Final Thoughts

I definitely feel more “well-rounded” now. My experience was truly poignant and inspiring on way too many levels to describe in words. My career goals are what they are today because of the time I spent in Ghana. -Suhaly, Ghana & Florence

I really think I opened myself up and just allowed for absorption of an entirely new and wonderful place.  Just like home, there are good and bad aspects of any culture.  Just being there, experiencing the sights and people, and not trying to over-interpret anything until I’d come home and had a chance to sit alone and think was the best way to do it, I found.  Those who over-analyzed while they were there ended up not having as good of a time, because they felt bad about how much ‘more’ they have than people there.  But to just be there with the people I met, some friends from NYU, and an open mind, was utterly amazing.  I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. – Amanda, Ghana

I don’t think that my experience ended with me exiting the plane in New York. I have a lot more to learn about China. Studying in Shanghai was an excellent start to a process that I want to last for a lifetime. – Julia, Shanghai

To really be “abroad”, you have to work diligently at connecting with the local culture of your site. It might be tempting your first week to plan a different trip to a different country with your new NYU abroad friends every weekend of the semester, but I promise you will evolve so meaningfully as an individual just by meeting locals your age, or older, or younger, and letting yourselves teach each other about your respective cultures. There is a powerful gift in soaking in what is foreign to cross-reference it with what you think you are as American. You will find both a new country, and a more poignant sense of self. -Sarah, Madrid & Florence

One of the many concerns when planning to study abroad is thinking about how well you will be received in another country as an American. There are always rumors floating around about how Americans are unwelcome in foreign countries, which may deter some from wanting to travel there. As a student of color, who had never been outside of the country, I was even more nervous about how well I would be accepted in Shanghai, China. I strongly believe that it is necessary for people from diverse backgrounds to come together so that we can be properly understood and any misconceptions can be corrected. It is the first step to becoming united as a people. -Jasmine, Shanghai & Madrid

Going abroad was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. I think it honestly made me appreciate different cultures more, and I also feel that now I am more mature and grown-up.- Bernie, London

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