickly adapted to life in Jerusalem. My faith and spirituality blossomed as a result. I studied Torah with religious Israelis, debated with Jewish peers from all over the world, prayed at the holiest sites, and participated in interfaith dialogue with American Christians, Palestinians, and many members of Israel’s countless minority religious communities.

At home, I had been more close-minded. I constantly searched for opportunities to build my faith and solidify my Jewish identity, but living in a secular Christian society and attending Southern Methodist University did not always make this easy. I was involved with Jewish life on campus and in my community, yet seeing life from the other side was something that I thought would help me in the long term as well as provide short term spiritual insight. However, this phenomenon would not just occur to me.

Societal Differences Lead to Growth

In Israel, I belonged to the majority in society for the first time ever. This was quite the contrast from SMU and all of the places I had grown up in. It provided me with ample opportunity to delve deeper into my faith and gain greater knowledge about my religion, my culture, and myself.

Yet I was not the only one. On the contrary, everyone grew in a meaningful way and left the country filled with newfound knowledge. Some learned more about faith and spirituality, some more about their values and life goals, some about life and people in general, and some about things they had never thought about beforehand. My peers and I grew together, and Israel fostered our development. Just as being part of the majority changed me, my many non-Jewish peers at the Rothberg International School were heavily influenced by belonging to the minority for the first time in their lives.

Taking Advantage of Opportunities

IFSA and the Rothberg International School provided many of these opportunities for me. IFSA took us on singular trips to places that I would not have had access to otherwise. We met incredible people and explored all corners of Israel. Rothberg also had trips and weekly events to mingle with peers and try new things. It seemed that there were opportunities around every corner. Nevertheless, taking advantage of opportunities abroad is a personal responsibility. No IFSA, Rothberg, or other group’s trips were mandatory; rather, every person must choose to make the most of their time abroad. I had unforgettable adventures because I wanted to explore, desired to learn more, and refused to waste the relatively short time I had in Israel. I pursued the groups, events, and experiences that appealed to me, and it made my time abroad worthwhile.


Some specific highlights of my faith journey abroad were davening at the Western Wall, electing to begin keeping Kosher, spending Passover at a Chabad (an Orthodox religious sect of Judaism) hostel in the holy city of Tzfat, attending Hillel and studying Torah every Monday night after befriending a rabbi, spending Shabbat all over Israel, and building lasting relationships with people from every continent. My five months in Israel were enlightening to a level that is indescribable.

Returning Home

The most difficult part of any journey, ironically, can be the return home. While many of the challenges I faced before going abroad still exist, I am different. My attitude towards people, hardships, and society has evolved and the skills I adopted in Israel have translated into life back in the U.S. Yes there are times when I miss being in Israel, but my experience has changed me for the better. I have maintained the religious and cultural practices I began in Jerusalem, such as keeping Kosher. I am continuing on my faith journey, taking advantage of every opportunity I get. Life in the states may differ in ways that I wish it did not, but I have learned to live as my best self and that is what truly matters.

I chose to study in Israel because somewhere deep down I felt lost and thought Israel was the place that could answer my deepest queries. While in Israel, it did not take me long to realize that what was happening to me would change me forever. I would not possess the knowledge I have today if I had cowered out of going on this incredible program. Living in such an amazing place provided the environment and the resources for me to embark on a spiritual journey, which I took advantage of and grew tremendously. My only hope is that driven, like-minded individuals will make the same choice to broaden their horizons, grow in faith, and have a fun and life-altering experience studying abroad in Israel or a different place that best suits them. Studying abroad is essential to the college experience, and I will always remember it as the most important decision I made in college.


Jordan Williams is a Finance & Religious Studies double major at Southern Methodist University. He studied abroad with IFSA at the Rothberg International School of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel in Spring 2018. He is one of the 2018-19 SMU Abroad Peer Advisors and editor of The Globetrotter newsletter and Mustangs on the Move blog.


