Engagement on campus:
Delta Sigma Pi, Lindner Women in Business, and iCats.
Location and type of program where you studied abroad:
Service Learning Study Abroad to Guatemala
Describe the location you studied abroad for someone who has never been there.
Guatemala is a developing country so things are not like they are here in the United States. There is so much beauty in this country with the volcanos and surrounding mountains. It is very rural in the majority of areas. This country is filled with the unique culture of some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Not many people there speak English, which challenges you to use some of your Spanish skills and try your best.
What was your best memory from your time abroad?
My favorite memory is driving to the worksite one morning and just looking off into the distance, absorbing my beautiful surroundings. There was a little boy herding two cows on the road, a child sitting in a tree, and a goat on a leash. There were surrounding mountains and a bright blue sky. Although this may sound odd, this sight was so incredible because it not only captures the culture and work of Guatemala, but the beauty itself.
What was your favorite class or academic activity abroad? Why?
My favorite activity abroad was when we got to visit a Guatemalan school. This was so amazing in many different ways. We got to learn about all of the programs the school had for the kids and got to see their classes. The kids were all running around and playing. It was so much fun to watch them act out skits and try to speak English. They are so cute and make you want to move to Guatemala to work with them.
Describe interactions you had with locals (students, host families, guides). What did you learn from these people?
We all had many interactions with the local people. Guatemalans are the nicest people you will ever meet. They are so patient and kind. I do not speak any Spanish, but I would try my best to spit out sentences. The beautiful thing about this is that the Guatemalans are so patient to work with you to try and figure out what you are trying to communicate. But the best interactions caused me to realize one thing. This was a service study abroad where we were helping the Guatemalan people by building a house for them. But the funny thing is, is that they impacted us just as much as we impacted them. Their way of life and happiness is something that truly spreads onto you and teaches you so much about life in general. The families and little kids had a bigger influence on me than they would ever imagine.
In your opinion, why should every student study abroad?
Every student should study abroad so that they can gain this needed world-wide knowledge and really open their view on life. The United States is very different and we are very well-off compared to other countries. But I would never have realized this if I didn’t go abroad.