This was my first time traveling out of the country, let alone to spend three months with people I’ve never met. At first it was intimidating, adjusting to the environment and getting to know everyone. When I got back from this trip people asked how it went. What I found was that this wasn’t just an ordinary trip. My experience abroad with Verto was unique. And what made it unique was the people, my personal journey, and the cultural experiences.
I loved my cohort! The professors were amazing, fun, and interesting people. Not only did I learn from them during class but also out of class they taught me a lot. Our guides were all around the best! They worked so hard everyday to make everything go as smoothly as it could go. Being responsible for a group is not easy! I know I can speak for my fellow classmates when I say that we made beautiful relationships and connections with everyone.
My personal journey was one that I will never forget. I learned so much about myself and yes there were hardships such as being homesick or just feeling overwhelmed or even more personal issues. But, without the bad I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the good. And looking back, if it wasn’t for everything that I endured whether that be good or bad I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It forced me to get out of my comfort zone and pushed me to try new things. This semester abroad not only shaped me personally but also academically.
I wanted cultural immersion and that is exactly what I got! Everyone was so nice and welcoming. Learning the culture around me didn’t make me feel like a tourist but more of a well rounded traveler. I learned phrases and words in different languages, I learned cultural do’s and don’ts, and I tried a bunch of tasty new foods! When you’re culturally immersed it puts you into a different perspective. You see all sides and not just your own. You learn why people do what they do and you experience the hardships that they go through as well.
A part of who I am is made up from my experiences abroad. This is a unique opportunity and if you have the chance to do it, go for it! Don’t overthink it and don’t talk yourself out of it. I promise this is life changing!