Parker’s Wild Time in the Australian Wilderness

The first two weeks have all been the unexpected. Siggy, one of our Professors, told us that the only thing that is predictable here is its unpredictability. The program is a lot more studious than I originally thought but that only makes me like it more. The staff seems really passionate and I can tell that I will learn a lot.

The most memorable experience so far was Green Island. The ocean is the thing about environmental science that I am most passionate about. It was nothing like I expected, it was a lot more touristy that I had imagined but the Great Barrier Reef left me in awe. Swimming next to green sea turtles will always be something I will remember. Thanks to Reef Teach I was able to notice smaller details that I would normally have glanced over, and I frequently caught myself duck diving and investigating smaller areas that most people may have over looked. The tiny trigger fish were amazing to watch as they filtered through the sand, as were the flatworms that sat on the boulder coral.

The MY (local aboriginal groups) country was equally entertaining, but not as fulfilling due to my attraction with the Ocean. We learned about many of the practices that they established with the local flora and fauna. There were many plants that smelled like fruits or herbs that were not local to Australia, but thanks to their unique smell, they were able to be used in cooking as substitutes. The 3D map structure was astonishing due to the fact that it was so detailed and accurate. The locals were able to make many local plants that were normally fatal if consumed, edible by processing them in certain ways. I was very curious about the seeds that are so high in caffeine that they can be deadly. The ancient hunting and throwing weapons were really interesting to see firsthand, especially once we found out how the bullet arrow is sometimes even used in an artistic display of athleticism and timing.

Within the third and fourth weeks, we had a homestay sandwiched between FEX (Field Exercise) writing and data collection, the homestays were a great way to learn about how locals thought and behaved. Our homestay host was very nice and took us to many scenic views around the Atherton Tablelands. One place that I really enjoyed was the Café that he has partial ownership in. The people there were very hippy like, and very welcoming. I talked to a few locals of Ravenshoe and learned about their individual paths to arriving where they did. Many of the people there figured that due to climate change, the mountains were the best place to be for various reasons.

We were also given the task of surveying local residents of Atherton, Malanda and Tolga, about littering along the Gillies Highway. I was in the group that went to Malanda. Littering was the topic of the survey because the areas are all within the Barron River catchment that feeds water into Cairns, a tourist city next to the Great Barrier Reef. Malanda was a fairly small town, with friendly people and strong sense of community. The type of surveying we did was convenience cross sampling, meaning we asked the first people that we encountered in various locations if they could spare some time to help us fill out a survey. The demographics of the area had an average age above fifty. Malanda was originally a logging area when the Europeans arrived, but has since been used for the dairy industry due to the ban on logging in the World Heritage Area (WHA) and the open fields that remained.

–    Parker Torres with the School for Field Studies in Far North Queensland

*Pictures Taken by Caitlin Reilly of the School for Field Studies & Provided to SMU Abroad by the School for Field Studies

A Candid Look at Life as a Student in Amsterdam

Hi everyone – Sabrina Peng here, reporting from Amsterdam, the Netherlands! I’ve just finished the first month of my study abroad semester here (time flies!), and I thought I would catch y’all up on a few of my favorite moments so far:

1) constantly getting lost in my university’s labyrinth of a building and accidentally getting locked in
2) frantically asking random people for help reading Dutch labels on food items in the grocery store
3) coming to within an inch of my life after almost being run over multiple times by bikes and trams

In all seriousness though, it’s been four weeks of happiness and craziness, and I’ve finally settled into Dutch life a lot better than I thought I would – from learning new food vocabulary to being extra careful to look both ways in the streets before crossing. I didn’t think I would be nervous about studying abroad, but my experiences have proven that however confident you are to begin with, you must always be prepared to expect the unexpected – especially in the case of that old lady almost taking me out with her bike.

