By: Dipanshi Batra | Staff Writer
We’re away from home for a reason. We’re certainly here for academics. But we’re also here for experience. Experience is a key element in what we are and what we will be. We’re not here to spend time acquiring facts and abstract data that we will never be able to implement. Knowledge comes from going to school. Wisdom comes from experiencing school. This experience would never be complete without a study abroad.
I went to Brazil over the winter break of 2017. Imagine receiving six credits over a span of just two weeks. With that, imagine welcoming 2018 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? I took COM114 and a survival Portuguese class over the winter break, forging new friendships were in the classroom. My new friends and I got to witness the phenomena of Copacabana beach on January 1st, with 2 million people clad in white clothes looked towards the horizon to find a couple of grand boats shooting out fireworks for 15 minutes straight. We prepared secret santa gifts on Christmas and hang-glided, claiming the skies to be ours for a couple of minutes. We gave speeches in class, but also got to try out our best Samba moves at the Rio Scenarium. The city of Rio de Janeiro is something with its wall murals, favelas and beaches.
How fun does learning get when you put in experience? Rather than letting our fingers incessantly trace the letters on paper and screen, we should sometimes let our feet run naked in the grass blades. Besides that, intercultural learning is important for us because the workforce is becoming increasingly global.
Getting ahead in your classes combined with memories of a lifetime, experience that allows you to reveal things about yourself that education can’t and emphasize intercultural learning: that, my friends, is what it means to study abroad.