Need Convincing to Travel or Study Abroad?? | By Mahsa Toghrai

Walking around campus, it seems like everybody is talking about travelling and studying abroad but not everybody manages to follow through. Here are some testimonials to convince you, if you’re still on the fence:

“Getting to spend my first two Reading Weeks in Ecuador and Guatemala as part of the Residence Services’ Global Service Learning program perfectly combined my wanderlust, my love for volunteerism, and my desire to get an education. It seems unlikely that a total of twenty days could help anyone figure out just what their role is in the world, but GSL helped me understand exactly what I’m capable of without losing sight of the implications of volunteering in countries with cultural expectations and realities that I don’t necessarily understand. I started out naïve, optimistic, and convinced that my passion could help change the world, and even though I’m still optimistic and I still know mostly nothing, I am an itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny bit closer to understanding just how I can continue to help others on a global scale.” – Emma Scullion, BA Political Science


“To say I was nervous about leaving everything to spend a semester at the UAlberta campus in Cortona would be a colossal understatement, but I can’t describe how happy I am to have experienced it. Being immersed in Italy’s rich culture and history allowed me to experience learning at a level I never would have gotten in a classroom. I got to wake up to the gorgeous Tuscan landscape, fumble my way through ordering a cappuccino in Italian, and kill time between classes sitting on stone walls built in the 12th century—to say nothing of the phenomenal people I met and the lifelong friendships I cultivated. Not a lot of people are given such an unbelievable opportunity and I’m so grateful that I had the courage to pursue it and let it change my life in such a positive way.” – Nicole Dyck, BA Psychology


“When I left to be part of the E3 in Brazil Summer Program, I was terrified that I’d crash and burn–I knew very little of Brazilian culture and zero Portuguese, and I would be so far away from home. My brief layover in the São Paulo airport seemed to confirm all my fears and so I landed in Curitiba convinced that I wouldn’t survive, but all it took was meeting my host family and getting settled in to realize that maybe there was a place for me there! Studying at the Federal University of Paraná in Curitiba was a fantastic experience that I almost missed out on because I was too afraid, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I learned so much about Brazilian culture and food, I met so many wonderful people, and I even managed to learn a bit of Portuguese! Suffice it to say that I can’t wait for my next adventure.” – Tylar Hamblett, BA Political Science


For those who need even more convincing, the Study and Go Abroad Fair is taking place September 30, 2-6 PM at the Shaw Conference Centre; admission is free.

Artwork courtesy of Wanderer Online Design Editor Janelle Holod. Photos courtesy of quotees.

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