One thing I wasn’t sure of at the beginning of this experience was making friends, especially new Dutch ones. Although there were 130+ students in my provider program who were all American (some even from TCU, close to home), there was still that awkward moment the moment I rolled my suitcase up to the group of chattering, excited people waiting in the Schiphol airport. It was one of those first-day-of-school vibes all over again, where no one knows what to do to ease into conversation. Over the misery of being forced to stand outside in cutting winds and near-freezing weather, however, I made my first friends 5000 miles away from home.

Although different class schedules and living arrangements have shifted who I most often hang out with, I’m so fortunate to have a great circle of friends here, and even more so to have four amazing (and clean!) roommates. Having to cook in a shared kitchen can be a daunting task, but we’ve managed to survive our first month without burning the place down, so I count that as a success. Together, we’ve visited pubs to celebrate birthdays, danced the night away at clubs, and planned trips to visit other countries (including a weekend away to Brussels soon!).

I’ve also connected with my Dutch classmates better than I expected. Although everyone here does speak English, English is still considered the second language to Dutch, which is used for the majority of conversations. This has led to some difficulty communicating, but it’s pushed me to ask about and practice common phrases – even if my American tongue can’t produce those pesky, throaty sounds that the letter “g” is supposed to make. One girl in particular in my computer networks class is someone I know I’ll keep up with in the future, even when I return to the States. She’s 18, wicked smart, and willing to answer all my (sometimes dumb) questions about Dutch life. I can’t wait to continue making new Dutch friends who I’ll be able to come and visit in the future!

In this blog post, I’d also like to address what “study abroad” actually entails. Studying abroad for me hasn’t been just rainbows and butterflies, where I’m spending all my weeknights out on the town and all my weekends sipping wine in different countries. Studying abroad means actually *studying* abroad – I’ve spent most of my weekday evenings studying lecture notes, writing code, and completing ridiculous amounts of homework. I even have classes where the professor has explicitly measured out the time that we should be spending on the course every week! Because of this, I’ve found that the best way to make use of my limited time here has been to finish my work on weeknights, carefully planning out which weekends I have free and where I want to go the most. In addition, since my university doesn’t have dedicated spring breaks, I’ve had to intentionally carve out longer periods of time in my schedule so I can visit places that are farther away.

So far, I’ve done solo day trips to Rotterdam (where I got to take pictures of these really cool cube houses and see two of the world’s best men’s tennis players play each other) and The Hague (where the king’s palaces sit right next to tiny street cafes and Chinatown offers unlimited dimsum/hotpot for only twenty euros). These two trips were great because I was able to map out everything on my own and travel at my own pace. I’m also planning a trip to the Iberian peninsula (Barcelona and Lisbon…see you soon!), as well as Dublin, Munich, and Italy/Greece with my friends! I’ll have to wait for my longer breaks for those to happen, but I can just imagine myself standing on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher, celebrating Springfest with a pretzel in hand, and taking in the picturesque coastline along the Mediterranean. All of this is at my fingertips, and I can’t believe I only have three months left to experience all of it.

It’s been a great four weeks, but the next twelve are promising to be even better. Sitting at this café writing this blog post and enjoying the views of the canals outside, I’m just feeling so thankful to have this opportunity of a lifetime. Now, I’m going to dive right back into what study abroad has to offer, and I’ll see y’all on the other side!

Thanks for reading and follow along for more adventures on Instagram at @sabribritravels and @smuabroad


3 Bags and 5,365 Miles

by Jordan Kurtz (January 8, 2018)

Jordan Kurtz is a junior at SMU from Sammamish, WA. She is about to embark on a semester journey to Milan, Italy with IES Abroad. You can follow her journey on their blog here.

[Originally published on IES Abroad]

The last time I set foot in Europe was spring of my senior year in 2016. I traveled to Santorini, Athens, Mykonos, and Turkey with my best friends on a two star cruise. The rooms were as large as a bathroom (and that’s a generous description), the majority of our fellow passengers were senior citizens from China who could not speak much English (if any) and we had little to no cell coverage- it was the one of the best weeks of my life. At that time I could not have imagined that any opportunity would trump that experience. Even three years out from that trip, I can still taste the salt of the Aegean on my lips, reflect upon the awe inspired by the Acropolis, and hear the soft laughter of Andrew and Emily from adjoining bunk beds.

