My Life Changing Abroad Experience!
I am currently a senior pursuing a major in Finance as well as a liberal studies major in Global Perspectives. Outside of school, I am involved in the Greek life community on campus as a member of Alpha Sigma Pi fraternity and previous Executive board member of Greek Activities Council. In addition to this, I serve as an international education advisor and am a part of the Bentley consulting group on campus.
It’s hard to recount one definitive moment from my experience at Bentley. However, I can definitely say that the one that I will remember most are the moments where I was able to interact with international students. When I was a junior, I had the privilege to study abroad in Milan, Italy for a semester. There I was able to gain real business experience in a global context through my internship at a local managerial consulting firm. My role focused on internationalization strategies for European and Italian companies to transition to the United States. This was such an interesting, yet challenging, experience i had in a foreign country. Outside of this professional growth, studying abroad also really allowed me to be self reflective and learn more about my Italian culture.
I was inspired to study abroad ever since I was young when I would hear others speaking different languages that I wanted to explore new areas of the world. This curious nature grew as I did. When i was a freshman at Bentley, I lived in Miller Hall housing which also housed a large population of international students. I had never been exposed to a more diverse environment. When i walked down the hall i would meet individuals from everywhere around the world.
Upon coming back from study abroad, I knew I wanted to share my experiences and advice to others, thus, i became an international education advisor for the office of international education. This allows me to share my experiences to Bentley students who are seeking to pursue a global experience. I really feel that I am able to be the liaison between two cultures.
In addition to this, I have been lucky enough to meet foreign students through Bentley University buddy program and other social programs which is actually how I was able to room with an exchange student from Germany, Jan, last semester. I would definitely recommend rooming with an exchange student to anyone! Throughout my four years, I have met and made friends from countless backgrounds including; Dutch, French, Austrian, German, Swedish, Danish, Turkish Italian, Spanish, Lat-American, Italian, and more.
Some pieces of advice I would give to students who also want to further immerse themselves in these international experiences and meet people from other cultures is as follows: I would just say be curious! Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their culture and country. Once you realize that you can learn so much from others from different backgrounds it will widen your perspective and foster a new way of thinking that you can’t get out of classroom or through American friendships.