MBA and MS Marketing
Engagement on campus:
I work full time at E.W. Scripps
Location and type of program where you studied abroad:
Faculty-led program to United Arab Emirates
Describe the location you studied abroad for someone who has never been there.
When people think of the United Arab Emirates, they think of the countries (and region) surrounding the UAE. They think the Middle East – women have no rights, the Islamic law (and punishment rules all), there is war. What they don’t realize is that the UAE is like an oasis and combination of a rich Islamic heritage and new 40 year-old state. The architecture and views are amazing, pulling in the Arabic culture and modern technologies. The culture is similar to the mixing pot of the United States with most products imported that are then immersed into a new culture that is the UAE.
What was your best memory from your time abroad?
Besides the friends I made, it was amazing to experience such a different culture and yet feel like you could see these same sites in the United States. The cultural center explained so many questions – why things are the way they are and really humanized what seemed to be such a stigmatized culture.
How did you afford an international experience?
Family (ask for donations)!
Has study abroad changed who you are as a person? If so, in what ways?
Yes, I have traveled aboard many times. However, this experience truly opened my eyes. It made me realize that just because we view a culture one way – or assume they “all treat women bad” this isn’t the reality. It is just like Catholicism or Judaism. There are many levels of Islam some stricter then others. But, as a culture and society they are not how we think of the “middle east.” Similarly, they were asking us questions [about our culture and politics.]… It was not only humbling, but embarrassing, to realize that people have their own stigmas about our great culture that we so want to break!
What accomplishment are you most proud of during your time abroad?
My Blog! I always say that I am going to journal when I travel abroad and I NEVER actually do. The nice thing about the journal/blog was three fold: (1) it was an assignment – so as I completed daily, I did not have to play catch up or search my memory when I got home, (2) I have a reminder of all of the fun times/things I was thinking while I was abroad and I felt that I expressed myself well, and (3) I wasn’t constantly having to text home – my friends and family could be updated by my blog post and know that I was okay. I did post 2 a day late and my mom got worried! You see some of my experiences here.
In your opinion, why should every student study abroad?
I think every student should study abroad, it opens you up to new cultures, new ways of thinking and new ideas. It helps you approach situations (in work and in life) as a global thinker. It helps to break down the silos and introduces forward thinking in your day-to-day life.