Five months after our trip, I came to Southern Methodist University in Dallas in the fall. I left Emily, Andrew, and our memories of Grecian sunsets in Seattle, and wondered what people and what experience could possibly rival 8 days in one of the most stunning places in the world. And then I learned about the opportunity to study abroad: a chance to see a multitude of countries, cultures, cuisines, and people for not just 8 days, but 15 weeks; my heart leapt like it had when I first bought my ticket to Athens.

So here I am. Not a senior in high school embarking to Greece, or a college freshman intrigued but not yet committed to the prospect of studying abroad. I am a junior in college just days away from spending an entire semester in Milan, Italy, which I believe will not only match the joys of my first European trip, but exceed them beyond my wildest expectations. I am not certain of much beyond the fact I will be taking three bags, traveling 5,365 miles east, and living with three girls I have never before met.

How do I feel? I’m inclined to say nothing but ecstatic, which I undoubtedly am. But it would be an omission were I not to admit I am also frankly terrified. I thought that coming to Texas for school while knowing nobody would be the largest assertion of independence I have ever made, but I am beginning to realize that this semester may be an even larger feat in my eyes. Granted, when I came to SMU, I knew no one, but that also meant I had nothing to lose. Five semesters after arriving however, I have made dozens of relationships that I treasure more than anything in the world, and I am reluctant to depart from the people who have made me feel secure, valued, and loved over the past two and a half years.

Yet it is precisely because of these people that I have the confidence to go abroad. Their continual validation of my character and worth when I have lost sight of it myself allowed me to take the plunge, and when I am feeling lost in the streets of Milan, I know that I can always find my center in them. So cheers to my boyfriend, my friends, and my family who said I could do it. Thanks to them, I am. I cannot wait to see what friendships, trips, concerts, museums, foods, and all the experiences in between that lie ahead of me. Arrivederci Seattle, Ciao Milano!

Xxx Jordan

Living Large in London

Sydney Levy, an SMU junior double-majoring in mathematics and education, spent a month abroad in London this summer on SMU’s London Communications Program. Here are her reflections on the program, living in Britain, and how she changed because of this unforgettable experience.

Sydney Levy

Majors: Math and Education

Semester Abroad: Summer 2018

Program Name/Location: London Communications Program

Why did you want to study abroad?

I have wanted to study abroad since I was very young. My mom used to tell me stories about going on Semester at Sea and how she was able to see the world, so I wanted to do the same. Also, after my brother studied abroad when he was in college, I got to see how much experiencing life in a new country impacted him. I wanted a chance to branch out and find new things I loved, make new friends, and just explore places I had never been before. I originally wanted to do a semester, but it did not work in my schedule so I chose to do a summer instead. I think this was a good amount of time for me and by the end of my trip I was ready to come home.

Does England have any challenging societal differences?

Because I chose to study in London, some things were very easy to adapt to, especially with no language barrier. However, because life in London is so centered around a fast moving city, similar to New York, I had to adjust to this. Growing up in a place where I would drive at least thirty minutes to go anywhere, having to walk anywhere I wanted to go was quite different. At first, I loved it because I was able to experience something completely different and I thought it was so much fun to see the city and even get lost in the many interesting areas. But, towards the end of my trip I began to get tired of walking everywhere and was overall just exhausted. Looking back on my time I definitely loved the city life, but I learned it is not something I could do forever.

Would you recommend the London Communications program to those interested in studying abroad?

Yes, I would definitely recommend going to study abroad in London. When I chose this program, I was nervous I would not like London because I am not a huge fan of New York. However, I fell in love with London; the people, the food, the city, it was all so much fun and interesting to experience.  I think that the program was very geared towards political science and advertising majors, so I think if that is what your interested in, then it is a great program. I decided to do this program to get UC credits I needed and I still enjoyed them even though they are not my main interests. However, beyond just the classes, I think this program is designed for everyone because we had the opportunity to experience so much and see so many different things.

What new skill or strength did you gain while abroad?

While abroad, I really improved my sense of direction. I always found myself to be the person in my friend group leading the way, and by the end of the trip I was able to walk around parts of London without using a map. I was honestly very proud of this because when I travel with my family, they never let me be in charge of directions since my brother and my dad are very good at it. I think that I also became more adventurous and more willing to try new things. I loved trying all of the different foods in London and I learned that I enjoy many interesting foods that were new to me because of this.

Highlighted Student of November 2018 – Antoine Mellon

Antoine Mellon is the highlighted SMU Abroad student of month

Antoine is a Biology major at SMU. He studied in northeastern Tanzania during the spring semester of 2018. Being a STEM student at SMU, Antoine was told that it would be very difficult to study abroad with his course load. Determined to take advantage of this opportunity to study in another country, Antoine researched various ways so that he could find a program that would work with his course load and provide valuable hands-on experience. Antoine is interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. 

What influenced you to go abroad? What have you gained from the experience?

I wanted to experience a different type of teaching and learning, and I needed something much more interactive than simply a classroom experience. Coming to Tanzania through SFS gave me the learning experience that I was looking for. In this program, we learn the basics in class, and then we go apply them in the field. Whether it be our wildlife management course – where we further our understanding by going on safaris, or our political economy class, in which we go to nearby towns and interview locals to get first-hand information on their lives. I feel that these experiences further my understanding and appreciation for the material I am learning.  

Why did you choose this program?  

I am a Biology major with a strong interest in wildlife and potentially veterinary medicine. During the study abroad fair at the beginning of the year, I saw a flyer with pictures of lions and zebras. I was immediately interested due to my love and interest for wildlife. By talking further with the SFS representative, I learned more about this program. This program therefore allowed me to earn Biology credit for SMU while also learning about wildlife management and ecology.  

Can all STEM students study abroad?  

I was told several times by professors and classmates that studying abroad as a Bio major on the pre-health track may be difficult or impossible. I decided to do my own research and find a way to make this experience work. It is definitely possible to study a whole semester abroad and earn enough credit in order to graduate on time, even if you think your major is not designed to allow this. Advisors may tell you that it probably isn’t possible for your major, but there is definitely a way to make it happen.  

What has been your favorite part of living in Tanzania?  

I came to Tanzania because I wanted to see the animals and go on Safaris. The locals have singlehandedly made this experience amazing. Through various community service projects, the interviews we have conducted in nearby towns, and simply by playing soccer, volleyball and ultimate frisbee with them every day, I have realized that I was ignorant in thinking that I only really wanted to see wildlife in Tanzania. There is much more to a country than just the scenery and the wildlife. Engaging with the community and learning from the culture should always be a priority when visiting a new country.

Summer 2018 Abroad Reflections – October

Below are reflections from two SMU students, Elena Skaribas and Dylan Furner, about their experiences abroad this summer. These students went to very different places and had completely unique experiences, yet both grew tremendously from their unforgettable time abroad!

Elena Skaribas

Majors: Psychology & Biology

Program: STEM Summer Research – Glasgow, Scotland

What life lessons and skills did you learn while abroad?

I never thought I would travel abroad during my time in college, and taking the step to apply for a research program abroad was a huge step outside my comfort zone. Being left to my own devices in a foreign country was intimidating at first, but I made some amazing, life-long friends who helped me feel more comfortable and adjust quickly. I made sure to make the most of my experience abroad: traveling, exploring, shopping, and taking lots and lots of photos to document my time. I had to learn how to travel around and between cities using public transport as well as learn how to organize my time between doing research at the University and exploring Glasgow. I would say that researching abroad made me more mature and independent by making me step outside my comfort zone and pushing me to enjoy new experiences.

Was your abroad experience impactful? Why?

On an academic level, the research I did was very impactful because it taught me an entire skill set I hadn’t known or used before. I was able to study and use fMRI data and complete data analysis using programs like Matlab and BrainVoyager. At first learning these new skills was hard and overwhelming, but the support I had from my professor and the graduate students over-seeing my lab helped me gain confidence and eventually master high-level data analysis. Now I have the knowledge and foundation to carry out even more neuropsychology research on my own, given the skills I obtained during my research experience abroad.

Did you adopt a new favorite activity that is unique to Scotland? 

During my time in Scotland, I traveled up to the Highlands with a group of other students in my program to attend the Highland Games. The Highland Games are events that are held in Scotland during the spring and summer during which people participate in traditional Scottish/Celtic sporting events and dance. It was very exciting to attend a traditional festival to understand more of Scottish culture and the people there welcomed us warmly. During our time in the Highlands, we also toured Loch Lomond and learned more about the history of Scotland.

Dylan Furner
Majors: Computer Science, Mathematics
Minor: Economics
Program: SMU-In-Costa Rica. Located in Heredia, Costa Rica
What life lessons and skills did you learn while abroad?
I learned quite a few. I learned how to handle myself in a room where I don’t speak the language and I learned how to survive in a country completely foreign to me. The lifestyle I lived in Costa Rica was completely different from anything else in my past, including time spent living in Hong Kong.
Was your abroad experience impactful? Why?
My Costa Rican ‘parents’ were some of the best people I have ever met. They welcomed me into their home, cooked my meals, tutored me through my classes, and taught me more Spanish over the course of dinner every night than I could have ever learned in a classroom. I try to carry their unapologetic kindness with me as I move my life, and I will never forget how incredible they truly were.
Did you adopt a new favorite activity that is unique to Chile?
I only watch Netflix in Spanish now. Although Netflix and Spanish are definitely not unique to Costa Rica, if it were not for my Study Abroad experience I would never have achieved the level of understanding that I have today in Spanish.

Highlighted Student of the Month – October

Lili Johnston

Major(s): Finance and French

Semester Abroad: Fall 2017, junior year

Program: Institute for Field Education, Field Studies Program, Paris, France

Why did you want to study abroad?

I wanted to go abroad because of my interest in traveling, to learn more about French culture, and to advance my French language skills in an immersive environment.

Does French society have any major differences to the United States? Was it challenging to adapt to the differences?

I think most people think that Western Europe and France are similar to the U.S., and they are in many ways given that they’re both some of the world’s most developed countries. However, they are still very different and I faced many daily challenges that I don’t face here in the U.S. It was challenging to adapt to the differences, but I also went abroad because I wanted to be challenged.

Would you recommend your program & country to those interested in studying abroad?

I would say that my program isn’t for a student who wants a light-hearted experience abroad. The classes were long and hard, there were a lot of educational field trips, I was working full-time at my internship while taking night class, and had to write a 30 page dissertation. That being said, I loved the immersive nature of the program. My French improved so much, and the challenging nature meant that I matured and grew so much and gained immense self confidence. Looking back, I’m somewhat glad I chose such a challenging, demanding program; even though I had to struggle in the short term, it means that I have gained skills that will last forever.

What new skills or strengths did you gain while abroad?

How to deal with uncertainty, how to make the best of what you have, independence, and learning how to spend time alone.

How has study abroad impacted and added to your college experience?

Studying abroad has infinitely added to my college experience. I can tackle my French classes with ease, and my cultural sensitivity and I’ve been able to apply the experience I gained from my internship in the U.S. Trade Department at the U.S. Embassy in Paris to my business coursework. I think my experience abroad has impacted my life beyond college, as my international business experience and foreign language skills have been attractive to employers. Those are tangible impacts, but the more intangible impacts, such as the amount I grew and the experiences I gained, have also been great, too.